Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Clemson University, located in Clemson, South Carolina, was founded in 1889, a legacy of Thomas Green Clemson, who willed his Fort Hill plantation home, its surrounding farmlands and forest, and other property to the State of South Carolina to establish a technical and scientific institution for South Carolina. Clemson opened its doors to 446 students as a military college in 1893. Today, approximately 17,000 students attend the institution, with 64 percent of these students from South Carolina and the remaining 36 percent hailing from 49 other states and 70 nations.
Today, Clemson is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Doctoral/Research University-Extensive , a category comprising less than 4 percent of all universities in America. Academically, the university is divided into five colleges: Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; Architecture, Arts and Humanities; Business and Behavioral Science ; Engineering and Science; and Health, Education and Human Development . The University's most noted academic programs include those in agriculture, architecture, business, education, engineering, nursing, and textile studies.
The university's newest academic endeavor is the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, a 400+ acre automotive and motorsports research campus located in nearby Greenville. Clemson ICAR will include a graduate school to open in 2006 with Master's and Doctorate level degrees in automotive engineering, offering programs focused on systems integration. The campus also includes an Information Technology Research Center being developed by BMW Manufacturing Company. Microsoft, IBM, and Michelin are all corporate partners of Clemson ICAR. Plans for the campus also include a full-scale, four-vehicle capacity rolling-road model wind tunnel.
The school's sports teams are called the Tigers. They participate in the NCAA's Division I-A and in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Clemson's primary rival however are the in-state University of South Carolina Gamecocks. The two institutions usually play against each other on the last week of the football season. This is the fourth longest rivalry in college sports.
Thomas Green Clemson's will called for a "high seminary of learning" to be founded upon the estate of Fort Hill. The will called for the State of South Carolina to fund the institution, but provided it a limited role in the institution's governance. Clemson called for a 13-member Board of Trustees to govern the course of Clemson Agricultural College, with seven "lifetime" trustees and six trustees selected by the South Carolina state assembly to serve two-year terms. A president would also be appointed by the trustees to oversee the day-to-day operations of the college. Henry Aubrey Strode was selected by the Clemson Trustees to lead the new institution.
Clemson Agricultural College opened its doors in 1893 to 446 new cadets. At that time, the campus had only constructed two poorly-masoned brick buildings but by 1914 had increased in size and reputation, academically and athletically. The legendary coach John Heisman coached Clemson football from 1900 to 1903, before moving to greater fame at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition, Clemson's academic calendar became a model for many universities and colleges in the United States at that time, and the "Clemson calendar" became adopted as the traditional two-semester academic calendar for the majority of institutions in the U.S. up through today.
The World Wars saw a flurry of cadets leave Clemson for active duty and the campus itself became a base for military training. World War I saw nearly every cadet in the classes of 1917 and 1918 enlist, and at one point the college had only 42 active student-cadets. World War II saw even greater involvement. Clemson ranked third in the country in institutions providing Army officers. Only the United States Military Academy and Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University (since 1963 Texas A&M )provided more.
As a result of the G.I. Bill providing increased opportunities for Americans to go into higher education, Clemson experienced a significant period of expansion under the leadership of two long-serving presidents, Robert M. Cooper and Robert C. Edwards. In 1953, a consulting firm was enlisted to help Clemson college plan a path for its future. In its findings, the group recommended that Clemson drop its military status and become a civilian institution and that it should enroll women. Following this advice, the first women were enrolled in Clemson in 1954, also the first year the school entered civilian status. Compulsory R.O.T.C. training remained until 1973.
The campus also experienced a frenzy of construction during the 1950s, as new academic buildings and contemporary student housing was constructed. The Johnstone Hall complex became a model for college dormitories, implementing a new raise-slab construction method, a practice which was featured in many architectural magazines at that time. This method - the Youtz-Slick "lift-slab" method - lifted reinforced concrete slabs onto columns with hydraulic jacks. These slabs weighed 224 tons and were nine inches thick, 122 feet long and 43 feet wide. Today, only one of the original Johnstone buildings is still standing on the campus. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, additional buildings, including the R.M. Cooper Library, the Bryan Mall and Shoebox residence areas and the innovative Lee Hall were also constructed.
Clemson had remained a "white only" institution, though nowhere in the will of Thomas Green Clemson did it call for the practice of segregating races. In sharp contrast to the strenuous and violent situations at other southern universities in the early 1960s, Clemson became peacefully integrated on January 22, 1963 when Harvey Gantt became the first African-American student at Clemson. Lucinda Harris who entered a semester later would become the first African-American female student and would later marry Gantt.
Clemson's expanding student body and expanded academic offerings prompted college administrators to submit to the South Carolina legislature to change its name to Clemson University in 1964. The University continued to expand into the 1970s when enrollment topped 10,000 for the first time.
Clemson perhaps achieved its greatest recognition upon the heels of its 1981 football season, when the Tigers won all their games and the Orange Bowl to become national champions. During the 1980s Clemson football under the leadership of Danny Ford was a scandal-plagued but successful program, establishing it as a football powerhouse. Memorial Stadium, or "Death Valley" nearly doubled its capacity during these years of popularity, which continue to this day.
In the 1990s, Clemson underwent additional transformations, including an internal restructuring that reorganized the university from nine colleges into five in an effort to streamline operations and cut costs. In 1996 the Carolina Panthers played their inaugural season in Clemson and in 1997 Clemson was ranked as one of the top-50 public universities in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report magazine. As of 2004-2005, Clemson ranks 32nd in the nation, in a tie with Virginia Tech and the University of Colorado, with a goal of becoming a "Top-20" public university by 2010.
Continued distinctions continue into the 2000s. Clemson was named in 2001 by Time Magazine as "Public School of the Year" for its "Communication across the Curriculum program."
