Leadership Circle at Clemson

While we have a clear vision of Clemson’s future and a detailed Universitywide roadmap for getting there, specific priorities change as the dynamics of education and research create new opportunities and possibilities.

To be successful in this competitive and challenging environment, Clemson must have flexible dollars that can be used when needed to fulfill the mission and objectives of the University. Unrestricted gifts provide those flexible dollars.

Because of the importance of unrestricted funds, an exclusive gift club was created to recognize those individuals with the bold vision and will to lead Clemson’s future through their annual unrestricted investments. The Leadership Circle celebrates Clemson’s partnership with donors who build a tradition of giving $10,000 or more per year for this purpose.

  • How your gift will make a difference.

    Unrestricted gifts are the University’s most valuable resource for long-term success because they allow money to go directly to where the need is greatest. In essence, unrestricted funds:

    • help Clemson students receive a first-class educational experience,
    • enable Clemson faculty, staff and students to address real-world problems facing communities, families and industry,
    • ensure that more of the state’s brightest students remain in South Carolina,
    • increase the value of a Clemson degree for all alumni and
    • foster economic development.

    Thanks to generous donors like the members of the Leadership Circle, students every year are able to continue learning and growing at Clemson. Your gift would allow students who have become a part of the Clemson family to truly invest in their experience, all the while knowing they have a support system behind them when times get tough.

  • How the Leadership Circle works.

    1. Generous donors give $10,000 or more to Clemson University annually as unrestricted funds. The gift may be designated to support the greatest needs of the following program areas: 

    • President
    • Provost
    • Deans
    • Academic Colleges
    • Student Affairs
    • Unrestricted Scholarships
    • General University Operations

    2. Clemson will direct the funds to the most pressing current needs of the designated program area.

    3. The donor is inducted into the Leadership Circle Major Gift Club. As a part of this elite group, the donors are invited to annual events recognizing their exceptional support of Clemson, including a special event hosted by the president.

  • Good to know.

    Unrestricted gifts are vital to the success of Clemson because they can be directed to the most critical, promising and appropriate purposes in support of the University. These funds give Clemson’s leaders the flexibility to direct funds to needs and opportunities as they arise, helping us support students and become a better university.

    116 people have joined the Leadership Circle since its inception in 2009 and together they have given more than $2.2 million dollars. We have used those funds with strategic precision. Helping students stay in school has been the top priority. Through this program, we’ve been able to give need-based aid to 175 students and fund work-study jobs for 344 students.

    • Unrestricted gifts of all levels help Clemson support students and become a better university. Other annual giving clubs celebrate donors of all levels, including the President’s Circle, which recognizes unrestricted annual gifts in the $1,000 to $9,999 range.
    • Membership in the Leadership Circle recognizes total unrestricted giving in a fiscal year, including corporate matching funds.
  • How to make your gift.

    To make your gift to the Leadership Circle or learn more about this program, contact Ann Smith at 864-656-5895 or annsmit@clemson.edu, or complete our contact request form to have a member of Clemson’s team contact you. \

    To make a gift by check, complete this gift form and mail it along with your check, payable to Clemson University Foundation:

    Clemson University Foundation
    PO Box 1889
    Clemson, SC 29633-1889