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Columbia Business Monthly

Clemson Awards 1,800 Degrees

May 11, 2018 03:00PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Photo: Commencement speaker Nikki Haley, Clemson alumna, former governor and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, enters Littlejohn Coliseum with faculty and trustees.

Clemson University conferred more than 1,800 degrees during two commencement ceremonies on Thursday. Among the recipients was Nikki Haley (’94), U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and Clemson alumna, who was awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities before addressing College of Business and College of Education graduates in the afternoon.

Clemson President James P. Clements announced Haley’s honor.

“This degree is conferred in recognition of eminent achievement and in high distinction in public service and dedication to improving the lives of people around the world,” said Clements.

Clemson Trustee David Wilkins, a long-time colleague of Haley’s, presented her with the degree.

“Some people walk into your life and leave an impression you never forget,” said Wilkins. “In recognition of her leadership, service to state and country, and loyal support of her alma mater, Clemson University is honored to bestow the honorary degree, Doctorate of Humanities, on Ambassador Nikki Haley.”

Haley encouraged students to pay it forward after leaving Clemson and remember to show their gratitude for all life has to offer.

“You should be hopeful—there is very little you can’t achieve in life if you put your mind to it. And you should be grateful. Not just because you have been given so much. But because you have so much to give,” said Haley. “Yes, you will miss the football games. But you will love Clemson even more when you come back to visit.”

Clements addressed students at both ceremonies, encouraging them to take the values Clemson strives to instill with them into the next chapter of their lives.

“May each graduate here today cherish the relationships and experiences that this university has given us and move forward in life practicing our values of honesty, integrity and respect to make a difference in the world,” said Clements. 

The College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences conferred more than 900 undergraduate and graduate degrees during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony.

During the 2:30 p.m. ceremony, the College of Business and the College of Education conferred more than 900 undergraduate and graduate diplomas combined.

Four graduates from the ClemsonLIFE program also received degrees Thursday.