Clemson University

Clemson University
Clemson University
Established 1889
Type Public
Endowment $382.2 million (FY 2010)[1]
President James F. Barker
Provost Doris R. "Dori" Helms
Academic staff 1,398[2]
Undergraduates 15,459 (Fall 2010)[3]
Postgraduates 3,994 (Fall 2010)[3]
Location Clemson, South Carolina, United States
34°40′42″N 82°50′21″W / 34.67833°N 82.83917°W / 34.67833; -82.83917Coordinates: 34°40′42″N 82°50′21″W / 34.67833°N 82.83917°W / 34.67833; -82.83917
Campus Rural
17,000 acres (6,880 ha)
Former names Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina
Colors           Clemson Orange and Regalia[4]
Athletics NCAA Division I, Atlantic Coast Conference (17 teams)
Nickname Clemson Tigers
Mascot The Tiger
Logo of Clemson University

Clemson University (pronounced /ˈklɛmsən/[5]) is an American public, coeducational, land-grant, sea-grant, research university located in Clemson, South Carolina.

Founded in 1889, the university is academically divided into five colleges: Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; Architecture, Arts and Humanities; Business and Behavioral Sciences; Engineering and Science; and Health, Education and Human Development.[6]

As of the year 2011, Clemson University enrolled a total of 15,346 undergraduate students for the spring semester and 3,743 graduate students. [7]

The cost of in-state tuition is about $11,078 and out-of-state tuition is $25,388. [8]

Clemson University has a 16:1 student faculty ratio. [8]



Fort Hill was the home of John C. Calhoun and later Thomas Green Clemson and is located at the center of the university campus.

Thomas Green Clemson, the university's founder, came to the foothills of South Carolina in 1838, when he married Anna Maria Calhoun, daughter of John C. Calhoun, a South Carolina statesman and seventh U.S. Vice President.[9] When Clemson died on April 6, 1888, he left most of his estate, which he inherited from his wife, in his will to be used to establish a college that would teach scientific agriculture and the mechanical arts to South Carolinians.[10] His decision was largely influenced by South Carolina Governor Benjamin Tillman. Tillman strongly lobbied the South Carolina General Assembly to create the school as an agricultural institution for the state and in the end, the resolution to accept Clemson's gift and create the institution passed by only one vote.

In November 1889, South Carolina Governor John Peter Richardson III signed the bill, thus establishing the Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina. As a result, federal funds for agricultural education were transferred from South Carolina College to Clemson.[9] (See Hatch Act of 1887 and Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act.)

Clemson Agricultural College formally opened in July 1893 with an initial enrollment of 446. From its beginning, the college was an all-white male military school. The school remained this way until 1955 when it changed to "civilian" status for students and became a coeducational institution.

In 1963, the school admitted its first African-American student, future Charlotte, North Carolina, mayor Harvey Gantt.[11] In 1964, the college was renamed Clemson University as the state legislature formally recognized the school's expanded academic offerings and research pursuits.[12]


Enrollment (Fall 2010)[13]
College Total Enrollment
College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences 3,512
College of Arts, Architecture, and Humanities 2,433
College of Business and Behavioral Sciences 4,664
College of Engineering and Science 5,669
College of Health, Education, and Human Development 3,039


The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies the university as more selective,[14] since the university admitted less than fifty-five percent of those who applied to be freshmen in 2006.[15][16] When admitting freshmen, the university places emphasis on the rigor of high-school study and scores on standardized tests, SAT or ACT. The university also considers class rank, extracurricular activities, and an optional personal statement. The average incoming freshman had a combined SAT score of 1220 and a high-school weighted grade-point average (GPA) of 3.99 in 2010.[17] In 2008, admission was the most competitive in university history.

It had over 15,000 applications for its freshman class of approximately 2,800 students. It was especially competitive for out-of-state students in that it is a state-supported institution. Of those 15,000+ applications, over 10,000 were from outside of South Carolina; however, a little over 1,000 freshmen from other states gained admission.[18]

Research and rankings

University rankings (overall)
Forbes[19] 338
U.S. News & World Report[20] 64
Washington Monthly[21] 62
ARWU[22] 301–400
QS[23] none
Times[24] 551–600
Cooper Library and the Reflection Pool - in addition to its aesthetic appeal, the 1,960,000 gallon reflecting pool also serves as a heat exchange for the cooling systems of several academic buildings.[25]

