Policy: The Clemson Medallion

PURPOSE: The Clemson Medallion is the highest honor conferred by Clemson University. This honor recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a long and sustained commitment and significant service to Clemson University. Recipients of the Clemson Medallion have earned the collective respect and admiration of the University family. As the highest honor, it should be bestowed in a most selective manner.

BACKGROUND: The Clemson Medallion was approved by the Board of Trustees in 1980. The naming of the award honors the benefactor of Clemson University, Thomas Green Clemson, an advocate for scientific education and the advancement of agriculture. The first Clemson Medallion was awarded on April 15, 1981.

The Clemson Medallion is a medal which bears a head and shoulders portrait of Thomas Green Clemson taken from the A. Wolfe Davidson sculpture. Around the portrait are the words: The Clemson Medallion. Engraved on the back of the Medallion are the words: Clemson University on (date) awards this medallion to (name) who through generous service to this institution exemplifies the dedication and commitment of its original benefactor, Thomas Green Clemson.

  • ELIGIBILITY: The Clemson Medallion shall be bestowed only to living individuals. This award is reserved principally for nominees who graduated from Clemson University and others who have cultivated a meaningful relationship with Clemson University. The award is reserved only for those individuals who exemplify the dedication and foresight of benefactor Thomas Green Clemson.
  • NOMINATIONS: Nominations will be solicited in odd years. Nominations will be solicited by the Office of the Board of Trustees through an online process and will be retained for three nomination cycles. Requests for nominations will be publicized in appropriate Clemson publications. In addition, the Selection Committee is empowered to identify and consider additional candidates.
  • SELECTION COMMITTEE: Recipients of the Clemson Medallion will be selected by a Selection Committee that is appointed by the Chair of the Board of Trustees to serve two-year terms and composed of:
      1. A member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors;
      2. A faculty member who has received the Alumni Distinguished Professor award;
      3. A staff member who has received the Board of Trustees Award of Excellence;
      4. A member of the Executive Leadership Team;
      5. The Chair of the Clemson University Board of Trustees and;
      6. The Chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees.

    The Executive Secretary to the Board of Trustees will serve as an ex-officio member of the Selection Committee with a voice but no vote. Committee members will be appointed every other year no later than February 28 in years ending in odd-numbers. The Committee will meet as frequently as necessary during the first year of their two-year period of service to review the slate of active nominations. The Selection Committee will be chaired by the Chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees. No later than November 30 of years ending with odd-numbers, the Selection Committee will recommend to the Chair of the Board no more than two (2) candidates they believe meet the high standards to receive the Clemson Medallion. As soon as possible thereafter, the Chair of the Board will review those candidates with the President of Clemson University and affirm the recommended candidate(s). Given the uniquely high privilege of the Clemson Medallion, it is understood that there may be years in which no nominee is deemed to meet the high standards necessary to receive the Clemson Medallion. Further, the Chair of the Board is under no obligation to select any candidate as a recipient.
  • CONFERMENT: The Clemson Medallion will be conferred only in years ending with even-numbers but is not required to be given every two years. The award may be conferred to no more than two individuals in one year. Any candidate selected to receive the Clemson Medallion shall receive a letter of notification from the Chair of the Board of Trustees within two weeks of the completion of the selection process. The award must be accepted in person except that if the recipient cannot be present for the conferment because of a health-related impairment, the award may be presented in a manner deemed appropriate by the Selection Committee. The award is presented by the Chair of the Board of Trustees in the presence of the President of Clemson University. Once each recipient is notified, the Executive Secretary to the Board of Trustees will work with appropriate University staff to plan a suitable event of honor and celebration
  • DISPLAY: The Clemson Medallion and images of its recipients will be displayed


Date of Initial Approval:
January 26, 1980

Amended by the Board:
March 27, 1987

Amended by the Board:
July 26, 1996

Amended by the Board:
July 20, 2018