Community planner to receive honorary degree

Clemson University will award Benjamin Boozer, a leader in strategic community planning in South Carolina, an honorary doctorate of education during the winter graduation ceremony at 11 a.m. today.

About 1,160 degrees will be awarded at the ceremony at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Boozer, a resident of Columbia and graduate of the University of South Carolina, has more than 30 years experience as a community development specialist, including serving as director of Clemson’s Institute for Economic and Community Development from 2000 to 2007, during which time he helped establish a statewide network of technical assistance, insightful guidance and leadership capacity development in communities all over South Carolina.

Under Boozer’s guidance, a collaborative group of state agencies, local government agencies, other institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations and civic groups convened regularly to address challenges of rural communities in South Carolina. The group developed strategies for pooling resources and outreach endeavors to provide assistance to these communities.

Boozer has served on more than 10 economic development boards in South Carolina and is widely recognized as one of the state’s leading experts on community development and as a premier facilitator in conducting strategic planning sessions and other community public meetings.

He served as executive director of the South Carolina Downtown Development Association for 17 years prior to joining Clemson and was executive director of the Charleston County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Commission.

-- From Staff Reports