McMaster, Clark to receive honorary degrees

Monday, May 08, 2017


ORANGEBURG, S.C. – The SC State University Board of Trustees unanimously approved to award honorary degrees to South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and President James E. Clark during a called meeting Monday. McMaster will receive the Honorary Doctor of laws, while Clark will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of engineering and technology.


The two degree recipients will receive their degrees, along with the nearly 500 graduates, at the spring 2017 Commencement Ceremony set to take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 12 in the Oliver C. Dawson Stadium.


“Members of the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees are pleased to honor South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and President James E. Clark,” said board chairman, Charles S. Way.


“Governor McMaster has made significant contributions to the legal profession and has committed his career to the state of South Carolina, through dedicated service as a public servant. With a distinguished business career, President Clark is recognized as a well-respected and highly successful former executive in major corporations, most especially in the engineering and technology fields. We are truly pleased to be in a position to award these degrees.”


Governor McMasterMcMaster became the 117th governor of the Palmetto State on January 24, 2017.


Prior to becoming governor, McMaster served two years as lieutenant governor of South Carolina.


While serving as attorney general of South Carolina, McMaster made the prosecution of criminal domestic violence a priority and harnessed the resources of law enforcement and prosecutors to crack down on child Internet predators. He also extended the state grand jury’s jurisdiction to securities crimes after the collapse of Carolina Investors and Home Gold, convicting those responsible.


He is admitted to practice in all courts, state and federal, in South Carolina, the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.


McMaster, who is the recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, received his AB degree in history in 1969 from the University of South Carolina and his Juris Doctor degree in 1973 from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves in the JAG Corps from 1969 to 1975.


President ClarkPresident Clark began his post July 1, 2016, after unanimous approval from the institution’s Board of Trustees. Just prior to his current position, Clark served for one year as a university trustee.


In just a year, the university has made several noteworthy achievements under his leadership. Enrollment for both fall 2016 and spring 2017 have surpassed the targeted enrollment goals. The university has increased its strategic partnerships with academic institutions, businesses and corporations. Such collaborations include the Bulldog Bridge program with Midlands Technical College and the Bulldog Academic Resumption Covenant or BARC program, which offers students who ‘stopped out’ from the institution the opportunity to earn their degrees from SC State through a partnership with the University of Phoenix. More recently, the university launched the Be-Fit Health and Wellness Program, an initiative with the Regional Medical Center, Claflin University, the City of Orangeburg and Sodexo. The program seeks to address the high rates of overall health outcomes in Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties.


Clark has proven experience in leading edge, high-tech Fortune 5-500 companies. The former vice president of a $1- billion division of AT&T, Clark salvaged the division, from a money-losing unit into the most profitable division in AT&T's computer business. He also served as executive director of the AT&T’s Bell Labs, one of the world’s leading research labs at the time.


Clark’s career boasts pioneering breakthroughs in computer science. He was the group leader for the industry’s first Unix operating system implementation on superminicomputers as a standard commercial product. He was also a trailblazing member of the team that produced the industry’s first “secure Unix.” Additionally, he is the co-owner of four patents associated with computer packaging, etc.


A graduate of M.I.T. and the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, Clark also worked with General Electric, Gillette and Exxon International. A member of the founding attendees of the National Society of Black Engineers, Clark is a member of several industry standard organizations, such as Archer and the Open Software Foundation.


Clark formerly served on the Benedict College Board of Trustees for 18 years, and he served as chair of the University of South Carolina’s Research Foundation for three terms.