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Clemson hosts ‘Call My Name’ race to showcase campus’s Black history

Sydney Smith // Contributor

First place runner Jack Stevenson (right), a sophomore architecture major and second place runner Scott Dillon (left), a junior architecture major. 

Organizers of the Call My Name 5K hosted their first annual race last Sunday, Feb. 19 to showcase Clemson University’s Black history and the importance of the community in the University’s establishment.
The event was led by Rhondda R. Thomas, a literature professor at Clemson. When Thomas began her teaching career at Clemson, she soon learned the importance that the African American community had on this campus and has been conducting research that includes but is not limited to the discovery of unmarked graves at Woodland Cemetery.
The race started at the Carillon Gardens and the 3-mile route showed historic sites such as Fort Mill, Littlejohn Coliseum and Woodland Cemetery.
In only 18 minutes, Jack Stevenson, a sophomore architecture major, won the race. Finishing soon after in second place was junior architecture major, Scott Dillion and in third, Julian Kimsey, a sophomore political science major.
The mission of the Call My Name 5K is to educate members of the Clemson community by getting them involved. They achieved this goal by reaching into the far edges of Clemson and towns.
Seneca native Cassy Owens-Moore says she “found out about the cause at a black history luncheon in Seneca and was really inspired.”
A competitor at this year’s race, the Woodland Cemetery’s genealogist, Deborah Robinson, was thrilled with the number of participants.
“It’s wonderful to see such a great turnout,” Robinson said.
Thomas worked closely with academic athletic advisors Kayla Henderson and Jordyn Keir to organize the event and educate Clemson’s student athletes alongside participants.
When asked what the event meant to them, Henderson said, “It means a lot to honor the people who built this campus. This project means a lot to me professionally and personally.”
Keir added that the race was “a natural fit between athletics and education.”
Clemson women’s basketball operations manager, Courtenay Etheredge, added, “This event is important to me and my team because of Dr. Thomas’ effort to inform about forgotten individuals.”
There were participants from all walks of life at the race but everyone was passionate about the cause. Clemson alumna Sherrica Sims said, “I have family connections to Clemson and Dr. Thomas’ research was eye opening. I hope to pass down the knowledge to my kids.”
Numerous Clemson faculty members were also present to volunteer and compete. “The history department is very excited to support this historical mission on campus,” Amanda Regan, history professor, said.

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Sydney Smith
Sydney Smith, Asst. TimeOut Editor
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