Sonoco Donates $2.5-million to Clemson for Planned Institute
CLEMSON, S.C.—A $2.5-million gift will create a proposed new institute at Clemson University. Sonoco Products Company and Clemson officials announced that the donation launches the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University.
The gift from the Hartsville, S.C.-based global packaging leader forges a powerful learning and economic development resource for South Carolina.
The planned institute will provide resources for students of Clemson to enhance their opportunities for successful careers in packaging, printing and allied fields. Research work within the institute will fall into four broad categories: research, testing and product development; training; student and faculty projects; and short courses and special programs. The institute will promote consumer and environmentally superior packaging design development, printing-imaging technologies and printing-packaging systems to enhance the reusability, traceability and sustainability of paperboard, film and corrugated paperboard packages.
Packaging is a yearly $100-billion-plus business, based on gross sales figures, making it the third largest industry in the United States. More people work in packaging and packaging operations than any other business area in the nation.
“Sonoco has been a long-standing friend of Clemson,” said university President Jim Barker. “This gift creates an extraordinary investment in education, research and service to a high-tech industry.”
The funds will be used to help pay for construction of a facility to house components of the institute. Additionally, there are commitments of gifts-in-kind for technology support of the institute. Program leaders foresee the need for endowed chairs to teach and direct the momentum of the institute: two positions in packaging science and one in graphic communications. The institute will be self-sustaining with revenue derived from activities.
This gift is not Sonoco’s first to the university. In 1992 the company provided $500,000 for a laboratory that was dedicated as the Sonoco Packaging Science Laboratory in 1993.
“We understand the value of a research university partnership,” said Sonoco President and CEO Harris E. DeLoach Jr. “Preparing the next generation of packaging and graphics professionals is vital. Research drives change and we have to be able to change to compete more effectively. We are changing — changing the way the world sees packaging, changing the way the world sees us.”