LIFE Programs


Coach Swinney and his family owe quite a bit of gratitude to Coach Gene Stallings, former University of Alabama coach. The manner in which Coach Stallings handled the life experiences of raising a special needs child is well documented. In addition to being touched by Coach Stallings, Coach Swinney and Kathleen were also touched by John Mark Stallings. In honor of John Mark, the Foundation supports the ClemsonLIFE Program and the RISE Program.

Statement of Need

ClemsonLIFE is a two year program incorporating functional academics, independent living, employment, and social/leisure skills in a public university setting with the goal of producing self-sufficient young adults. Students successfully completing the two year program will receive a certificate of postsecondary education. For select students, an optional third year is available to assist with job placement and community integration with a decreased level of supports.

The RISE program located at the University of Alabama provides a pre-school program for special needs children. For the last 30 years, UAís RISE program has helped prepare more than 5,000 children with disabilities for regular public school classes. The free program is designed to increase development in children, ages six weeks to five years, with disabilities and prepare them for their next classrooms, regular or special education.

Over the years, the RISE program has saved more than $46 million in public funds. The nationally acclaimed program serves as a model for the development of similar programs across the country.


Funds will come from Foundation activities including Fantasy Camp, and the foundationís two annual fund-raising functions. In April, 2016 the foundation donated $40,000 as part of Coach Stallings annual golf fund-raiser and $40,000 to the ClemsonLife program for student scholarship assistance. To date the foundation has donated over $240,000 to the LIFE Programs.