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Giving to Clemson

Harvey B. Gantt Scholarship

Harvey Gantt

Harvey Gantt was the first African-American student to enroll at Clemson University in January 1963. He graduated from Clemson with honors in architecture, earned a Master of City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and, with a partner, established the successful architectural practice, Gantt Huberman Architects. In 1974, Gantt entered politics and was elected to the Charlotte (North Carolina) City Council and served until 1983. He was then elected for two terms as Charlotte’s first African-American mayor. In the 1990s, he ran twice for the United States Senate against Jesse Helms, losing both in narrowly contested races.

In 2009, the Afro-American Cultural Center and the city of Charlotte honored Gantt by building the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. Clemson’s multicultural center was also named to honor Gantt and his wife, Lucinda, Clemson’s second African-American student.

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Harvey Gantt’s enrollment at Clemson, the Clemson Black Alumni Council (CBAC), created the Harvey B. Gantt Scholarship Endowment.  

Leon E. Wiles Diversity Endowment

Leon Wiles

Leon E. Wiles was Clemson’s first chief diversity officer, serving the University from 2008 to 2015. Among his many achievements at Clemson, Wiles was responsible for establishing the Minority Student Success Initiative to promote the academic and career success of minority undergraduate and graduate students. His work led to increased need-based scholarship funding for underrepresented minority undergraduate and graduate students. Wiles was instrumental in creating a postdoctoral fellowship program to recruit underrepresented scholars and establishing a Campus Climate Enhancement Task Force and the James E. Bostic Inclusive Excellence Award to recognize faculty, staff and students who positively impact campus climate.

Wiles also created the ADA Task Force and established Clemson University’s first comprehensive campus accessibility plan, which placed priority on handicap accessibility.

The Leon E. Wiles Diversity Endowment has been established in honor of the many contributions Leon Wiles made while at Clemson University and to recognize his extraordinary efforts toward enhancing the experience and opportunities for underrepresented students, faculty and staff.

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