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The Class of ’39 Award for Excellence

Award for Excellence recipients

"This award, endowed by the Great Class of 1939 is presented annually to one distinguished member of the faculty whose outstanding contributions for a five-year period have been judged by her/his peers to represent the highest achievement of service to the student body, university and community, state or nation. The recipient also becomes an honorary member of the class and provided a monetary award equal to the value of $5,000 in 1989 dollars - in January 2014, this monetary award was $9,826. Recipients are recognized at one of the December graduation ceremonies and in a January ceremony at the ’39 Bell Tower in the Carillon Gardens.

The Great Class of 1939 established the Award for Excellence in 1989 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the class. The Great Class of 1939, itself characterized by remarkable service to Clemson University, the community, the state, and the nation, created this award to recognize and hopefully inspire faculty service above and beyond expectations.

A call for nominations is sent from the Faculty Senate Office to all faculty early in the fall semester. For full details and a nomination form, refer to the Class of ’39 Award guidelines. The Faculty Senate President, in consultation with the Senate Advisory Committee appoints a Review Committee of five voting members to include two of the most recent winners, with the newest winner serving as chair. The Provost serves as an ex-officio, non-voting member.

Past Award Winners


2016 – Antonis Katsiyannis

Antonis Katsiyannis, EdD, an alumni distinguished professor in special education, is teaching courses in assessment and legal and policy issues. He has published 180 articles in legal and policy issues and delinquency in professional journals, such as Behavioral Disorders, Exceptional Children, Remedial and Special Education, Fordham Urban Law Review, and the Journal of Special Education. He serves as an associated editor for Remedial and Special Education and Intervention in School and Clinic and just completed a five year term as the co-editor of the Journal of Disability Policy Studies. He has mentored numerous graduate and undergraduate students in publishing in professional journals and serves as a co-investigator of a federally funded grant –Project EXPERTISE ($1,097,670). He also is actively involved in the field of special education by serving in national/international boards, including as the president of the Council for Exceptional Children. At Clemson, he is actively involved in a variety of department, college, and university committees, including Senate president as well as community-based activities for children with developmental disabilities such as TOPSoccer and Challenger League (baseball).

June J. Pilcher, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Clemson University, Clemson SC

2015 – June J. Pilcher

June J. Pilcher, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Psychology, is passionately dedicated to teaching, which is also evidenced in her research with numerous graduate and undergraduate student collaborators. Service for Dr. Pilcher began well before her tenure at Clemson as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and as an officer and research psychologist with the U.S. Army. Dr. Pilcher has earned an international reputation for her research on the effects of sleep deprivation in humans and has recently added studying the effects of sedentary behavior on stress, health, and wellbeing. She was selected as a Fellow by the Association for Psychological Science (the primary national association for research psychologists) and was the Fulbright-Freud Visiting Scholar 2011-2012 at the University of Vienna and the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, Austria. She is currently a candidate on the Fulbright Specialist Roster for Public/Global Health.

Other award winners include: Catherine Mobley (2014), John Ballatto (2013), Windsor Westbrook Sherrill  (2012), Richard Figliola (2011), Melanie M. Cooper (2010), Webb M. Smathers (2009), William (Bill) Pennington (2008), Alma Bennet (2007), Donald M. McKale (2006), Ben Sill (2005), Art Young (2004), Kinly Sturkie (2003), A.P (Hap) Wheeler (2002), Jerry Waldvogel (2001), Chip Egan (2000), Judy Melton (1999), Larry Bauer (1998), Chalmers Butler (1997), Larry LaForge (1996), Fran McGuire (1995), Cecil Huey (1994), Budd Bodine (1993), Ray Turner (1992), John Idol (1991), Joel Brawley (1990), and Dixie Goswami (1989).