Considering the many alternatives for majors as a Clemson student, Mitch Norville ’80 leaned toward engineering at his father’s suggestion. It turned out to be very good advice, and 35 years later Norville has presented a gift to Clemson that will endow an engineering chair in his father’s honor.
A $1.5 million gift from Mitch and Carla Norville will be used in part for the Ernest R. Norville Endowed Chair in Biomedical Engineering. A portion of the gift, $250,000, will be used to help build a new basketball practice facility adjacent to Littlejohn Coliseum.
Mitch Norville is executive vice president and chief operating officer for Boston Properties Inc., one of the nation’s largest owners, managers and developers of Class-A office properties, concentrated in Boston, D.C., Midtown Manhattan, San Francisco and Princeton. He has been involved with more than 7.5 million square feet of new development and renovation projects with the firm.
“To be successful in any business, you have to be a team player and be willing to work with others, but at the same time you have to have a will to lead,” Norville says. “Successful leadership in a university is no different. Carla and I are glad to be able to be a part of helping Clemson rise to meet the challenge for the next generation.”
A 1980 graduate of Clemson’s mechanical engineering program, Norville also earned a Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Virginia. He serves on the board of the Clemson University Foundation, Clemson’s Advancement Board for Real Estate Development and the President’s Advisory Board.
“As a volunteer for Clemson, no one is better prepared than Mitch Norville,” says President James F. Barker. “His business knowledge is second to none, and his advice has been exceptionally valuable. No one has a clearer understanding of our university’s financial need, nor of the opportunities that are within our grasp with a successful capital campaign.”
The Norvilles, who grew up together in Charleston, are energetic volunteers. A former College of Charleston student, Carla is active in The Wellesley Service League, a group that provides volunteer services to 27 different organizations in Massachusetts, from food banks to support for cancer patients. She was chairwoman for the Barton Road Boys, which provides hot lunches and activities to children in the subsidized housing community.
The Norvilles live in Wellesley Hills, Mass. They have three sons: Griffith, Hunter and Taylor, who graduated from Clemson in 2010 with a civil engineering degree.