If there’s one thing local businessman Mike Clements has never forgotten, it’s how important Kilgore College was to him and his late wife, Amy.
Clements, owner of Energy Weldfab and KC alum, continued his philanthropy last week with a $45,000 donation to endow three Culinary Arts student scholarships in memory of Amy.
The Culinary Arts program, which began at KC in 2012, prepares students for careers in the nation’s second-largest private sector business – food service. The program offers two certificates and an associate of applied science degree.
Scholarships endowed by Clements will benefit Culinary Arts students each year.
“It is quite a testament to the heart of Mike Clements,” said Dr. Brenda Kays, KC president. “Through his exceptional generosity, students will now have the means to attend a program they might not have been able to pursue. He is truly passionate about the success of our students and we are so thankful for his benevolence.”
The Culinary Arts program holds a special place in Mike’s heart because his daughter-in-law Kate Clements, from Longview, is a second-year student in the program.
Kate is currently enrolled in the Culinary Management part of the program and will earn her degree in Culinary Arts in May.
“She (Kate) is hard-working, detail-oriented, intelligent and talented,” said Culinary Arts program leader Kat Jackson.
Dr. Julie Fowler, KC’s dean of Culinary Arts, said Kate and her partner Darcey Nix, from White Oak, put on one of the most creative capstone banquets she has attended.
“The theme was brunch for dinner,” Fowler said. “The table settings were beautiful and the food was excellent.”
The Clements’ bond with the college began in 1974 when Mike and Amy met at KC while attending classes.
In 1990, Mike founded Energy Weldfab. With the support of Amy, he was able to focus on his passion toward building a successful business in the oil and gas production equipment industry.
Energy Weldfab’s success has been a tool that has allowed the Clements to support and give generously to charities and organizations that serve local communities and others.
In the early 2000’s Mike and Amy partnered with programs throughout KC to begin what has been a tremendous relationship between his family and the college.
Mike and Amy donated $25,000 to spearhead the construction in 2016 of KC’s own softball complex, The Ballpark at KC Commons.
Most recently, the Clements donated to the East Texas Oil Museum a new exhibit featuring a 1929 Mack Truck used to haul ice. The vintage truck is encased adjacent to the museum in a weather-proof outdoor shelter built by KK Mobbs Construction.
Mike and Amy were also inducted into the KC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.
They were married 43 years. She passed away in November of 2017 after a long battle with cancer.
PHOTO ABOVE: Mike and Amy Clements after being inducted into the KC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.