Part 1 Of a 3 part series. Authored by our own "Bunny". As she reports on the National Iptay Meeting in this report. Look for parts 2 and 3 later in the week.

Author: “Bunny”

Exclusive to Pawsitively Clemson

National IPTAY Meeting  Columbia SC

February 3 -2011

“Columbia turned Orange on February 3”

Thursday morning driving to Columbia for the National IPTAY banquet to be held that night, I was numb from Wednesday’s LOI’s that had come in and was excited over all the things that were taking place with the football staff.

Just could not wait to see people from all over the state, some from out-of-state, and catch up on their thoughts about the signing day Clemson had.  Over 1000 diehard folks were there.  Most were IPTAY Reps and about ¼ were guest of the Reps.  Imagine that many in a large banquet room…in the middle of Columbia @ the Convention Center, dressed in orange or tiger fashion!

Let me take you on that experience.  When you walk in the door the first thing you see is smiling faces and orange!  Gay – from the IPTAY office – is there to greet you, sign you in and suggest you go get a seat!  I took a friend as my hubby was unable to go and after we got our seats, we started talking to whoever we saw.  The place was very upbeat.

Then we went and got in line for the meal.  Wonderful food and grilled chicken…EVERYONE picked up on that.  But they do put a spread on for us.  Then – a trip to the dessert bar.  Forget the diet…too much good stuff.

The video is going as we eat talking about Clemson – people stopping by the table to speak.  My daughter and her husband, who is an IPTAY Rep in Florence, sat with us, as well as three ole friends from Florence and a new one.  Needless to say we had fun.

Then the program started….Welcome by Bert Henderson.   After he welcomed everyone, Tiger Rag was played and the “meeting” came to order.  He thanked the Board Members…the Trustees….and the Clemson Athletic Staff.  He recognized Marsha Barker and the wives of all the speakers for the evening.  He thanked all IPTAY Reps for job well done for 2010.

The first speaker for the evening was Terry Don Phillips, who thanked the IPTAY Board and Reps.   He at once went into the announcement of over 5,000 hours being committed by the student athletics in the community through the Solid Orange Squad program.  He spoke on why he wanted to be at Clemson.  “It was, has been and will be a consistent BCS team.  When football leads the way everything else spills over.  We know where we are headed.  Adversity rears it ugly head but I know Dabo will get the job done.  We need to enjoy the journey and it will happen.  Coaches and Players need to know we are behind them.  We need to appreciate what football did at Music City Bowl game and the Final Four for the baseball last season. “   The crowd gave him a rousing  applause.  He was called a quiet man by President Barker when he spoke next and the amount  of work he has being doing in the past few years over the renovations  for the athletic teams has not gone unnoticed by the Board, the Trustees, and the President.  As one person said at our table….he knew TDP pretty good and is very happy with all the new things that are taking place at CU.

President Jim Barker was next and his first comment was how the snow day had slowed things down!  The students had fun sliding in the President’s yard – Bowman Field and any where there was a hill and even at the dike.  Several folks had called him about the webcams and what was going on but he said students will be students!  He was staying in where it was warm.   The crowd broke out in laughter at his comment that he had been getting a lot of advice lately.  He congratulated Coach Brownell on the victory over FSU and said he really enjoyed that game.  To those who have not seen or have not gone to the games, he has been very vocal at the officials this season.  He sits a few rows up behind the media table and has been seen standing and yelling at the officials!  He thanked  Jack Leggett for the baseball ranking for 2011.  He thanked Coach Dabo and his staff for a super signing day and also mentioned he was thrilled over the new coaches on board.  He stated “We are in direct competition with anyone out there and we are going to win.  I’m excited the way the program is going with everything in the athletic dept and the upcoming renovations”   He had spent the last few days with the General Assembly and was happy to announce that we receive few dollars from state funds.  “Clemson is affordable, that 87% of students applied were admitted to Clemson or the Bridge program.”  He acknowledged that the Board and Trustees are committed to having the best in academics and athletics.  He stated “We can compete with other schools and we will be even or better…never anything else.”  And then he closed with this….”today one of our newest players, Stephone Anthony puts it best “Here comes the Tigers, Baby”  That brought a huge applause.

Mary Ann Bigger, President of IPTAY, and the first woman to hold that position, was next.  She thanked all the representatives.  She stated  “300 new donors were announced for the 2010 season.  We now have over 14,000 donors and 2011 looks to have a record breaking number.  The average grade point for student athletics is 2.85.  With the formation of the Solid Orange Squad and the new magazine “Orange Experience” Clemson has a lot to be proud of.”  She asked that all women IPTAY representatives please stand “as we have gone from 10 when she took over two years ago to now 50.”  I was very proud to stand with that group.  She is a Clemson grad and has done an outstanding job along with raising two daughters and attending every Clemson event possible!



4 Responses to “NATIONAL IPTAY MEETING news and notes”

  1. Neil and Pam Burnett Says:

    GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!! We are going to look forward to all of Bunny’s reports and articles!!! Love the new site Gary!!!

  2. Awesome job By Bunny!

  3. Ron Chitty Says:

    Bunny .. thank you for your eyes and ears in keeping us informed ! Your report was awesome !

  4. Bunny, thanks for helping me feel like I was there.

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