- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - The man who led Clemson University’s last presidential search and its $1 billion capital campaign has taken over as chairman of the governing board.

On Friday, the school’s board of trustees voted Smyth McKissick as its new leader. McKissick is a 1979 Clemson graduate and runs Alice Manufacturing Co. in Easley. He took over the yarn and fabric maker from his father in 1988.

“It’s incredible the impact this university has on our students, their lives and the state of South Carolina,” McKissick said. “This board service is really a learning opportunity for me, and it lets me serve a cause I really believe in.”

McKissick replaces David Wilkins, former speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives and a former U.S. ambassador to Canada. Wilkins will remain on the board.

McKissick said the top item on the board’s agenda is a revision of the university’s strategic 2020Forward plan. The plan, which groups of faculty, staff, administrators and students have been working on since last fall, includes possible restructuring of the university’s colleges and refocusing its goals.

“I think we’re very excited as to how it can make sure that Clemson University continues to be relevant in what it does,” he said.

McKissick led the panel that chose University of West Virginia President Jim Clements to take over at Clemson from outgoing president Jim Barker. McKissick also led a fundraising campaign that has raised $900 million since 2006 and is expected to reach its $1 billion goal later this year.

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