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Clemson University has a proud tradition of military excellence dating back to its founding as a military school. Beginning with the first graduating class of 1896, more than 10,000 Clemson men and women have served in the armed forces. Many have been highly decorated for their service and sacrifices. Some received the nation’s highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor — for acts of heroism in combat. Several were captured and held as prisoner of war. And 489 alumni have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.
The Military Heritage Plaza was created to honor the University's history as a military institution and to honor Clemson alumni who have served the United States in times of war. It sits between Memorial Chapel and Bowman Field, which served as Clemson’s earliest military drill complex. The 18 steps in the memorial are inscribed with an ideal instilled in the Clemson cadet — discipline, teamwork, confidence, humility, equality, courage, respect, responsibility, perseverance, honor, pride, esprit de corps, leadership, integrity, success, loyalty, life and duty. The memorial was created through the generosity of the Classes of ’50, ’51, ’52 and ’53.
The Clemson Corps maintains the Scroll of Honor to honor those Clemson alumni who died in the line of duty. The Scroll of Honor Memorial is across from Memorial Stadium, which itself was named in 1940 to honor those killed during military service. As an extension of the Scroll, the adjoining Memorial Park pays tribute to the service of thousands of Clemson alumni and friends who have served the state and nation in fields ranging from agriculture to the military.
Clemson Corps has also established a Web page for each Clemson alumnus who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his/her country.
Clemson has maintained a strong military tradition through the years, and the University's ROTC programs are some of the best in the country.