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A tribute to the late Joseph Stewart

Dr. Joseph Stewart was named Citizen of the Year in the Law Related 
Education Division and was a beloved Clemson professor.
Clemson News
Dr. Joseph Stewart was named Citizen of the Year in the Law Related Education Division and was a beloved Clemson professor.

On Aug. 21, Clemson University’s political science program lost a member of its department who served as a cornerstone to the success of its students.

Joseph Stewart, a member of Clemson’s faculty since 2005, according to the University will be sorely missed by his community.

According to the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, Stewart gained a considerable amount of recognition for his work in political science and was named Citizen of the Year in the Law Related Education Division by the South Carolina Bar Association.

His legacy will mostly be remembered through his kindness and humor, as shown by various Clemson students who reflected on his dedication to teaching and guiding students. He specialized in areas of political science regarding law, courts and politics, public policy and American government. Professor Stewart also offered a course every election year which detailed election law and processes.

“Professor Stewart was one of the only professors whose class I looked forward to all day,” Rebekah Ryan Young, a sophomore political science major, said. “He was dedicated to his students…I knew he was there for me to use as a resource or just chat with.”

Throughout his career, his colleagues and friends marveled at his warmth and compassion, even creating a Facebook group in 2013 in honor of him named “I Drink In Hotel Bars With Joe Stewart” where he was heavily praised by those who knew him.

With posts spanning over a decade, Stewart’s impact on his community of colleagues, friends and students will continue despite his passing.

In light of his loss, the department of political science put together an opportunity for his former students and those who knew him to write letters addressed to his wife.

“Dr. Stewart never failed to captivate any classroom…he left his mark on Clemson,” Maxwell Glagola, a 2023 Clemson graduate, said.

A number of students have offered their condolences, expressed their love for Stewart and helped to keep his legacy alive within the community. So much so that the department extended the time period in which students could write letters due to the influx of those coming to offer their sympathies to Stewart’s wife.

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Abigail Suggs
Abigail Suggs, Senior Reporter
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  • D

    Daniel MatorFeb 7, 2024 at 9:58 am

    Dr. Stewart was without a doubt one of the best professors I ever had, and I was shocked to find this tribute page after just checking in to see how Joe was doing. He was my professor for multiple Political Science courses at the University of New Mexico, and I can say what he taught me — both as a professor and on a personal level as one of the coolest dudes I’ve ever met — has directly impacted the level of success I have experienced as a public administrator and as a person.

    I’ll miss you, Joe. Godspeed.

  • K

    Katherine HawkinsJan 25, 2024 at 7:49 pm

    I worked with Joe in support of pre-law students at Clemson from 2005 until 2011 as one of four faculty members who served as faculty advisors to the William T. Howell Prelaw Society. Joe was one of the smartest, funniest and most caring faculty members I’ve ever known. I will always remember him as an amazing colleague and very dear friend. May he rest in peace.
    Kate Hawkins, Clemson Professor of Communication Studies, 2003-2011

  • J

    Jerry LeggeOct 25, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    One of the very best. Jerry Legge University of Georgia

  • H

    Henry B. SIRGOSep 10, 2023 at 1:35 am

    A dear colleague who contributed much to political science!