CLEMSON, S.C. — A $5 million gift from a civil engineering alumnus and his wife will help Clemson University address one of the largest problems the nation faces in the 21st century: the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure.

"Whatever the future may hold, it is certain the coming decades will require unparalleled talent and expertise in engineering and construction across the spectrum — from energy and transportation to housing and manufacturing," said Gerald M. Glenn, a 1964 Clemson alumnus and former executive of international engineering firms. "We are honored to be able to participate in this way in the development of the next generation of engineers."

The unrestricted gift from Gerald and Candice W. Glenn is the largest gift from an alumnus in Clemson’s The Will to Lead capital campaign to raise $600 million to support students and faculty with scholarships, professorships, facilities, technology and enhanced opportunities for learning and research. The gift also provides for the first named department in the campaign. The department from which Glenn graduated will bear his name.

"We are proud to have the Glenn name associated with Clemson," said President James F. Barker. "Not only professionally, but also personally, Gerald and Candi are exceptional role models for the students in the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering."

Gerald served as chairman, president and CEO of the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company B.V., a multinational engineering, procurement, and construction company. He previously was a director of Fluor Corp. and a group president of its primary subsidiary, Fluor Daniel Inc.

The Glenns have been active contributors to the College of Engineering and Science Leadership Circle and other projects, including the Fluor Daniel Engineering Innovation Center. Their $5 million gift will create scholarships and fellowships, support collaborative learning workspace and seminars, attract and retain top faculty, and develop a program that will help engineering students gain a global perspective, said Nadim Aziz, department chairman.

"This will help us mold the future leaders of civil engineering," Aziz said. "As we face more pressing problems with our infrastructure, our graduates will need the broad education that will make them the problem solvers of the future. This gift will help us create the environment necessary for students, faculty, government and industry partners to come together to discuss ideas for solutions to our failing infrastructure."

"It is critical that Clemson build on its strengths in engineering and science to meet the needs of our economy and our nation. Our experience in sustainable and resilient infrastructure is a key," Glenn said. "Clemson is in a unique position to prepare our engineering students for a role of leading a cooperative environment with construction, manufacturing, materials, environment and management in the coming decades. We are proud to contribute to the continuing advancement of civil engineering at Clemson toward reaching its rightful leadership position."

With 500 undergraduate and 125 graduate students, the department has five National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows, three U.S. Department of Transportation Eisenhower Fellowships, and six privately funded graduate fellowships. Its student Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge competition teams have earned national championships for the university, and Clemson will host the national Steel Bridge competition in 2012.