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The Erwin Center Summer Scholars | Advancing Diversity in Brand Communications

The next Erwin Center Summer Scholars camp will be held May 30 - June 6, 2020.

Applications for our 2020 Camp will be available in December, 2019.

Bringing together top students, industry leaders, and dedicated mentors, the Erwin Center Summer Scholars program is a week-long immersive brand communication academy dedicated to advancing diversity in brand communications through enhancing the skills and abilities of our nation's future brand leaders.

Now in its second year, the Summer Scholars program is an experience that bridges the scholarly and professional landscapes for college students interested in pursuing careers in branding, advertising, marketing, public relations, and communications. The scholars program emerged out of a growing need to diversify the advertising and brand leadership space and through the concerted efforts of the Erwin Center, we are making that happen.

Photo with Joe Erwin"We were thrilled to have provided this year's Erwin Scholars with access to industry professionals, hands-on training, and the chance to work together on a real-world brand project. From here in upstate South Carolina, these students really can change the world." - Joe Erwin, Co-Founder, Erwin Center + Board Chair

The program is designed to bring between 24-30 college students from campuses across the southeast together at Clemson University for a hands-on and fully immersive program where they work in teams to develop a pitch for a client. This past year, our presenting sponsor was Denny's. Throughout the week, Denny's marketing team worked with our student teams to answer questions and mentor them through the brand challenge.

Denny's Logo"We were thrilled to have the opportunity to help mentor this year's Summer Scholars," said Michelle Hunt, director of Supplier Diversity at Denny's. "Our team was thoroughly impressed with all the campaign presentations as they truly exemplified the skills and hands-on training they received throughout the summer program."

Each day, students spent time in the classroom learning the foundational principles and best practices in brand building and strategy and immediately applied those key learnings in their teamwork sessions with mentors who are leaders in both professional and academic brand leadership worlds.

Photo with Victoria Mattison"Branding is something that's going to be really important. And learning how to speak to people and how to make marketing campaigns is something I'm going to need in my career," Victoria Mattison, Clemson University | 2018 Summer Scholar

The program engages students with a hands-on experience in what their professional life could look like, but also includes fun around the upstate. This past year, our cohort enjoyed the Greenville Drive Owner's Suite for a local Drive game, Zumba Night at the Fitness Attic, and networking with new and seasoned professionals at Endeavor Greenville's Collaborators and Cocktails. From team building to navigating a creative brief, our program works to ensure our future leaders are not only prepared for the world ahead but trailblazers for a brighter and better future in the world of branding.


Presenting Sponsor


EP+Co Logo


Erwin Creates

Greenville Drive

Greenville News

Clemson Inclusion and Equity

Clemson MBA Logo

Sponsorship Opportunities

Are you interested in joining our efforts to advance diversity in brand communications? Partnership and sponsorship contributions help support the mission and activation of our program, as well as provide companies access to a pipeline of talent among a diverse set of students who are preparing to be future brand leaders. Contact our Executive Director, Katie Hildebrand at for more information.