AFL Awards Grant to Clemson University Foundation

Spartanburg, SC – AFL awarded a $5,000 grant to the Clemson University Foundation in support of the Charles H. Townes Optical Science and Engineering Summer Program. The grant, made possible by AFL’s Community Outreach Program, will aid the university in giving hands-on experience to students, readying them for their careers in STEM-related fields.

“The demand for students obtaining STEM-related degrees is on the rise and there’s a clear need to engage these students and guide them toward these career paths,” said John Ballato, PhD, J.E. Sirrine Endowed Chair of Optical Fibers at Clemson University. “With this grant, we can offer the tools students need to succeed and help pave their pathways in optical science and engineering.”

The Charles H. Townes Optical Science and Engineering Summer Program is an undergraduate student experience where students with diverse backgrounds in materials science and engineering come to Clemson University for a 10-week period in the summer. Students are able to work in state-of-the-art laboratories where they conduct research and attend team workshops, meet with guest speakers, prepare for post-graduate opportunities, and present their research.

Students from the summer program visited AFL, learned about its history, how it has grown over the past 30+ years, its mission and vision, and they were given an extensive tour of the fiber optic cabling facility. During the question/answer session, students learned about careers in engineering as well as experience needed to pursue a career in optics.

Since 2006, the Townes Program has given 66 students the opportunity to obtain mentoring and skills from Clemson faculty while researching in Clemson’s Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET).

AFL has an extensive Community Outreach Program that provides grants, sponsorships, associate engagement projects, disaster relief and more. For additional information on AFL and its community initiatives, visit

About AFL
Founded in 1984, AFL is an international manufacturer providing end-to-end solutions to the energy, service provider, enterprise and industrial markets as well as several emerging markets. The company’s products are in use in over 130 countries and include fiber optic cable and hardware, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectivity, test and inspection equipment, fusion splicers and training. AFL also offers a wide variety of services supporting data center, enterprise, wireless and outside plant applications.

Headquartered in Spartanburg, SC, AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit

Corie Culp
Community Relations Manager