Clemson University Feature Stories

Orangeville: ‘If Clemson is our home town, then Greenville is our home city’

By Crystal Boyles
Creative Services

Clemson has always had a presence in every section of the state of South Carolina, but in the last decade, that presence has grown exponentially in Greenville. Just a 45-minute trip from Clemson, Greenville now houses several Clemson academic programs, and the University’s partnerships with Greenville Health System have only gotten stronger.

Not long after President James F. Barker took office, he called Greenville Clemson’s “home city,” which has never been more true than today. More than 13,000 alumni, 2,500 current on-campus students and 500 University employees call Greenville home. In addition, nearly 1,000 Clemson students are enrolled at instructional sites in the city.

With the recently announced Greenlink bus routes between Clemson campuses in Greenville and the main Clemson campus, it’s now easier than ever for our students, faculty and staff to make the journey between campuses.

Educating for the Future
For years, the University Center-Greenville — a consortium of seven colleges and universities — has served the community with 23 bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs and certifications offered both online and in evening classes. About half of the center’s course offerings come from Clemson programs in health, education and human development.

Clemson’s Greenville programs break down into four different areas:

  • Transportation and engineering
  • Business and entrepreneurship
  • Health and health care and
  • Visual and performing arts.

Transportation and Engineering

A CU-ICAR student is seen working at his desk.In 2007, Clemson opened its automotive research campus, the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). The center is an effort to blend education, research and economic development, and to be a magnet venue for the automotive industry. A couple of facts about CU-ICAR:

  • The campus is recognized by the National Academy of Sciences as a global best practice in university-industry research parks.
  • More than 100 graduates of the automotive engineering program are now in the workforce, 44 percent of them working in South Carolina.
  • CU-ICAR is home to the Center for Emerging Technologies and the BMW Component Testing Lab.
  • More than 200 students are enrolled for fall 2013.
  • Research areas include advanced powertrains, manufacturing and materials, systems integration, vehicle performance, human-machine interface and connected vehicles.

Business and Entrepreneurship

Clemson will open a street-level brand center called the Clemson Experience in downtown Greenville, South Carolina.Many of Clemson’s business programs have moved their graduate programs into the heart of Greenville’s business community — downtown. Later this year, the programs will move into new space at the corner of Main and East Washington streets at ONE.

  • The business program continues to experience impressive growth, up 15 percent, according to 2010-11 numbers.
  • In 2012, the MBA program launched its MBA in entrepreneurship and innovation program, called the MBAe. The one-year program is designed for individuals who want to start their own companies.
  • A new part-time MBAe program will launch in June 2014 and will be a blended learning experience with online courses, plus students will spend two weekends per semester in Greenville.

As part of the new downtown location, Clemson will open a street-level brand center called the Clemson Experience. Expected to open in May 2014, the Clemson Experience is a link on Main Street Greenville to the people and places of Clemson University. Visitors will be able to walk into the center and experience Clemson through interactive touchscreens, walls, kiosks and an interactive table.

Health and Health Care

Partnerships with Greenville Health System (GHS) and private corporations are helping drive innovation in the classroom as well as the business sector. From advanced materials to bioengineering, recent academic innovations have given rise to commercially applicable medical advancements.

Bioengineering professor John Desjardins works with students in a lab at CubeINC at Patewood in Greenville. These advancements are fueled by the 20-year partnership between the College of Engineering and Science and GHS, and more recently, the opening of the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus (CUBEInC) on the Patewood medical campus. In the last year, students have

  • garnered national awards for novel surgical devices,
  • received an NSF grant,
  • filed paperwork for eight patents,
  • were named InnoVision finalists in two categories, and
  • were involved in at least one business startup in Greenville.

In June, Clemson and Greenville Health System (GHS) also announced the establishment of a health care research powerhouse that will fuel growth in medical research and break-throughs, create opportunities for faculty, physicians and students, and accelerate the flow of research funding into the Upstate, boosting the region’s economy. Under the landmark agreement, Clemson will be the primary research collaborator for the hospital system and will serve as the research administrator for all GHS research. This pivotal change will allow both organizations to work collectively to leverage existing administrative structures and expertise at Clemson with the clinical opportunities offered by GHS, one of the largest health care systems in the Southeast.

In 2011, Clemson’s Department of Public Health Sciences began offering a leadership for cardiovascular technology concentration within the health science major. Working in cooperation with GHS, Clemson’s program is the only one in the nation that combines cardiovascular technology training with a comprehensive education in public health sciences and health care leadership. After taking core classes in public health sciences, the students split their time between the Clemson campus and GHS, where they work alongside sonographers, doctors and others in outpatient and patient settings.

CVA-Greenville is now openThe Arts

Just last week, Clemson’s Center for Visual Arts opened its presence in the new Village of West Greenville, located along Pendleton Street in downtown. The Village of West Greenville is home to more than 30 artisans — including potters, sculptors, photographers and painters — as well as local businesses and restaurants.

Launched by a $100,000 grant from the Greenville Community Foundation and a private gift, the Center for Visual Arts Greenville will serve as a collaborative space, where visitors can interact with Clemson students and professors, visiting artists, critics and scholars to explore contemporary art and culture.

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