The university has undertaken an endeavor to become a "Top 20" public institution, undergoing a process of enhancing its graduate programs while continuing to emphasize the quality of the undergraduate experience. It has steadily moved up the rankings for public universities from 34,[26] to 30,[27] to 27,[28] to 22[28] in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 respectively: according to the U.S. News & World Report. For 2011, US News & World Report ranked Clemson as the 23rd best public national university in the country.[28] For the year 2012, Clemson ranks number 25th for top public schools in the country according to U.S. News & World Report.[29]

As part of its push to enhance graduate-level education, several new Ph.D. programs have been created including interdisciplinary doctoral programs in Rhetoric and Planning, Design, and the Built Environment (formerly Environmental Design and Planning). Also noteworthy is a new master's degree in historic preservation, jointly offered in collaboration with the College of Charleston.

The university's currently most ambitious academic and research endeavor is the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR).[30] The CU-ICAR is a 250-acre (101 ha) automotive and motorsports research campus located in nearby Greenville, South Carolina. ICAR will include a graduate school offering master's and doctoral degrees in automotive engineering, and offering programs focused on systems integration. The campus also includes an Information Technology Research Center being developed by BMW. BMW, Microsoft, IBM, Bosch, The Timken Company and Michelin are all major corporate partners of the CU-ICAR. Private-sector companies that have committed so far to establishing offices and/or facilities on the campus include the Society of Automotive Engineers and Timken. Plans for the campus also include a full-scale, four-vehicle capacity rolling-road model wind tunnel.

In 2004 the Restoration Institute was founded. Its mission is to "advance knowledge in integrative approaches to the restoration of historic, ecological, and urban infrastructure resources." The institute is located in North Charleston and subsume the Hunley Commission that is currently undertaking the stabilization of the H.L. Hunley, the world's first submarine to sink a ship.

In 2011, The Princeton Review ranked Clemson #1 for town-gown relations are great, #2 for happiest students, #2 for jock schools, #3 for everyone plays intramural sports, #8 for students pack the stadiums, and #9 for best career services.[31]

Student life


The university offers club, intramural, and varsity sports. Its nineteen varsity men's and women's sports teams compete in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I as the Clemson Tigers. The most-prominent athletics facilities on campus are Memorial Stadium, Littlejohn Coliseum, Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Historic Riggs Field, and Fike Recreation Center. Clemson has won four national championships including football (1981), two in men's soccer (1984 and 1987), and men's golf (2003).

Two-dollar bills

It has been a university tradition dating from September 24, 1977, for the school's fans to spend two-dollar bills on away-game trips. This began when the school played Georgia Tech "for the last time" as Tech refused to travel to Clemson. Of the seventeen games played between Tech and Clemson between 1953 and 1977, only once, in 1974, did the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets deign to come to Death Valley (Memorial Stadium). To show the Atlanta business community how much money Clemson fans contributed to the local economy which would not be coming to town anymore, Tiger fans spent vast quantities of two-dollar bills, many of them stamped with "Tiger Paws". This was the start of Clemson's two-dollar bill tradition, which was very popular in the 1980s and 1990s, but has waned since then.[32][unreliable source?][33]

Fight song

The university's fight song is the jazz standard, the "Tiger Rag", played by the Clemson University Tiger Band.[34]

Fraternity and sorority life

The newly renovated Fraternity Quad.

The university's fraternities and sororities system (or Greek system) is somewhat different from other large universities in the southern U.S. in that there are no Greek houses on campus as interfraternity activity did not begin until 1970 following the abolishing of the military cadre requirements at the university. There are residence halls designated for fraternities and sororities, but there are no traditional Greek houses on campus. However, there are a few fraternity houses off campus not too far from the college.The Fraternity Quad on campus (consisting of seven fraternity and sorority halls) is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The remaining sorority's on-campus housing is located on the other end of campus in what is commonly referred to as "the horseshoe" in Smith and Barnett Halls.

The College Panhellenic Council Chapters at Clemson University include Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Kappa, and Zeta Tau Alpha.[35] The Interfraternity Council Chapters include Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Kappa Lambda, Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Theta Pi, Chi Psi, Delta Chi, Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Alpha Order, Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Kappa Tau, Phi Sigma Kappa, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Pi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Tau Kappa Epsilon.[36]

As of the 2010-2011 school year there are twenty IFC Fraternities, eleven NPC Sororities, and nine NPHC Chapters, which make up approximately 20 percent of the undergraduate student body.[37] In the Spring of 2011, there were 3,370 students involved in greek life, which is about 23% of the 14,531 undergraduate students. Also, the mean GPA of each sorority was above the all university mean.[38]

To see more on Fraternity and Sorority life see Clemson University Greeklife

Military heritage

Clemson's rich military history is very conspicuous on campus.

