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Woodland Cemetery Historic Preservation

Project Team

Research and Community Engagement Team

Telling an accurate history of the African American Burial Ground and Woodland Cemetery involves diligent and thorough historical research and outreach. The research and community engagement team works in libraries, archives, and in local communities to research important documents, listen to oral histories, and help recover the stories of individuals and families who may be buried at the site. The team also works to engage the public in these research, restoration, and preservation efforts.

Dr. Mandi Barnard, Research Historian

Dr. Sara Collini, Postdoctoral Fellow in University History

Marissa Davis, Graduate Research Assistant

Dr. Brian Stack, Community Engagement Assistant

Dr. Rhondda Thomas, Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature, Call My Name Faculty Director, and Coordinator of Research and Community Engagement for the African American Burial Ground and Woodland Cemetery Historic Preservation Project

15 Undergraduate Student Researchers, Creative Inquiry in History: The Woodland Cemetery Preservation and Memorial Project, HIST 3890.003, Fall 2021

Community Engagement Council

Collaboration and partnership with the African American communities surrounding Clemson University is essential. Community leaders from the four local areas surrounding Clemson, including Anderson, Clemson-Central, Pendleton, and Oconee County, advise on local research, community outreach, and preservation and memorialization plans for the African American Burial Ground.  


J. T. Boseman

Jack Henderson

Nekaun Swinger

Dr. Beatrice Thompson


Rosa Grayden

Dalphene Jameson

Pastor Zackary Johnson


Terence Hassan

Oconee County

Shelby Henderson

Kathy Jenkins

Helen Rosemond-Saunders

Clemson University Board of Trustees Task Force

The Clemson Board of Trustees appointed a Task Force to develop a preservation plan for the burial ground.

David Dukes, Chair

Dr. Louis Lynn

Kim Wilkerson

Legacy Council

The Legacy Council, appointed by the Task Force, assists with the development of the preservation plan and with community engagement. 

President Emeritus James F. Barker

Dr. James Bostic Jr.

David Dukes

Dr. Rhondda Thomas

Project Affiliates

Several people and organizations across campus, South Carolina, and the nation also contribute to this project by providing scientific and historical research, expert consulting, and advising. Their support is invaluable to the project. 

Call My Name: African Americans in Clemson University History

Clemson University Special Collections and Archives

Preservation South and Summit Engineering, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Survey

Dr. Michael Blakey, NEH Professor of Anthropology, Africana Studies, and American Studies and Founding Director of the Institute for Historical Biology at the College of William & Mary

Dr. Lawrence Conyers, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Denver

Dr. Lynn Rainville, Director of Institutional History and the Museums at Washington and Lee University