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April 18th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Clemson Transitions From Military To Co-Educational

(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts)

Today’s photos show the stark contrast of what only 9 years did to Clemson in the 1950’s to the 1960’s.

The above picture is from 1952 and shows the Clemson Cadets going through an inspection outside of McCabe Hall. You can see the Trustee House in the background of the picture. You can also notice at the far right of the picture the columns outside of McCabe Hall.

The 1950’s saw 1,500 Clemson Cadets serve in the Korean War, with 20 of those Cadets killed in action. In addition, 180 military veterans enrolled at Clemson in the fall of 1953 at the conclusion of the Korean War.

In 1955, Clemson became a civilian institution while still requiring ROTC for all male freshman and sophomores. Also in 1955, Clemson was renamed “Clemson College”.

The below picture was taken in almost the exact location in 1961…nine years later. As you can see, Clemson is a co-educational institution that has a much different feel to it than the 1952 picture. You can see the Trustee House in the background.

You may also notice something missing on McCabe Hall between the two pictures. The columns in the 1952 picture are now gone in the 1961 picture. I am not sure what happened to them, but the rumor was that the fraternities came and stole them one day!

Clemson was renamed “Clemson University” in 1964, and the ROTC requirement was dropped in 1969. In 1971, ROTC became an elective at Clemson and also became open to women.

(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

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