Death Valley Name synonymous with Clemson Memorial Stadium. The Stadium was dubbed this affectionate title by the late Lonnie McMillian, a former coach at Presbyterian. He used to take his teams to play at Clemson, and they rarely scored, never mind gained a victory. Once he told the writers he was going to play Clemson up at Death Valley because his teams always got killed. It stuck somewhat, but when Frank Howard started calling it that in the fifties, the term really caught on. It is now in its 54th year.
Many people think the name is derived from the fact that there rests a cemetery outside the fence on the press box site of the stadium. But, although it would make sense, the name was first coined by Lonnie McMillian.
First Friday Parade The Clemson football season kicks off each year with the annual First Friday Parade. The once a year event takes place on the Friday afternoon prior to the first home football game. Floats from various fraternities and sororities and other campus organizations are represented in the parade that rolls down main street in Clemson. The parade culminates at the Amphitheater in the middle of campus where the first Pep Rally of the year takes place.
The Grand Marshall of the Parade is featured at the Pep Rally. Recent Grand Marshall's have ranged from current PGA professional Dillard Pruitt, to College Football Hall of Fame legends Jess Neely and Frank Howard, to noted television announcers Brent Musburger and Ara Parseghian.
Homecoming Clemson holds a classic homecoming every year. Displays by fraternities, sororities, and other student organizations that are months in the making, are built on Bowman Field the week prior to the Homecoming Weekend. It is an event that draws alumni and friends of Clemson from all over the country.
The Friday evening prior to the game, Tigerama is held in Death Valley, an event that attracts over 35,000 fans. The Homecoming Queen and her court are presented in addition to Homecoming skits, a pep rally and a large and loud fireworks display.
The first homecoming game played at Clemson took place on September 30, 1922 when Clemson met Centre. Clemson has a 56-19-3 record on Homecoming games over the years. The average score is 21 to 12 - a victory margin of 9. Clemson has been especially successful on Homecoming in recent years, posting a 26-3-2 record since 1971.
Orange Pants The tradition of the Clemson team wearing orange pants is new according to tradition standards. The Tigers first wore the all orange uniform for the final game of the 1980 season against South Carolina. Clemson upset the 14th ranked Gamecocks and Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers, 27-6. The victory set the stage for Clemson's National Championship run of 1981.
Overall, Clemson is 29-6 in Orange pants since that 1980 game, including a 16-1 record ingames played in the month of November. The Tigers have won seven in a row in orange pants, including last year's important victory over North Carolina.
Clemson has nine wins over top 20 opponents when wearing Orange pants, including the 22-15 National Championship clinching win over Nebraska in the 1982 Orange Bowl.
Howard's Rock When the Clemson team gathers to Run Down the Hill the players rub Howard's Rock because of the mystical powers it is supposed to give Clemson players.
The rock is mounted on a pedestal at the top of the hill and was given to Coach Frank Howard by a friend (S.C. Jones' 19) who picked it up in Death Valley, CA.
The Rock was first placed on the pedestal at the top of the hill on September 24, 1966, a game Clemson won 40-35 over Virginia.
The team started rubbing the rock for the first game of 1967, a 23-6 win over Wake Forest on September 23, 1967.
Running Down the Hill One of the most exciting 25 seconds (about 35 seconds when Clemson dresses 120 players for homecoming) in college football from a color and pageantry standpoint. After Clemson's last warmup the team retreats to the home dressing room located under the West Stands. At about 12:50 ( for normal 1:00 P.M. game), the team boards two buses and drives around the periphery of the stadium to the east side of the field. After everyone is properly collected, the cannon sounds, Tiger Rag is played and Clemson charges down the hill (exactly 100 feet top to bottom) and onto the field. It is one of the most celebrated entrances in sport. The Tigers have done it for every game since 1942, except for 1970, 1971 and four games of the 1972 season. In all, the Tigers have run down the hill 249 times heading into 1996.
How in the world did the tradition of running down the hill start? There is no long involved explanation, it used to be the quickest way to get to the field. When the stadium was built in 1942 the football locker rooms were up the street in Fike Fieldhouse.
When the players were finished getting dressed they used to walk out the front door and walk down the street to "The Hill". Coach Howard continued the tradition when locker rooms were finally built inside the stadium because Clemson fans used to get so fired up when they gathered at the top of the hill. That's when the buses came into use to spend the trip from the locker room to the other side of the stadium.
- Strom Thurmond, former U.S. Senator
- James F. Byrnes, former U.S. Secretary of State
- Harvey Gantt, former mayor of Charlotte, NC and first African-American graduate of Clemson University
- David Beasley, South Carolina governor (1995-1999)
- Bob Peeler , South Carolina lieutenant governor (1995-2003)
- Joseph Blake Mundy , Famous Political Activist
- Robert Brooks, founder and president of Hooters
- Mack Fleming , owner/operator of only commercial tea plantation in the United States
- James F. Dickey , Pulitzer Prize winning author
- Rod Gardner, NFL player
- William "Refrigerator" Perry, former NFL player
- Dwight Clark, former NFL player
- Gigi Fernandez, former women's tennis player
- Khalil Green , San Diego Padres baseball player
- Johnathan Byrd , PGA TOUR golfer
- Shawn Crawford, 2004 Olympic gold and silver medalist in track and field
- Horace Grant, former NBA player
- Jane Robelot , news anchor
- Nancy O'Dell , former Miss South Carolina and host of "Access Hollywood"
- Chris Luca, Winner of Amazing Race 2
- Aaron Buerge , "The Bachelor," Season 2
- James Michael Tyler, Gunther on "Friends"
- Scott Lazar , first person to free-climb Venezuela's Angel Falls.
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