Michael and Robyn Nieri are laying a foundation for student success at Clemson University. As the University’s fifth Cornerstone Partner for Athletics, they created the Nieri Family Student-Athlete Enrichment Center. Now, the Nieri legacy at Clemson will expand even further as they become the University’s fifth Academic Cornerstone Partner with a gift of $5 million to the Department of Construction Science and Management (CSM) in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. It is the largest gift to both the department and the college.
The Nieri Family was celebrated during an luncheon event on Friday, September 20, 2019. The event was held in the WestZone Club at Memorial Stadium, attended by 190 members of the Clemson Family. The tables were outfitted in a construction theme, with rolls served in paint pails, desserts filing small decorative paint buckets and small hammers, tape measures and other hand tools as favors. Michael and Robyn Nieri joined President Clements on stage to be recognized for their generous gift.
“As an Academic Cornerstone Partner, Michael and Robyn Nieri are laying the cornerstones upon which the future of academic excellence will be built at Clemson,” said Clemson President James P. Clements. “Their generosity will take our construction science and management program to the next level and will help us better prepare students to be leaders in the field. I am grateful to the Nieris for their incredible support.”
With their donation, the department will become the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities’ first named department. The Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management will also receive funding for: Experiential learning projects at the CSM Construction Yard at Ravenel with a focus on residential construction; a new Residential Construction Professor of Practice faculty position; and The Nieri Family Endowment, which will provide perpetual funding for the above initiatives.
“What they’ve done for us is going to put us in a position to grow and do the kind of things that this department has always wanted to do,” said N. Mike Jackson, Ph.D., P.E., Department Chair and Professor, The Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management.,
This past year, Clemson athletics set a new record with a 92 percent graduation success rate, in part due to the Nieri’s investment in the University and the creation of the Nieri Family Student-Athlete Academic Enrichment Center. Thanks to their investment, Clemson’s student athletes are given the tools necessary to be competitive on the field and in the classroom.
“The Nieri family has a philanthropic spirit that represents the history of our university. Because of their gift to athletics, our student-athletes are succeeding on the field, in the classroom and in life,” said Brian O’Rourke, vice president of Development and Alumni Relations. “Their latest gift to become an Academic Cornerstone Partner demonstrates their commitment to Clemson and future generations of students. They are strengthening the Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management and benefiting our students forever.”
Michael graduated from Clemson with a Bachelor of Science in construction science and management in 1986. As the president and founder of Great Southern Homes in Columbia, he dedicated his life to providing families with well-built, affordably priced homes with signature style and quality throughout South Carolina and Augusta, Ga. He was inducted into the S.C. Housing Hall of Fame in 2018 for his work in and support of the state’s home building industry.
“I attribute a great deal of my success within the construction industry to the education I received from Clemson University, and we are proud that our children have continued that tradition as Clemson graduates,” said Michael. “Clemson’s department of construction science and management is among the strongest programs in the country and Robyn and I are excited to be a part of the great future of this department. Our hope is that this gift will allow Clemson to offer even more learning opportunities for our students, establish even more prominence for the department among our peers and prepare our students to make significant impacts as they enter the industry.”
The Nieris have three children: Pennington, Maigan and Patrick. All three received their degrees from Clemson. Pennington graduated in construction science and management in 2015. He’s married to Katherine Jaco Nieri, a 2015 graduate in civil engineering. Maigan Nieri Lincks graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in marketing and Patrick graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in construction science and management.
Image Credits: Clemson University Relations. | Photographs and material from Clemson University Relations used by permission.