Photography by Lisa Car, GC Undergraduate and Erica Walker, GC Faculty
Written by Jason Palmer, GC Graduate Student
There are three certainties in football: a Clemson University win, an opponent loss, and Homecoming. Being a part of numerous Homecomings, I’ve seen it all. But, basically it’s a swarm of people celebrating the return of their school’s football team. However, this Homecoming was different. You could feel it in the air like the mist after a thorough screen cleaning with the power washer. The sun appeared to shine a little bit brighter. Dr. Ingram seemed to smile a little bit bigger. And Mr. Rose seemed to crack a few more jokes. This time it meant a whole lot more. It wasn’t just a celebration; it was tradition. And it was clear to the student body, especially to those who call the halls of Godfrey, “home,” that Homecoming had arrived. But this year, they were in for a real treat, because something else was brewing on the ground level of Tillman Hall.
The graphic communications (GC) faculty and Mrs. Walker in particular, had something else planned for their unassuming students, something of an epic nature. They would adjust the Homecoming tailgating celebration of year’s past to be more inclusive. Rather, than holding an event for faculty and alumni, they would open it up to the school’s students and families. While previous years saw a substantial turnout, this change also proved successful with a high traffic volume and an increased attendance. Mrs. Walker thought this was the ideal opportunity to serve the public, strengthen community membership, promote GC, and root, root, root for the home team. But with the clock running out, she knew she couldn’t pull it off alone. She required a team effort, so she requested the help of many an able-bodied graduate student.
We huddled up and designed a game plan. Tackling this event meant unlocking the Godfrey doors and powering the presses. Besides common tailgating activities like food, drinks, and fun, we would give the power to the people. Since, we believe there really is something special in these halls, we would allow attendees to freely walk the Godfrey facility. Apart from actually printing, we thought this was the best way to soak up the magic we call print. However, in true GC style, we wanted to give attendees the complete experience. That’s right; we allowed people to get their hands dirty by printing T-shirts and stickers. Manning the Comco press with all his might, Nathan Plavnick showed attendees what flexography and printing stickers was all about. Along with this, he hyped them up for a soon-to-be victory against the Demon Deacons with motivational stickers saying, “We Too Deep,” and “Welcome to Death Valley.” Meanwhile, on the other side of Godfrey, Mrs. Edlein, Caralea Wilson, Abbey Rugola, and Sisi Guo were giving demonstrations on the carousel screen printing press and allowing attendees to print T-shirts and Tiger Rags. With an array of unique Clemson inspired designs, it was difficult for people to settle for just one. That’s why most people printed a number of items with different designs. With their school regalia in hand, we’re positive people represented the orange and purple with pride and, of course, good fashion.
Overall, the event was a tremendous success. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the quick and precise coordination between the GC department and its student body. It was not only an indication of the kind of relationships seen between teachers and students in the GC program, but it was a testament to the kind of solidarity found at Clemson University. Here, we’re not just a number. We’re much more than that. Like our Tigers, the 3rd ranked team in the nation, we all come together to make up a team, from an elite program at one of the greatest universities in the world. More importantly, we’re a contributing force to the community’s success for generations to come.
And finally, if you missed it this year, you can certainly count on a similar event next season when we welcome home our school’s football team with another celebration on the steps of Godfrey Hall.