Clemson University gets double the talent, and double the passion, commitment and leadership with the addition of William and Emily Thomas to their impressive roster of incoming students this fall.
William’s passion for the automotive industry made Clemson’s CU-ICAR program for graduate students and close relationship with BMW a uniquely powerful draw. William intends to earn a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and although he applied to Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Mercer University as well, Clemson’s engineering program and internships sealed the deal.
Emily contemplated her acceptances to several other schools, including Virginia Tech, Wofford, Furman, UGA Honors, and George Washington University Honors, but two moments in particular stand out to her as to why she picked Clemson (Honors Program). “I was at a horse show and my mom was walking the cross-country course with me, and I couldn’t imagine going anywhere that was too far for her to come to horse shows with me,” she says. “Later that week,” she says, “I was sitting in the practice room playing piano with William, and I knew that I couldn’t do the next four years without him.” Emily is currently looking at a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, possibly double majoring in either Microbiology or Genetics and a possible minor in Economics.
William and Emily arrived at CCES in the first grade and both say that they believe growing up in this environment has been the best thing for their academic success. Emily cites, “Having the same 100 people in my class for twelve years has created deep relationships, and my teachers are invested in me in and out of the classroom.” William concurs. “My experience at CCES has been breathtaking, and that could be an understatement. Everybody in this community is kind and caring and wants to help you, and the opportunities in almost any field at CCES are limitless, whether sports, music, theater, or creating your own clubs.”
This sentiment is reflected in the twins ample involvement. William has been a part of the Upper School Choir for three years and has held lead roles in three Upper School Musicals and two Fall Dramas. He also participates in the Car Club and led our male acapella group, The Acafellas, his senior year. William spends one Saturday a month at Michelin’s “Coffee and Cars” gathering, where he is the youngest attendee by at least 15 years! “His College Counselor, Lindsay Waters says, “I love William’s zest for life and his earnest attempt to connect with others through his unique interests. Students and faculty love having William around, because he is comfortable with himself and genuinely kind to others.”
Emily is no stranger to the arts either. Mrs. Waters says, “Independent, creative, talented, and bright, Emily Thomas is refreshingly confident and comfortable with who she is. I love how Emily is genuinely excited and inspired by her extracurricular activities, her academic pursuits, and her life in general.” She has been a member of the Upper School Choir for three years and also played a lead role in the Upper School Musical two of the three years she’s participated. She is President of the French Club and one of the leaders of the Bluebelles, our female acapella group. Outside of school, Emily rides horses in the discipline called “eventing,” (she won 11th place at the American Eventing Championships in 2017) and currently has two horses actively competing. She competes almost every other weekend of the year, logs her hours in the saddle and turns them into the United States Equestrian Federation in order to get a varsity letter for equestrian that the school recognizes! She states, “CCES has been a great place for me to grow and become comfortable with myself. Seriously, I could talk for hours about how much I love this school and how indebted I am to those who made it possible for me to go here.”
On top of their extracurricular activities, artistic prowess, and genuinely kind and compassionate personalities, the Thomas twins are engaged scholars. Their college applications are bursting with accolades— both have achieved Honor or High Honor Roll all four years of high school, both are AP Scholars, and Emily was inducted into the French National Honors Society. William has been honored with induction into the Spanish National Honors Society, the Cum Laude Society, and was the recipient of the Wake Forest Book Award his sophomore year.
Clearly, hard work is what gets the job done and both William and Emily Thomas have thrived because they have enjoyed every step of their road to graduation and have gone after their passions vigorously. Tiger Town will be greatly enriched by their presence.
JUST FOR FUN!
Who are your role models or mentors?
William: My role models, not including racing drivers who I envy, are my granddad due to his wisdom, my parents due to their guidance, and Kevin Connaughton due to the amount of love in his heart and his passion for creativity.
Emily: My mom is my biggest role model because of how strong and driven she is. We are also really alike personality-wise and share a love for horses and eventing. My biggest mentor at Christ Church has been Mrs. Carmichael, who has taught me for two years, and was my mentor for my Senior Thesis.
If you could relive one CCES experience, what would it be?
William: My first fall drama, Epic Proportions.
Emily: The opening nights of Fiddler on the Roof, Once Upon a Mattress, and Oklahoma!.
Tell me something that most people don’t know about you?
William: As big of a car guy as I am, I don't have a favorite car.
Emily: Oddly enough, it took a lot of time for some of our classmates to realize that William and I are twins!
Name one thing on your bucket list?
William: I want to drive a Ferrari 488 GTB around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Also, I want to be a driver in an endurance race.
Emily: To learn more than nine measures of Moonlight Sonata on the piano.
Are you more excited about a) Going to Clemson football and basketball games, b) Hanging out at Fike Recreational Center, or c) Playing volleyball or throwing a frisbee on Bowman field?
William: Definitely going to football and basketball games because the atmosphere at a home Clemson game is insane; everybody is invested and cheering and having a great time, even if Death Valley is cooking everyone to a crisp!
Emily: Super excited about football— even though we grew up Gamecocks! My mom got her masters at USC.