President Edwards farewell letter

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Clemson University
April 16, 1979
Former Tiger editor Steve Matthews has given me one of the most difficult assignments I have had during my 23 years at Clemson: Writing a "farewell" message to the greatest student body anywhere.
First of all, I don't consider this as a farewell, for I can assure you that when I step down from office and become just another one of your fellow alumni, we'll be saying "hello" many times in the future as we participate in and give our strong support to many, many Clemson activities.
As I look back on the past and look forward to the years ahead, it occurs to me that Clemson is many things to many people. It has become a major research institution, a high quality educational institution, and a public agency that provides statewide services that in many respects are unique in American higher education.
But when you get to the heart of what Clemson is all about, it is about you, the students, our greatest national asset and our hope for the future. I don't need to tell you that without you there would be no Clemson University.
My relationship with you over the years has been perhaps my most rewarding experience as president. I have always felt that Clemson students respect the office, but have no fear of it nor are they in great awe of it. That's as it should be. I would sincerely hope that there has never been any doubt in the minds about what I was prepared to do for them, collectively and as individuals, to help them with their problems and their plans.
My feelings about you are probably best expressed when I say that the thing I shall miss most about serving as your president is hearing that wonderful chant, "R C .. R C .. R C!" at Tiger pep rallies. Your many kindnesses and the warm feelings you have created in me and Mrs. Edwards by allowing us to share in your activities are things we shall cherish forever.
While the great spirit and traditions of the Clemson student body will live on, especially with the support of a Board of Trustees truly dedicated to your best interests and under the wise leadership of a great new president, Bill Atchley, some things must come to an end. The time for my departure is at hand. To paraphrase that biblical quotation, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
I leave office wishing you the very best as you put the final touches on your formal education and begin your careers and family lives. Together we have worked hard for a better Clemson University. I am proud that we can take pride in saying: "We are Clemson graduates."
Robert C. Edwards

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