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Gathering On Bowman Field
This wide-open area originally served as the traditional parade ground for Clemson cadets. Still an unmistakable part of student life, the field is now where students gather to relax, play and celebrate special events.
In 1942, student band director Dean Ross found the sheet music for “Tiger Rag” in an Atlanta music store and brought it back to campus to play at football games. “Tiger Fanfare” by Band Director Mark Spede was added in 2003, and today, the band has more than 15 ways to play what’s known as “the song that shakes the Southland.”
In 1977, Georgia Tech decided to stop playing football against Clemson. In a show of protest, students and alumni stamped $2 bills with Tiger Paws and used them in Atlanta to illustrate the money Tiger fans spent at athletic events. Today, fans still use $2 bills when attending away games.
Clemson’s original football field now serves as the stadium for men’s and women’s intercollegiate soccer teams.
Campus superstition says that a stroll through President’s Park with your sweetie is a sure sign that an engagement ring is in your future. The legend is, couples who walk hand-in-hand through the park will marry.
Running Down “The Hill”
Called the most exciting 25 seconds in college football, running down “The Hill” began out of practicality: The football team dressed at Fike Field House and ran from there to the gate and down the grassy hill onto the field at the start of each game.
The rock, originally from Death Valley, Calif., was first placed on a pedestal at the top of “The Hill” in 1966, but it did not become tradition until just before a game against Wake Forest on Sept. 23, 1967. Legendary football coach Frank Howard told his players if they gave 110 percent, they could receive the privilege of rubbing the rock. The team won, and now football players rub it for luck as they run down the hill to the cheers of thousands of orange-clad fans.
First Friday Parade
Since 1974, the First Friday Parade has been held the Friday afternoon before the first home football game to celebrate the new football season.
Walk around campus and you’ll see names engraved on the sidewalks underfoot. In the 1950s, graduating seniors began raising money to build sidewalks, imprinting their names and, thereby, their legacy in them. Today, the names of more than 53,000 alumni have been engraved.
In a show of unity and pride, every Friday, students, faculty, staff and alumni everywhere can be found wearing Clemson orange. Go Tigers!
Clemson Ice Cream
In the 1920s, Clemson’s then-departments of dairy science and animal husbandry began making the famously delicious Clemson ice cream. Today, the student-run ’55 Exchange store on campus features this world-renowned, student-made ice cream.
This plantation was home to South Carolina’s pre-eminent 19th-century statesman John C. Calhoun from 1825 to 1858. From 1872 to 1888 it housed Calhoun’s daughter, Anna Maria Calhoun Clemson, and her husband, University founder Thomas Green Clemson.
The anniversary of Clemson University Founder Thomas Green Clemson’s death on April 6, 1888, is commemorated each year with a Founder’s Day ceremony, which includes a prayer service at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in nearby Pendleton where he is buried.
The Clemson Ring
A large “C” surrounds a palmetto tree and sits on a black background. Elements throughout the ring pay tribute to the University’s land-grant and military heritages, along with the motto, “Who shall separate us now?”
Clemson Blue Cheese
Clemson Blue Cheese was first cured in the Stumphouse Tunnel outside Walhalla in 1941 by a Clemson dairy professor who recognized the tunnel’s perfect conditions for curing. In 1958, the curing process was moved to the Agricultural Center in Newman Hall. Today you can buy the blue cheese at the ’55 Exchange store on campus.
Homecoming and Tigerama
The excitement, spirit and enthusiasm of homecoming celebrations have been a Clemson tradition since 1914. During the week preceding the game, student organizations build homecoming displays on Bowman Field. Beginning in 1957, Tigerama — one of the nation’s largest student-run pep rallies — incorporated skits by student groups, fireworks and the crowning of the homecoming queen on the Friday night of homecoming.
Alma Mater Salute
During Clemson’s early military days, freshmen wore rat caps and waved them in the air during every football game. Today, at the conclusion of singing the alma mater, students and alumni still wave their hands in the air with thumbs folded underneath as though holding a cap.