Clemson University Feature Stories

Raven Magwood, communication studies ’12: Published author, noted speaker and television show host graduated Clemson Honors at the age of 19

Date Published: November 30, 2012

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By Haley Sulka
Creative Services, Class of 2013

Three D’s, one girl and a long list of accomplishments and ambitions. Clemson senior Raven Magwood believes that dedication, determination and discipline are the sources to her success. She holds a calm and quiet demeanor in the classroom, but that just barely taps the surface of who this young woman is and what she has done in only 19 years.

This Greenville native’s notoriety began on a gymnastics mat. It took six strenuous hours of practice per day to win the 2004 USAIGC (United States Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs, Inc.) Championship at age 11. By 12, she had published her first book and entered high school. Raven was always looking for more of a challenge, so she took college courses and graduated early.

At 16, she followed in her parents’ footsteps to Clemson University, although she had received letters from many Ivy League schools. She began pre-med, but a conversation with her mother altered that.

“She asked me if someone would pay me to do anything, what would I do? I told her that I would speak and write,” Raven said. With her parents’ support, she changed her major to communication studies.

By this time, her motivational speaking was gaining a lot of attention. “I got a little taste of being important as a speaker and touching people’s lives, and I liked that,” Raven said. Her speeches revolve around the 3 D’s in an effort to inspire others toward reaching their potential.

Her determination, discipline and dedication to succeed are almost tangible. As she has gotten older, Raven has found that her motivation relies less on her supportive parents, and more so on herself. What helps her most is setting small, short-term goals that build up to a big, long-term goal. What’s Raven’s ultimate goal? To make an impact on others’ lives, while becoming a notable businesswoman.

Halfway through college, Raven made a bold decision to take time off to host her own television show, “The Raven Magwood Show,” which aired Saturday mornings on My 40. She interviewed celebrities that included Dr. Alveda King (Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece), actress Porscha Coleman and former Clemson football player Stanley Hunter. After a year and a half of filming, Raven decided it was best to go back to Clemson and finish her degree before jumping into a full-blown career.

She attends classes during the week and spends most of her weekends traveling the country to speak and promote her third and latest book, The 7 Practices of Exceptional Student Athletes. During her travels, Raven always seems to run into famous people.

“I signed Michelle Obama a copy of my book; I felt like I should have had her sign it for me,” she said.

Her most recent accomplishment was creating the “Student Athlete Pledge,” which encourages student-athletes to reach their potential both in athletics and in the classroom. She is planning a May fundraiser to support the pledge.

Beyond all of the straight A’s and busy weekends, she still makes room for playing on an intramural flag football team and hanging out with her friends.

“My college experience has been different, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” she said.

Raven has accomplished more by age 19 than some will accomplish in a lifetime, but she says that this is just the beginning. After she graduates in December, finishing college in just four semesters, she plans to continue speaking and writing. Moreover, one of her current aspirations is to make a name for herself in the movie industry. She is currently writing a screenplay that is to be completed in the near future.

“If there is a $100 million movie release, I want them to say that Raven Magwood wrote it,” she said.

This young woman is bursting with ambition. Not only do her speeches inspire, but so do her presence and life story. Her advice to others, “It is key to set goals; when times get tough for me, my goals show me what I’m working so hard for and where I want to be.”

She has reached all of her goals thus far, so it will be fun to follow her in the coming years, as she is adamant to capture even more of her dreams. Even though she has a gentle nature and humble spirit, this girl is much more than meets the eye. As Raven keeps determination, discipline and dedication close in hand, she will be ready to hit the ground running after graduation.

To find more information on Raven Magwood, you can visit her website at

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