Performing Arts History at Clemson

Brooks Center Construction 1991-94The dedication of the Robert Howell Brooks Center for the Performing Arts on April 15, 1994 launched a new and exciting phase in Clemson University's dedication to the performing arts. The opening of the nearly 90,000 square feet facility was the result of almost two decades of petitioning, strategic planning, fundraising, and construction.

However, the performing arts at Clemson can be traced to the early part of the century. The establishment of the Brooks Center was a clear sign that Clemson University recognized the essential role of the arts in a great university community.

Performing Arts at Clemson Timeline

1889 Clemson Agricultural College founded.

1893 Clemson College opened with 446 students.

1893 Men’s Glee and Cadet Corp band formed.

1931 Pendleton’s Clemson Little Theatre founded. Many Clemson students and faculty participate.

1940 College Concert Series started.

1947 Clemson College hires first full-time music faculty to lead the Clemson Band and Men’s Glee.

  • 1960 Robert Howell Brooks graduates from Clemson University.

  • 1961 First band rehearsal room established in Johnstone Hall basement.

  • 1969 Clemson Players founded. English professor Arthur Fear serves as faculty advisor.

  • 1969 College of Liberal Arts established.

  • 1972 Chamber Music Series begun.

  • 1976 Clemson Bands get new home in Holtzendorf YMCA basement.

  • 1976 Student petition supporting the construction of a performing arts facility presented to the Board of Trustees.

  • 1986 Chamber Series endowment established. The Lillian and Robert Utsey Chamber Music Series founded.

  • 1988 Department of Performing Arts formed.

  • 1988 Clemson receives state approval to build a performing arts facility.

  • 1989 Sert, Jackson, & Associates of Massachusetts wins Clemson performing arts architecture/design competition.

    1991 Roberts Brooks and family make $2.5 million donation to build Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

  • 1991 Groundbreaking ceremony initiates construction.

  • 1993 Department of Performing Arts moves into Brook Center.

  • 1994 The College Architecture, Arts, and Humanities Established.

  • 1994 Brooks Center dedication.

  • 2001 BA in Production Studies in Performing Arts established.

  • 2004 Brooks Center marks 10th anniversary.

  • 2003 First class of Production Studies in Performing Arts majors graduate.

  • 2010 Utsey Chamber Music Series celebrates 25th anniversary.

    2014 Brooks Center marks 20th anniversary.