Although the university became a coeducational civilian institution in 1955, it still maintains an active military presence. The university is home to detachments for U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) as well as a host school for the U.S. Marine Corps PLC program adjacent to the Semper Fi Society.

In addition to students from the university, these organizations also serve students from Anderson University, Southern Wesleyan University, and Tri-County Technical College. The following organizations are present among the military personnel at Clemson:[39]

The university's AAS squadron was selected to be home of Arnold Air Society's National Headquarters for the 2005–2006 year, and again for the 2006–2007 year. This is the first time is AAS's history that any university has served as national headquarters two years in a row.[40]

The C-4 Pershing Rifles have won the national society's drill meet eight times: 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011.[40] Company C-4 also performs colorguards, twenty-one-gun salutes, exhibition-drill performances, and POW/MIA ceremonies. Company C-4 performs colorguard performance at the university's home football games. In addition to the C-4 drill company, the university is the former home of the 4th Regimental Headquarters (4RHQ), the National Headquarters for the Junior ROTC level of Pershing Rifles (BlackJacks) and the Co-ed Auxiliary for Pershing Rifles (CAPeRs).

Its Air Force ROTC Detachment 770 "Flyin' Tigers" was selected as the #1 "medium-sized" Air Force ROTC detachment in the nation for 2006 (the "High Flight" and "Right of Line" awards), #1 Detachment in the "Southeast" in 2006 ("medium-sized") and 2007 ("large-sized"), and #1 in the state of South Carolina (out of three — University of South Carolina and The Citadel) three consecutive years (2005, 2006 and 2007).

The university has also developed a group of Marines and Marine Officer Candidates within an organization called the Semper Fi Society. The society is not associated with the ROTC, but can lead to a commission into the U.S. Marine Corps via the Platoon Leaders Course program.

Notable alumni

  • David Beasley, South Carolina governor (1995–1999). Beasley ran for the South Carolina State House while a student at Clemson and transferred to the University of South Carolina upon taking office, from which he went on to graduate with a bachelor's degree and law degree.
  • Kris Benson, baseball player
  • Robert H. Brooks, founder of Hooters of America, Inc.
  • Jonathan Byrd, PGA Golfer
  • James F. Byrnes, U.S. Congressman, Senator, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1941–1942), Secretary of State (1945–1947), Governor of South Carolina (1951–1955), and confidant of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A dormitory on the eastern part of the university's campus is named after Byrnes. While not a graduate of Clemson, Byrnes was a Life Trustee of Clemson University (appointed in 1941).
  • Brian Dawkins, professional football player, Denver Broncos free safety and 8 time Pro-Bowler.
  • Lt.Col. Jimmie Dyess, of the United States Marine Corps, the only person in history to earn both the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Carnegie Medal of Honor. Annually, the Semper Fi Society on campus holds a 5K in the Spring to honor LtCol Dyess and those Marines that served from Clemson.
  • Lucas Glover, PGA Golfer, 2009 US Open Champion
  • Nikki Haley, current Governor of South Carolina.
  • Stuart Holden, played soccer for the university until being signed with the Sunderland U.K. club in March 2005; played for the U.S. team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and currently plays for the Bolton Wanderers U.K. club
  • Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney, United States Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines. She received a Bachelors degree in Political Science from Clemson University. She was nominated by George W. Bush on November 3, 2005, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 16, 2006, and sworn in to office by Secretary Condoleezza Rice on March 6, 2006. On March 17, Kenney arrived in the Philippines to assume her duties as the first female ambassador to this former U.S. colony in Asia.
  • Nancy O'Dell, American television host and entertainment journalist.
  • Oguchi Onyewu, professional soccer player, currently plays for Sporting CP and is part of the US national team
  • William "Refrigerator" Perry, former NFL defensive lineman 3-time NCAA All-American (1982-1984)
  • Jim Speros, formerly the majority owner of UFL Norfolk; served on coaching staffs of the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills in the 1980s. Won a Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins; youngest assistant coach in NFL history; played linebacker at the university from 1978 to 1981; member of the championship winning 1981 Clemson Tigers football team.
  • C.J. Spiller, football player, Buffalo Bills running back and #9 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft
  • Strom Thurmond, U.S. Senator from South Carolina who was the longest-serving Senator in U.S. history.
  • David H. Wilkins graduated from Clemson cum laude in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in history. He attended the school as an undergraduate on a tennis scholarship. Wilkins was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1981 and was elected Speaker Pro Tempore in 1992. After the elections of 1994, Wilkins was elected Speaker of the House; the first Republican Speaker in the South since Reconstruction. Wilkins had many legislative accomplishments during his tenure as Speaker, including welfare reform, property tax reform, tort reform and finding a compromise to remove the Confederate Flag from atop the statehouse dome. On April 27, 2005, President George W. Bush nominated him to be the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.

