In one for the record book, Leslie Sanders will “cap” her family’s unusual achievement as the very last of seven siblings to graduate from Clemson University when she receives her engineering degree Aug. 5.
With a materials science and engineering major, Leslie is the youngest Sanders family member, having entered Clemson University as a freshman in 2011. Her dad, William “Bill” Thomas Sanders, graduated in 1961.
Although Bill Sanders never insisted that any of his children follow in his footsteps, each one matriculated at the school of their own accord — first his oldest children, Lisa and Tom, graduating in 1984 and 1994, respectively, followed by sisters Patricia, Allison and Lindsey and brother Mac.
Leslie was plenty familiar with campus by the time her turn came around, noting that her older siblings made the pathway much easier for her.
“I already knew where most of the big buildings were,” Leslie said. “I knew my way around and had a lot of background on Clemson. My roommate had no idea about a lot of that. They told me where everything is [and] the things I need to take care of, such as financial aid and parking.”
Although their father passed away in 2013, Leslie and her brother and sisters expressed joy at the legacy he left behind.
“My father was ecstatic that we all chose Clemson University to attend college,” Leslie said. “I would give anything to see the smile on my dad’s face on my graduation day, but I will proudly wear his 1961 Clemson A&M College Ring around my neck when I walk across the stage.”