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MY CLEMSON: Eric Mac Lain ’15

 

during the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 6, 2015. (Photo by Jason E. Miczek, theACC.com)

Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 6, 2015. (Photo by Jason E. Miczek, theACC.com)

My name is Eric Mac Lain, and this past December, I became a Clemson alumnus. It was a day I thought would never come, but now that I am reflecting on it, I realize it happened in what seemed to be a blink of an eye.

My experiences at Clemson were second to none. I was very fortunate to have been a team captain during our special 2015 football season (14-1), losing only to Alabama in the National Championship. I graduated with a B.S. in health science and was able to start my master’s program in athletic leadership. This past fall, I had the honor of introducing Vice President Joe Biden when he spoke at Clemson.

More important than all of that, I found my future wife at Clemson. We met freshman year because she and my roommate were family friends, and I tagged along to a cookout. We became good friends and started dating two years later. So the phrase Clemson family is very real to me! Her father and other relatives went to Clemson, and both of our brothers now attend Clemson. It is safe to say that orange will run in our bloodlines for many years to come.

There is something special about Clemson that’s not true about every other University. As soon as we aren’t at Clemson or at least nearby, we miss it. I can attest to this because I have been away this spring training for the NFL, and cannot wait to be back in Tiger town.

I’m Eric Mac Lain and this is MY Clemson. CU soon!

You probably saw Eric Mac Lain during the coverage of the Orange Bowl and the National Championship as he was being interviewed by what seemed like every reporter in the country. Click on the photos below to see more about Eric’s life at Clemson.

Arizona: Kemper Brand ’08 and Sarah Brand ’10, M ’11

Kemper and Sarah Brand flew out to Phoenix, AZ, to see the Tigers play for the National Championship! On the morning of the big game, they climbed Camelback Mountain just outside of Phoenix. The awe-inspiring views at the pinnacle made the tough, rugged 1,300-foot ascent well worth it. It was a wonderful part of the travel experience across the country!

 

The Soaring Tiger: Stephen Carlson ’12

This is my husband, Stephen Carlson. Stephen graduated from Clemson University in 2012 with a degree in Audio Technology and completed four years of Army ROTC. After college, Stephen went to flight school for a couple of years and is now a Black Hawk helicopter pilot for the United States Army. Stephen is a dedicated, talented, and proficient pilot and a wonderful husband. We love Clemson and our country. Go Tigers!
-Hillary Carlson ’13

Clemson fans turn Orlando orange for Russell Athletic Bowl

Thousands of Clemson fans came from near and far to cheer the Tigers on at the Russell Athletic Bowl in January. The Alumni Association, IPTAY and the Orlando Clemson Club sponsored a variety of events to welcome the faithful to Orlando.

The night before the game, more than 300 fans invaded Miller’s Ale House for an event sponsored by the Orlando Club. Participants enjoyed live music and a silent auction that raised money for scholarships. Fans also enjoyed a “Pre-Tailgate Tailgate” on game day, sponsored by the club.

The Orlando Club and the Alumni Association found time for some good deeds as well, as they co-hosted a volunteer event during the bowl festivities. Alumni from the local area as well as Tigers traveling from out of town gathered at Clean the World on Sunday to sort donated hygiene products and prepare them for recycling. Clean the World collects and recycles hygiene products discarded by the hospitality industry and distributes them to impoverished people locally and around the world.

FanFest at Russell Athletic Bowl was the site for a ONE Clemson Tailgate before the game, sponsored by IPTAY and the Alumni Association. A live deejay provided entertainment, and President Clements and his family welcomed everyone to Orlando. Fans were able to also enjoy the activities and games put on by FanFest, then walk across the street to cheer on the Tigers.

Those staying at the team hotel got an unexpected treat when they welcomed the team back in a spontaneous “Tiger Walk” in the halls of the hotel. Players walked through a tunnel of fans, punctuated with Cadence Counts and high fives.

Coming Home to Clemson

Fall has arrived in Clemson. A hint of color is beginning to show in the trees, evening temperatures are cooling off (just ever so slightly) and the First Friday Parade has come and gone. Every Friday, but more so on game weekends, traffic picks up as alumni returning to campus cruise down College Avenue with tops down and windows open.

Conversations on the street vary, but at least once in every block, you hear snippets that reference the Study Hall or Capri’s, Chanello’s or the Fashion Shack. Judge Keller’s and Mr. Knickerbocker and the Athletic Department have customers 2-3 deep replacing worn-out t-shirts and sweatshirts, and selecting baby-sized Tiger apparel for new members of the family. Stocking up on items (orange items, that is) that you don’t find just anywhere.

Like everywhere, Clemson has changed over the years, both the campus and the town. With growth in enrollment has come growth on campus — new residence halls, classroom buildings and athletic facilities. In town, restaurants and bars have changed names and menus, and more neighborhoods and apartments are built every year. But if you spend some time here, re-trace your favorite path through campus and stroll down College Avenue and onto side streets, we’re betting you’ll still find a lot of those places that will spark memories and stories your kids have never heard.

