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O’Rourke named new VP for Alumni

Brian J. O’Rourke, a Clemson alumnus, has just been named Vice president for Development and Alumni Relations. 

O’Rourke will serve on the executive leadership team that reports to President Clements and work in the Clemson Alumni Association to continue to “build a culture of private giving.” 

O’Rourke’s background is in private giving. He’s worked extensively with the Will to Lead (WTL) campaign, a $1 billion fundraising campaign geared towards supporting scholarships, study abroad programs, facilities, faculty and staff as well as endowed chairs. Clemson will be the first public university with an alumni base of this size to reach a billion dollars. 

The project is currently in the “red zone, the final push for all alumni, friends, parents [and] students to support this effort,” according to O’Rourke.

O’Rourke hopes to continue to bring at least $100 million in private philanthropic support each year for Clemson’s students, faculty, and staff.

 His passion for supporting the university comes not only from his two Clemson degrees, but from seeing the school as “an outstanding institution, a hot brand in higher education, stronger history [with a] bright future.”  

The university “truly is a family,” having been “a very important part of [his] life” since arriving in Clemson in 1978. 

O’Rourke is a Massachusetts native and holds a personnel services master’s degree and an administrative management bachelor’s degree. His life at Clemson included work as a basketball manager, a member of Alpha Tau Omega, Blue Key Honor Society and Tiger Brotherhood. These team-oriented groups have encouraged O’Rourke to “build a team of volunteers” within WTL in order to support efforts to raise money. 

Similarly, O’Rourke will work with a “great team … [to] make a difference [and] bring support for our faculty and students.”

Coming close to the $1 billion mark since the projects inception in 2006, WTF validates Clemson’s position as the best alumni network, a title given by the Princeton Review. This strong sense of participation long after graduation is cultivated, O’Rourke says, because people “realize that investing in their school makes their diploma worth more in the workplace,” and will continue to encourage such giving with Clemson’s first “give day” in April.

On his new position, O’Rourke says that he is “honored to be able to work for Clemson.”

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