How well do you know your University? Here is a list of the Top 15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Clemson University.
1. Clemson University began as an all-male military school called Clemson College.
Yes, Clemson did not become Clemson University as we know it until 1962 when females were able to enroll.
2. In 1917, most of the student body at Clemson enlisted in World War I.
It is rumored that the entire Clemson student body volunteered to go to World War I after President Woodrow Wilson passed a delclaration of war in Congress. This goes back to Clemson’s origins of being a predominantly military and ROTC school since 1889.
3. If you go to Clemson, you have to sign the secret book.
The book can be checked out of Cooper Library, but access is very restricted. Almost all the students that have attended Clemson University have signed the book. It has had to have four rebindings because it is so old and tattered.
4. The Clemson Amphitheater was a gift from the class of 1915.
This long-standing structure is now the perfect place to study…or tan. It also hosts a variety of events like FCA, concerts, or band showcases.
5. Clemson has 8 airplane statues placed throughout campus, you have to find all of them before you graduate!
Have you ever noticed a six-foot paper airplane statue around campus? There’s actually six of them spread throughout. By senior year, you must know where all of them are. I’ll give you a hint…one hangs from the cieling of Hendrix Student Center.
6. Clemson students used to wear “rat caps” to football games, and we still honor the tradition today.
Yes, Clemson students were very stylish, and if they lost a game, they wore the caps 24/7 until Clemson’s next victory. Now, to commemorate the tradition, fans and alumni wave their hand in the air at the end of the playing of the alma mater like they are holding the caps.
7. The Clemson ring is a long-standing tradition and one of the most recognizable college rings in the nation.
Clemson’s rings are very distinguishable with a Clemson C bordering a palmetto tree. The rings are awarded to students who have 95 hours completed at the university. Ring night is one of the most exciting times for a student at Clemson.
8. One of Clemson’s tradition is for a member of the ROTC program to bang on a drum 24 hours a day before playing the South Carolina Gamecocks.
If you ever get the privelege to be on campus the night before the USC v. Clemson game, stop by the stadium on Thursday. You will hear a distinct banging on drums by one of Clemson’s own ROTC students. These students take shifts 24 hours a day until kick off on Saturday.
9. Clemson’s first school colors were actually red and blue!
Clemson did not adopt their signature colors of orange and pruple until Walter Riggs created a football team in 1896. Coach Riggs was from Auburn and took the idea of orange from the Alabama school.
10. Clemson football has a cemetery?
Yes, for every away victory, Clemson has a tombstone made to record the “death” of their opponent at their own field. The latest tombstone added was Alabama’s, a striking black landmark to commemorate the National Championship.
11. Speaking of football…Clemson’s new addition to the stadium this season was modeled after the National Championship trophy.
If anyone was confused about the new structure known as the occulus, it was actually modeled after the National Championship trophy. Do those architectures know about foreshadowing or what?
12. The Clemson House is one of Clemson’s oldest and most historic structures on campus.
Clemson House was a dorm for many years with some floors being designated hotel rooms for families and visitors. Unfortunately, the structure is being torn down soon to be remodeled. So yes folks, go get your artsy pictures in front of the sign before it’s gone!
Photo by Lynne Jenkins
13. But…historic Tillman hall has been standing for much longer…and there is a leisure skill class that you can take in the bell tower of Tillman!
Yes, if you ever hear the clattering of the bells at odd times of the day…it’s probably the bell tower class! Clemson students can learn to play the huge bells that ring on top of Tillman, I’ve even heard some beauty and the beast songs as I’ve walked to class!
14. Why do they call Memorial Stadium Death Valley?
A coach that was tired of being destroyed by the Clemson football team dubbed the place Death Valley after losing multiple times in a row…badly. The name has stuck over the years and is quite fitting!
15. Clemson football beat 7 recent national champions in football last season.
Yes, of course we have to end with a football fact because…well, we are the 2016 National Champions in case you forgot! To conquer this feat Clemson beat Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State, and of course, the powerhouse, Alabama. This season sure made us proud to be Tigers.