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March 25th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Earle Hall In The 1960’s

(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts)

Today we will look at a series of photos and stories about Earle Hall and the Chemical Enigneering program at Clemson. Today’s first photo is of Earle Hall, taken in the 1960’s.

Earle Hall was built in 1959, and is the first building on campus to be named after a living person. Dedicated as the chemical engineering building in 1959, Earle is home to intense research in chemical and biochemical separations, kinetics and catalysts, molecular modeling and simulation, polymers, fibers and films, and supercritical fluids.

Earle Hall is named for Samuel B. "Sam" Earle, who served Clemson for 40 years as head of the Engineering Department and Experiment Station. He also served as acting president in 1919, as well as in 1924-1925. Sam Earle celebrated his 100th birthday before his death in 1978.

Chemical Engineering was first introduced as a course of study at Clemson in the 1917-1918 academic year. There was no Chemical Engineering department or faculty; the curriculum was drawn from courses in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Metallurgy, and Economics.

In 1958, Clemson received a grant of $1.175 million from the Olin Foundation to construct a building and purchase chemical engineering equipment. Prof. Littlejohn played a large role in getting Earle Hall built. Prior to 1958, the Olin Foundation limited its building gifts to one per institution; however, Earle Hall was the second building that the Olin Foundation funded at Clemson University.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Samuel Broadus Earle Building was held on September 27, 1958.

The first Ph.D. in Engineering was awarded to Jerry A. Caskey in 1965, a student under Bill Barlage.

The first female to graduate with a degree in Chemical Engineering from Clemson was Susan Glen Herrington, class of 1970.

On February 2, 2005, the name of the department was changed from the Department of Chemical Engineering to the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering.

Now to another picture of Earle Hall. In the 1980’s, a humorous prank took place to rearrange the letters on the outside of Earle Hall. Rumor has it that a graduate student was kicked out of school for this prank.

Today, many Clemson fans park in the spaces that are right outside Earle Hall for football games. For some of these fans, they are tailgating directly outside a building that they spent many days coming in and out of while getting their engineering degree.
Scott Rhymer can be reached at

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