Breaking News

Sonoco gift to launch new Clemson institute

July 18, 2006

A $2.5 million gift will create a new institute at Clemson University. Sonoco Products Company and Clemson officials announced this week that the donation launches the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University, in Clemson, SC, USA. Sonoco is based in Hartsville, also in South Carolina.

The planned institute will provide resources for students of Clemson to enhance their opportunities for successful careers in packaging, printing and allied fields. Research work within the institute will fall into four broad categories: research, testing and product development; training; student and faculty projects; and short courses and special programs. The institute will promote consumer and environmentally superior packaging design development, printing-imaging technologies and printing-packaging systems to enhance the reusability, traceability and sustainability of paperboard, film and corrugated paperboard packages.

“Sonoco has been a long-standing friend of Clemson,” says university President Jim Barker. “This gift creates an extraordinary investment in education, research and service to a high-tech industry.”

The funds will be used to help pay for construction of a facility to house components of the institute. Additionally, there are commitments of gifts-in-kind for technology support of the institute. Program leaders foresee the need for endowed chairs to teach and direct the momentum of the institute: two positions in packaging science and one in graphic communications. The institute will be self-sustaining with revenue derived from activities.

This gift is not Sonoco’s first to the university. In 1992 the company provided $500,000 for a laboratory that was dedicated as the Sonoco Packaging Science Laboratory in 1993.

“We understand the value of a research university partnership,” said Sonoco President and CEO Harris E. DeLoach Jr. “Preparing the next generation of packaging and graphics professionals is vital. Research drives change and we have to be able to change to compete more effectively. We are changing — changing the way the world sees packaging, changing the way the world sees us.”

Sonoco was founded in 1899 as the Southern Novelty Company. Its first product was a cone shaped paper yarn carrier. Today Sonoco provides industrial and consumer packaging solutions to customers in a wide array of industries in more than 300 operations on five continents.

More information is available at