Demetria Clemons

By John Stabinger
Posted on 13 April 2020 | 12:58 pm

Demetria Noisette Clemons ’75

Dr. Demetria Noisette Clemons ’75 lives in Columbia, South Carolina, and retired after more than 34 years of experience in education, working as a Principal Specialist, Principal, Grant Coordinator, Counselor, and Teacher. She currently works as an educational consultant specializing in accreditation, data analysis, and educational administration. Dr. Clemons was instrumental in initiating efforts in the College’s ability to offer a graduate level certificate in Urban Planning. She serves on the College of Charleston’s Board of Trustees, chairs the Student Affairs Committee Chair, and is a member of the Academic Affairs, Alumni Relations, and Executive Committees.

Dr. Clemons as a Senior in
1975 from The Comet yearbook.

Dr. Clemons grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, in the Ansonborough and Wagener Terrace neighborhoods. By age 16 she had already completed all of the required courses for early graduation from Bishop England High School and enrolled at the College. The College of Charleston was the only college Dr. Clemons considered, which at the time was across the street from Bishop England. She lived in Buist Rivers Residence Hall, Rutledge Rivers Residence Hall, and off-campus housing during her time at the College, not far from the neighborhoods in which she grew up. Three years after enrolling, at age 19, Dr. Clemons walked across the Cistern.

While at the College Dr. Clemons studied psychology, but she acquired other lessons that were equally as valuable. “I learned courage and to be willing to stand alone without flinching, to be unique, and proud of who, what, and where you are, and undaunted by your uniqueness in the room,” she says. “At the College I learned to be positive about the future, to prepare for and expect greatness, to be assertive and confident without being aggressive, and to respect myself and others.”

What she remembers most about her time on campus is an interaction she had with then-College President Ted Stern: “One of my favorite memories of my time at the College was talking to President Stern on campus and having him question me about my classes. He put his arm around my shoulders and told me how proud he was of me. Knowing that he knew my name and cared about me was memorable.”

Dr. Clemons with her son, Jerome,
and grandson, Javier.

Dr. Clemons would advise current students to “live by the words of Frank Outlaw:
Watch your thoughts,
    they become words.
Watch your words,
    they become actions.
Watch your actions,
    they become habits.
Watch your habits,
    they become your character.
Watch your character,
    it becomes your destiny.”

Dr. Clemons also recommends students “always look up when you approach the entrance of Porter’s Lodge and remember, ‘Know Thyself.’ Learn the alma mater so you will understand these lines: ‘Proud Traditions hover round thee, loyal sons and daughters love thee, strive to conquer and prevail.’”