Kathy Hunter has worn just about as many hats as possible when it comes to her relationship with Clemson University. She is an alumna, a former employee, a Clemson parent, a volunteer and a local resident.
The Alabama native came to Clemson as a student in 1977. She attended a small private school in Mobile, Ala., and said the majority of her classmates were attending either the University of Alabama or Auburn University for college. She wanted to take a different path.
“I remember thinking, ‘I think there’s something else out there in this world for me,’” Kathy said. Her guidance counselor encouraged her to consider Clemson, so she applied and later visited campus with her mother, where she got a private campus tour from Dean of Women Susan Deloney. She knew that Clemson was the place she wanted to be.
At Clemson, she earned her bachelor’s in English in 1980. She also met her husband, Jody. Kathy earned a computer science degree in 1983 and ended up working for the University at what was then called the Department of Computing and Information Technology (DCIT) for nearly 10 years. The Hunters had two daughters, Hall and Macy, and they stayed in Clemson for 14 years before Jody’s job transferred him to Lexington. They had to move, but Kathy knew that Clemson would always be a part of her life.
“When I left here in 1994, I thought to myself, ‘I was a student here, I lived here and I was an employee.’ I wanted to stay connected to Clemson, so I started volunteering,” she said.
Since that time, Kathy has served in many capacities, on several university boards and in a variety of leadership positions. She served as Chair of the Women’s Alumni Council, President of the Clemson Alumni Association and as a member of the IPTAY Board. She is currently serving on the Board of Visitors and she is Chair of the Friends of the Libraries Board, which she has been involved with since former Libraries Dean Joe Boykin asked her to join in the mid-2000s. Kathy has remained involved with the Libraries ever since.
“The Libraries touch all students, and if they don’t touch all students, they at least have the opportunity to do so,” Kathy said. “Back when I was here, depending on your major, you could sometimes get away with not using the Libraries, but nowadays, you can’t. There are so many more services that the Libraries provide, so I think they are very important and integral to our students’ successes.”
Kathy’s oldest daughter, Hall Hunter Baldwin, shares a love for libraries. Hall graduated from Clemson in 2013 and worked as a student worker for the Libraries, assisting with digitizing images and documents. Baldwin went on to earn a Masters of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and now works as a branch manager for the Fairfaix County Public Library System in Virginia. Daughter Macy is also a Clemson graduate, working as an educator, living in Denver, and an avid library fan as well.
During their time in Lexington, Kathy worked as a computer teacher at her daughters’ school and her interest in health and fitness led her to become a certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer, and later, a yoga instructor. After 19 years in Lexington, the Hunters returned home to Clemson and Kathy got a part-time job as a fitness instructor at Clemson Downs. After three months, she was promoted to a full-time position as activities coordinator in the skilled nursing facility. She worked in that role for eight years before retiring.
Kathy is sharing her talents as a yoga instructor with the Libraries this summer. She will teach chair yoga sessions by the Reflection Pond on May 31, June 7 and June 14 from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. Chairs will be provided, and participants can bring their own mats, if desired. The sessions are open to students, faculty, staff and the general public, and no previous yoga experience is required. People can come dressed as they are.