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Notable People

Henry A. Strode — Strode served as the college’s first president, from 1890 to 1893. Under his leadership construction of the campus began. The academic building for English, communications and languages is named after him.

Mark B. Hardin — Hardin was Clemson’s first chemistry professor, for which the chemistry building, built in 1890, was named. It is the oldest academic structure on campus, overcoming almost total destruction by a fire in 1946.

Benjamin R. Tillman — Tillman was a strong supporter of farming in South Carolina. He represented the state as governor and U.S. senator and is credited with an instrumental role in the establishment of Clemson College, serving as one of its original trustees.

John Heisman — In his first year as head coach, he led Clemson’s football team to its first undefeated season.

J.C. Littlejohn — An electrical engineering major in the Class of 1908, Littlejohn went on to serve as campus electrician, an instructor in woodworking, assistant to President Walter Merritt Riggs and business manager under President Enoch W. Sikes. He had a hand in the building of Long Hall, the Fraternity Quad area and Memorial Stadium.

Enoch W. Sikes — Sikes served as president from 1925 until 1940. Under his tenure, Clemson College plowed forward through the Great Depression and acquired federal funds for what would become the Clemson Experimental Forest in 1935, which today covers more than 17,000 acres.

Frank Howard — Howard began his 30-year stint as head football coach in 1940. He guided Clemson to six top-20 seasons, eight conference championships, 100 conference victories, 165 overall wins and eight bowl games.

Strom Thurmond — Thurmond graduated from Clemson in 1923 and went on to become the longest serving U.S. senator in history. The Strom Thurmond Institute was built in his honor in 1989.

Walter T. Cox — Cox first came to Clemson in 1935 as a freshman and — except for a year of military service — never left. He served Clemson in a number of capacities. As vice president of student affairs, he saw enrollment grow from 2,700 to more than 12,500. In 1985, he became Clemson’s 10th president at the request of the Board of Trustees.

Margaret Marie Snider — The military system of discipline was dropped in 1955, giving way to a new generation of coeducation at Clemson. Snider was the first woman to earn a degree from Clemson in 1957.

Harvey B. Gantt — Clemson achieved “integration with dignity” when its first black student, Gantt, enrolled in 1963. He earned his degree with honors in 1965 in architecture and went on to serve two terms as mayor of Charlotte, N.C. The Gantt Intercultural Center is named in his honor.