By Derrick Brown (follow on Twitter @dbrowndbrown)
Mentors are people who share their experiences.
Their wisdom is earned through lessons learned.
Then they pay it forward.
But he was so much more than that.
He was a great mentor - in both overt and subtle manners.
Dr. Bob encouraged and affirmed - from recruitment to enrollment to graduation and beyond.
He loaned me books from his engineering library for some of my "rough" electrical engineering classes.
He let me use his office computer when I needed to lay low and buckle down.
He let me read the recommendation letters he wrote on my behalf.
He would ask sincerely during and after class if we understood what he had covered.
He gave objective advice on handling his colleagues.
We even had a candid discussion one day about why the Black students sat together in the lunchroom.
He was comfortable enough to ask, which made me comfortable enough to answer.
That all made Clemson feel a lot more like home.
Because of people like Dr. Bob, I devote a lot of my energy to mentoring, being mentored, and paying it forward.