The Clemson Alumni Association recently honored Robyn Twine Nieri of Columbia with the designation of Honorary Alumna of Clemson University. The distinction of Honorary Alum is a special recognition intended for steadfast Tiger supporters whose “blood runs orange” but who never attended Clemson.
Nieri graduated with a Child Development and Family Relations degree with a minor in Child Psychology and in Social Welfare from East Carolina University in 1989. She began her career as the director of several of the Columbia-based GLEAMNS Human Resource Commission program Head Start centers, a community-based organization designed to assist low-income individuals and families in achieving and maintaining self-sufficiency. GLEAMNS Human Resources Commission, Inc. serves Greenwood, Laurens, Edgefield, Abbeville, McCormick, Newberry, and Saluda Counties.
Nieri, known to many as “Clemson Mom,” has dedicated much time and service to Clemson University over the years, especially when her three children, Pennington West Nieri ’15, Maigan Nieri Lincks ’18, and Patrick Michael Nieri ’19, were students. Along with her husband Michael, Nieri’s philanthropic efforts as an Athletics Cornerstone Member-provided funding for the Nieri Family Student Athlete Enrichment Center. Their support as an Academic Cornerstone Member-provided funding for The Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management. Nieri also lends her support to head football coach Dabo Swinney’s “All In Ball,” and serves as a member of the Clemson University’s Committee on Philanthropy.
Nieri currently serves as a community volunteer on the board of directors for Camp Cole, a fully accessible camp and retreat facility for children and adults facing serious illnesses and other physical, mental, and emotional health or life challenges. She provided fundraising support and advocacy to help bring the camp to fruition after her close friend’s son, Cole Sawyer, the camp’s namesake, passed away. Nieri also volunteered and provided fundraising support for Cardinal Newman, her children’s high school, and for the Boy’s Farm Inc. in Newberry, a nonprofit organization that provides unique foster care services for boys experiencing difficult family situations.
In addition to her volunteer efforts, Nieri supports the family business, Great Southern Homes, leading the family’s community outreach and philanthropic activities
The Honorary Alumnus designation was presented to Nieri during the Clemson vs. Pittsburgh football game. Clemson Alumni Association Executive Director, Wil Brasington, board president, Gregg Morton, and Clemson University President, Jim Clements, along with various university staff, family and friends, joined the presentation to congratulate Nieri on this honor.
Honorary alumni are selected by the Alumni Association Honors and Awards Committee on the basis of outstanding service, lifelong devotion and loyalty to Clemson University or the Clemson Alumni Association. Nominations for 2021 Honorary Alumni are currently open and close on December 31. To nominate a deserving person, to review past honorees or to view the award guidelines, visit the Clemson Alumni website at alumni.clemson.edu/awards-and-honors/honorary-alumni.
Pictured, left to right: Jules & Shelton Twine, Maigan (‘18), Riley & Rob Lincks, Pennington Nieri (‘15), Robyn (HA ’20) & Michael Nieri (’86), Beth & Jim Clements, Patrick Nieri (‘19), Jess Danielo (‘19), Bill McClellan.