Skip to main content

Clemson Presidential Records: Atchley Speeches

Identifier: Series-0027

Scope and Content Note

This series contains the speeches, press releases, and writings of Bill Lee Atchley, President of Clemson University 1979-1984. The series is divided into categories of "Faculty and Staff," "Speeches and Remarks," and "Writings." Atchley gave the speeches at University functions; to meetings of faculty and alumni; at meetings of organizations such as the South Carolina Dairy Association, Rotary Club, and Chamber of Commerce; and at learned societies and professional associations such as the American Society of Engineering Education. Recurring topics include energy and the search for new sources of energy, the role of higher education in agricultural development, and technological education. Included in the series is a briefing book used by President Atchley in preparing his speeches for the "Meet Bill Atchley" series of speaking engagements held throughout South Carolina from 1981-1984.


  • 1979 - 1985
  • 1981 - 1985


Restrictions on Use


Biographical Note

Bill Lee Atchley was born 16 February 1932, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to William Cecil and Mary Bicket Atchley. After a brief career as a pitcher for the New York Giants, 1951-1952, and a brief stint in the U. S. Army, 1952-1954, Atchley embarked on a career in civil engineering; he earned the bachelor and master of science degrees from the University of Missouri at Rolla in 1957, and 1959, respectively, and the doctorate from Texas A&M University in 1965. Atchley returned to the University of Missouri to teach civil engineering and later serve as Associate Dean of the College of Engineering. In 1975 he went to West Virginia University to assume the position of Dean of the College of Engineering.

In 1978, Atchley interviewed for the presidency of Clemson University; was selected in February 1979, and inaugurated in April 1980. Atchley brought about a number of changes such as the integration of faculty and students into decision making; the reorganization of University administration; the renovation of Tillman Hall; the upgrading of computer facilities; and the creation of the Calhoun Honors College. His attempt to reorganize the athletic department after an investigation by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1982 was met with opposition within the department, from athletic supporters, and from the Board of Trustees. The conflict between the Trustees and President Atchley culminated in his resignation on 1 March 1985.

After leaving Clemson University, Atchley served as President of the National Science Center for Communications and Electronics Education Foundation. In July 1987 he assumed the presidency of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.


2 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The folders are arranged chronologically. An index to the speeches is provided in folder one of the series. For a listing of folders, see the folder inventory that follows this description.


Office of the President

Processing Information

Jacques LaRue Bryant, student assistant, 1990.

The conversion of this finding aid to Encoded Archival Description format was made possible with a grant from the South Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board in 2009-2010. The finding aid was prepared for encoding by Kristi Roberts.


Clemson Presidential Records: Atchley Speeches
2010 August 9
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Clemson University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Repository

230 Kappa St.
Clemson SC 29634 U.S.A. US