“Clemson University has been a leading partner in connecting students to resources with personalized outreach. It means the world to us to see the effort from Clemson in cultivating community for our Scholarship recipients,” shares Cathy Annexstad.
“We are grateful for The Annexstad Family Foundation and their support for the future of our students,” says Brian O’Rourke, Vice President of Advancement. “These Scholarships are shaping the lives of our students, allowing them to achieve their educational goals and realize their greatest dreams. Because of Annexstad Family Foundation’s thoughtful generosity in the Leaders for Tomorrow National Scholarship Program, these Scholars are able to have an unmatched student experience.”
Clemson University joined the Leaders for Tomorrow Scholarship Program in 2016 after Al and Cathy Annexstad met with current President James P. Clements to discuss ﬁrst-generation student success initiatives. Over the partnership’s eight-year history, AFF has supported a total of 22 Scholars, 12 of which have graduated since 2020. Scholars have pursued areas such as civil engineering, sustainability and legal services.
“Clemson University is honored to have a long-standing partnership with The Annexstad Family Foundation,” says Clements. “I am grateful for The Annexstad Family Foundation’s investment in and commitment to developing tomorrow’s leaders. We are proud of the 22 Scholars that The Annexstad Family Foundation has supported and know many more of our Tigers will be impacted by this incredible program for years to come.”
The sense of support and community is strong at Clemson, especially within the Annexstad Scholar network.
“One of my favorite Clemson moments was at the University Library where one of our Scholars, Winter Widdiﬁeld, was working an on-campus job,” says Elin Wahman, Director of Strategic Initiatives at The Annexstad Family Foundation. Winter was able to show off some of her responsibilities and share some of the best secret study spots in the library to the Scholar cohort – while also offering referrals for Scholars to work alongside her at her on-campus job. The Scholar cohort, University staff and I were able to meet in one of the collaboration spaces in the library and discuss challenges and opportunities during their undergraduate experience. Through this informal, on-campus connection, we were able to ﬁnd solutions using resources available at Clemson,” says Elin Wahman.
Winter Widdiﬁeld shares, “When I was told that I received the Scholarship, it truly changed the trajectory of my college career. I no longer had to stress about the ﬁnances. It also gave me a huge boost in motivation from the Foundation, knowing that I could complete my degree.” In 2021, Winter graduated with her bachelor’s in Genetics from Clemson. Following graduation, Winter pursued her master’s at Coastal Carolina University where she graduated in the spring of 2023 with her degree in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies. She hopes to use her degree to best manage waterways and riparian ecosystems from environmental impact.
Clemson University and The Annexstad Family Foundation proudly celebrate 8 years of partnership.