01 October 2014

There's Something In These Hills

Do you know what I remember the most about fall of my sophomore year of college?

It wasn't the classes or the football games or fun parties I went to. There were plenty of all three, but those are not what stand out to me years later.

It was the realization that when I chose to go to Clemson, I hadn't just picked a college to go to for four years, I had picked a family that I'd always be apart of.


That was the semester that seven students, including a friend of mine, passed away. It was a semester filled with tragedy and it seemed like every time that you started to feel ok again, you'd receive another email from the university about yet another student's untimely death.

It was the semester that sadness was constantly lingering around and never truly disappeared.

It was the semester that I saw the university come together and support each other and be there for one another no matter what.

It's a semester that everyone still remembers, seven years later.

It's, unfortunately, a semester that my Clemson family is living through again with the news of a fourth student passing away this fall.

I don't like when people begin to understand the importance of the Clemson Student Memorial Chapel because it means they've experienced a terrible loss. But at the same time, I want this chapel to become a reality on campus because it's something that Clemson desperately needs. You need a place to mourn and grieve after losing a friend. You need a place to honor and remember those Tigers who left too soon. The auditorium in Brackett just doesn't do it, trust me. 

Want to help make it a reality for Clemson?

If you're looking for a race to run in upstate SC this fall, you need to check out the Clemson Student Memorial 5K. The proceeds go directly towards the Memorial Chapel project. I ran the inaugural race in 2009... and by ran, I mean that the cop car that follows the race route was about 15 feet behind me the entire time and they shut down the race before I even finished. What can I say? I didn't run back then and it was a gorgeous fall day that was perfect for a long, leisurely stroll.

Seriously though, going to Clemson means joining a family that you'll always be apart of no matter what. It's a family that offers a lifetime of support. You never truly realize or recognize that support system until something difficult comes along your way.

But once you experience that support system and understand just how big the Clemson family is, you'll never forget it.


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"There's something in these hills and I suspect that's what it is - the ability of an institution through the unending dedication and greatness of its people - its administration, its faculty, its staff, its students and alumni - to impart to all it touches a respect, an admiration, an affection that stands firm in disquieting times when things around it give impressions of coming unglued.

Yes, there's something in these hills where the Blue Ridge yawns its greatness."

-Joe Sherman

2 comments:

  1. Great post and sorry to hear about the loss- I feel the same way about Hollins- not just a college for 4 years but a family forever. xoxo

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  2. I am not a runner but if I was I would totally sign up! What a great tribute Chesson!!!!!! Reid feels the same way about his beloved school. xoxo

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