Notable faculty

  • David Reinking, Eugene T. Moore Professor of Education (since 2003); co-editor of Reading Research Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal published by the International Reading Association
  • John W. Huffman, Research Professor of Chemistry and creator of many synthetic cannabinoid compounds, including JWH-018, one of the main ingredients in Spice (drug).[41]

See also


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2010 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2009 to FY 2010". National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original on 5 September 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Faculty By Rank and Tenure for 2010". Clemson University Factbook and Data Center. Archived from the original on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Enrollment by Level 2010". Clemson University Factbook and Data Center. Archived from the original on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Clemson Color Palette". 
  5. ^ The pronunciation of Clemson varies. The consonant written ‹s› may be either /z/ or /s/, in which case many insert a [p] between the two syllables. Because of the pin–pen merger, many locals use [ɪ] as the first vowel.
  6. ^ "The University Today — Clemson University". Archived from the original on April 28, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Clemson University | Best College | US News". Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  8. ^ a b "Clemson University Statistics". College Prowler. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  9. ^ a b "History of Clemson University". History of Clemson University. Clemson University. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Thomas Green Clemson 200 - The Will." Clemson University. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Harvey Gantt and the Desegregation of Clemson University; an Online version of an exhibit presented by the Library in conjunction with "Integration With Dignity: A Celebration of 40 Years" on January 28, 2003". Retrieved January 21, 2011. 
  12. ^ "The History of Clemson University". Retrieved June 20, 2007. 
  13. ^ "Enrollment by College for 2010". Clemson University Factbook and Data Center. Archived from the original on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Carnegie Classifications of Clemson University". Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Retrieved June 20, 2007. 
  15. ^ "U.S. News Rankings Top National Schools". Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  16. ^ "Clemson Freshman Admissions Data".
  17. ^ "University Fact Book". Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  18. ^ {}
  19. ^ "America's Best Colleges". Forbes. 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  20. ^ "National Universities Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2012. U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  21. ^ "The Washington Monthly National University Rankings". The Washington Monthly. 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities: Global". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  23. ^ "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Top 400 - The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-2012". The Times Higher Education. 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Reflection pond". ClemsonWiki. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  26. ^ U.S. News & World Report. August 28, 2005. pp. 111–115. 
  27. ^ U.S. News & World Report. August 29, 2006. pp. 80–84. 
  28. ^ a b c U.S. News & World Report. August 27, 2007. 
  29. ^ "Top Public Schools | Rankings | Top National Universities | US News". Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  30. ^ "Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR)". Retrieved June 20, 2007. 
  31. ^ "Clemson University." 2011. The Princeton Review. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  32. ^ "1977". ClemsonWiki. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  33. ^ Blackman, Sam; Bradley, Bob; and Kriese, Chuck (2001). Clemson: Where The Tigers Play. Sports Publishing, L.L.C. (Champaign, Illinois. Page 144. ISBN 1-58261-369-9.
  34. ^ "Traditions." Clemson University. 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  35. ^ "Chapters". Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  36. ^ "Clemson IFC - Fraternities". Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  37. ^ "Clemson Greek Life". Retrieved January 1, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Clemson University Fraternity and Sorority Life." Clemson Greek Life. Clemson University, 2011. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <>.
  39. ^ "List of Student Organizations". Retrieved June 20, 2007. 
  40. ^ a b "Student Achievements". Retrieved June 20, 2007. 
  41. ^ Wang, Linda (June 28, 2010). "C&EN Talks With John W. Huffman". Chemical & Engineering News 88 (26): 43. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 

External links

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