History of the Conference Center and Inn at Clemson University – Clemson Hotel
The Clyde V. Madren Conference Center and the John E. Walker Sr. Golf Course opened to the public in October 1995. Three years later in July 1998, the James F. Martin Inn made its debut as a quaint Clemson inn and hotel.
The Conference Center and Inn complex offers:
- 17,000 square feet of meeting space complemented by generous pre-function space
- 62 guest rooms and 27 suites offering spectacular views of either the golf course or Hartwell Lake
- 18-hole championship golf course
- Clemson dining including Sole on the Green restaurant and Joe’s Place Lounge
The Clemson University Conference Center and Inn was achieved not only through the generosity of its donors, but through the cooperative efforts of many people in both the private and public sectors.
About Our Donors
Clyde V. Madren
Clyde V. Madren, for whom the conference center at Clemson University is named, was president and owner of Madren Paint Company for 45 years. The business began as a small retail shop selling national brands of paint in Charleston, S.C.
By the time he retired, the company occupied a four-story building on Meeting Street and manufactured and distributed its own brand of paint. Madren, who passed away in June 1994, was a firm believer in the importance of education. He attributed his success to learning all he could about the business.
“Life’s sort of like painting. You have to prepare the surface properly before the paint goes on to make it stick. I see education as that preparation.”
Although he did not attend Clemson University, he fell in love with the campus while attending football games. The Madren Center was named for Mr. Madren for his benevolent support of Clemson University and this complex. In addition to supporting the conference center, Madren also established three scholarships to support civil engineering students.
James F. Martin
The James F. Martin Inn opened July 1998 and is named in honor of Jim Martin, a native of Johnston in Edgefield County. After graduating from Clemson University with a B.S. in textile management in 1964, Jim Martin began his professional career by joining the Deering Milliken Company.
In 1978, he formed his own company, Martin Fibers, which has grown over the years into Martin Color-Fi Inc. The company produces polyester, nylon, polypropylene and copolymer fibers for use in automobile trunk liners; automotive, marine, commercial and residential carpet; furniture padding; wall coverings, etc.
Martin, himself, is the father of two former Clemson University students: Matthew and Jenny, who majored in financial management and special education, respectively.
In 1993 he established a scholarship endowment to provide support for outstanding Clemson students from Edgefield County.
For more information on Clemson University's own hotel or to book a stay, please Request a Room or call 888-654-9020.
Col. John E. Walker
A Clemson University golf course was the vision of many supportive “Tigers” for years. Through the leadership and generous support of John Walker Jr., who named the course in honor of his father, Col. John E. Walker, it finally became a reality.
Col. Walker played football at Clemson University for three years before graduating in 1926 with a B.S. in engineering. He served in Panama, Alaska and the China-Burma-India Theater during WWII, and was executive officer and commander of the 104th Infantry Regiment.
In addition to receiving the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, he was awarded the Chinese Yun Hui Ribbon. John Walker Jr. received a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from Clemson in 1958 and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia in 1963.
He is president and founder of Andesa TPA. Inc. of Allentown, Pa., which administers corporate life insurance policies for large life insurance companies. The younger Walker remains active at Clemson University and serves on the Foundation Board of Directors.
Walker’s decision to support the golf course stems from his belief “in the concept of a strong working relationship between the University and the business community and in the importance of the conference center as a catalyst in helping that to occur.”
He states, “I believe the golf course is a necessary element for a successful, high-level business conference program.”