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March 26th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Mother’s Day On Bowman Field In 1953
(Photo Uploaded By Alan Cutts)

This photo was taken in the last years of Clemson being a military school in the spring of 1953 on Mother's Day. Mother's Day was traditionally a very big event for the cadets and their families.

In 1949 Tiger Brotherhood began a tradition of awarding Mother Of The Year to a Clemson mother during Military presentations on Mother’s Day on Bowman Field. In 1949, the first year of this tradition, Tiger Brotherhood announced that Mrs. P.S. Rochester had been named Clemson's first Mother of the Year.

According to The Tiger newspaper article from May 5, 1949, she was chosen because she had more sons (six) graduate from Clemson than anyone else to that date.

For many years this award was given during the annual Mother's Day celebration and parade which was one of the college's most attended events on campus.

In this picture from 1953, over 12,000 people attended the event. The college dropped its mandatory military status in 1955 and in 1957 the Mother's Day festivities were changes to an all-college open house.

You cas see that Bowman Field, facing from Tillman Hall towards College Avenue, is jam packed full of Cadets and families.

Today, this award is given during a Clemson home game during the football season.

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

The C-4 Pershing Rifles have won the national society's drill meet eight times: 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011. 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.

(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”).

Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

credit to clemsontigers.com and clemson.edu.

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