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Columbia Business Monthly

Clemson Honors Service Award Recipients

Apr 19, 2018 03:13PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Main photo: Neill Cameron, Jr. Gallery: Ann Hunter, Anthony Mathis, and William Smith.

On April 20, the Clemson Alumni Association will honor the recipients of the 2018 Clemson Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor that the association bestows on former Clemson Tigers.

The 2018 Clemson Alumni Distinguished Service Award winners are:

Neill Cameron Jr., president of SCHA Solutions, the private business development arm of the South Carolina Hospital Association. In 1999, Cameron joined Clemson as the vice president for advancement. For 17 years, he oversaw the university’s brand marketing and communications, development, alumni relations, Clemson University Foundation visitor programs, conference center services, and historic properties. Cameron also served on the board of the Clemson University Foundation in 1996-2016 and on President James F. Barker's executive team, chaired the Clemson Finance Corporation, regularly taught undergraduate classes, and became a life member of IPTAY. He established the Albert Neill Cameron Sr. Endowed Engineering Scholarship and the Albert “Neill” Cameron Jr. Endowment for the Brand.

Ann Harvin Whetstone Hunter, who co-manages a timber farm with her brother and is a member of the South Carolina and Greenwood County forestry associations. She participates in many Clemson boards, has held several positions in the Greater Greenwood Clemson Club, and served on the Alumni National Council and the board of directors of the Clemson Alumni Association, where she was president in 2014-16. She has also served as an IPTAY representative and on the IPTAY board of directors, The Will to Lead capital campaign athletic cabinet, the Clemson University Foundation board of directors, the Board of Visitors, the Athletic Council, and the Women’s Alumni Council. As a member of the Richard W. Simpson Society and the Clemson Legacy Society, her support has included a Scroll of Honor memorial to honor her dad and her husband’s uncle.

Anthony (Tony) L. Mathis, president and CEO of military systems at GE Aviation. He started with General Electric (GE) Aviation in 1997 and held several senior roles in engineering, product support and marketing. Mathis serves as the GE liaison to Clemson, spearheading collaboration and student opportunities between the two organizations and facilitating increased funding from GE to the university, including naming a GE classroom at the Watt Family Innovation Center. Since 2015, he has served on the board of directors of the Clemson University Foundation. Additionally, Mathis led his fraternity’s successful fundraising efforts for the Chi Zeta Diversity Scholarship Endowment and the William C. “Bill” Clinkscales Sr. ’74 Endowed Diversity Scholarship.

William (Bill) C. Smith Jr., co-founder and CEO of Red Rock Developments LLC. He is a member of the South Carolina and North Carolina economic developers’ associations and the national Industrial Asset Management Council, and is a graduate of Leadership Columbia and Leadership South Carolina. Smith was elected to Clemson’s board of trustees in 1996 and became a lifetime member in 2007. As a trustee, he has served as vice chairman and chaired all 11 committees, including the finance and facilities committee five times. He currently chairs the land and capital asset stewardship committee. Smith is a member of the university’s land stewardship and real estate foundations, and he also serves on the board of the football program’s P.A.W. Journey. Smith and his wife established the Smith Family Endowment for unrestricted scholarships.

Michael L. Watt, chairman and CEO of Scientific Research Corporation (SRC). He received the National Small Business (Tibbetts) Award in 2000 for small business research contributions and was recognized with a top job-creator award in South Carolina. Watt has served in several key leadership roles for Clemson advisory boards, including in the Clemson University Research Foundation; the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences; and on the Clemson University Foundation board of directors. His gifts and vision helped create the Watt Family Innovation Center. For his commitment to promoting innovation on and off campus, Watt was inducted into the Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Engineers and Scientists in 2008.

The Clemson Alumni Distinguished Service Award is based on three main criteria: personal and professional accomplishments, dedication and service to Clemson University, and devotion to community and public service. Members of the Clemson family nominate potential honorees, who are then selected by the Clemson Alumni Association as outstanding alumni, public servants, and examples to others.

“The Distinguished Service Award allows us to take time to recognize a few truly remarkable members of the Clemson family,” said Clemson University President James P. Clements. “These five honorees have achieved incredible success in their professional careers, through community service, and in their commitment to Clemson University. We are proud of these alumni and the example of service they set for all of us.”