So, as you’re making plans for this fall, take time to return to Clemson.

It still feels like home.

10 THINGS NOT TO MISS ON CAMPUS

ICE CREAM IN THE ’55 EXCHANGE: Yes, it’s real Clemson ice cream, even if it’s not sold out of Newman Hall. A double scoop of peach ice cream will still have you drooling before you get your spoon in it. You can get real Clemson blue cheese at the same spot. If you have a yen to see where it all began, you can make it to Stumphouse Tunnel in less than an hour. While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to hike down Issaqueena Falls.

CARILLON GARDEN: Nestled between Sikes and Tillman halls and overlooking the library, Carillon Garden was given to the University by the Class of ’43 and is dedicated as a lasting tribute to the entire class, particularly to those who lost their lives during World War II.

MEMORIAL PARK AND SCROLL OF HONOR: Across from Memorial Stadium, Memorial Park pays tribute to alumni who have served the state and nation in fields ranging from agriculture to the military. The Scroll of Honor is maintained by the Clemson Corps and honors alumni who gave their lives in service to country.

FOOTBALL PRACTICE FACILITY: Dedicated in 2013, this 80,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the football practice fields and indoor track facility includes a full-sized synthetic turf football field.

LIFE SCIENCES BUILDING: Facing Cherry Road, just adjacent to the P&A building, this facility houses researchers in microbiology, biochemistry, food safety and genetics who are collaborating to solve the world’s problems.

HOWARD’S ROCK: Not quite as large as it was originally, the rock now has video surveillance to make sure it doesn’t fall victim to vandals again. Originally from Death Valley, Calif., the rock was first placed on a pedestal at the top of the hill in 1966. Players rub it for luck as they run down the hill before each home game.

PRESIDENT’S PARK: Located in front of the President’s Home and extending through the Azalea Gardens to Sikes Hall, this is one of the most beautiful places on campus. Housed in the park is the President’s Park Rotunda. In conjunction with the Class of 1957, the rotunda was built to portray Clemson’s historical responsibilities of teaching, research and public service.

BOWMAN FIELD: Bring your Frisbee, your football, your blanket or just your best relaxed self. Spend some time on Bowman Field and relive your days on Clemson’s green beach.

WALK DOWN HWY 93 PAST HISTORIC RIGGS FIELD: You can now do that without fearing for your life, thanks to a newly constructed pedestrian walkway.

FORT HILL: Learn a little history while you’re here, and tour Fort Hill, the home of John C. Calhoun and later of his son-in-law, University founder Thomas Green Clemson and his wife Anna Maria. A registered National Historic Landmark, it’s located in the center of campus. Open Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–noon and 1–4:30 p.m., Sun, 2-4:30 p.m.

WHAT’S STILL HERE

Sure, things have changed here — but not everything. Regardless of when you graduated from Clemson, you’ll find an old favorite haunt still open, if updated. Here’s just a sampling:

JUDGE KELLER’S (1899): It’s been in its current location since 1936, and about the only things that have changed are the faces behind the register and the style of the t-shirts.

ESSO CLUB (1933): A service station at its beginning, this was the only place in Clemson where you could sit down and have a beer between 1956–1958. Legend has it that the bar top is made of old stadium seats from Death Valley. In 1997, Sports Illustrated named it one of the top sports bars in the country.

MAC’S DRIVE-IN (1965): Built by the late Mac McKeown ’56, Mac’s is still serving burgers and fries on Pendleton Road. Make sure you ask for a milkshake while you’re there.

M.H. FRANK (1970): Billing themselves as “Updated Traditional Men’s Clothiers,” the folks at M.H. Frank have been making sure Clemson men are ready for every occasion for more than 40 years.

PIXIE & BILL’S (1971): Offering steak, prime rib and seafood, it’s been called “Clemson’s original fine dining establishment.” Co-eds used to say that a trip to Pixie and Bill’s (or its sister restaurant Calhoun Corners) was a sign that a relationship was getting serious.

MR. KNICKERBOCKER (1973): Opened as a men’s clothier in 1973, the store shifted to carry fraternity and sorority apparel as well as Clemson merchandise and hand-sewn jerseys.

TIGER SPORTS SHOP (1974): Opened by legendary soccer coach I.M. Ibrahim, the store grew from selling shoes to offering a wide range of Clemson apparel and memorabilia.

ALLEN’S CREATIONS (1976): Begun in Trent Allen’s basement, it’s been in the current location since 1988, providing art prints and framing for all things Clemson.

TIGER TOWN TAVERN (1977): It’s expanded since it opened in the 1970s to include outside seating and a second-floor private club, but you can still play a game of pool while you catch up with friends.

NICK’S (1976): Opened by Nick Vatakis and Milton Antonakos on the site of what used to be Pat Belew’s Gold Nugget, Nick’s is now owned/managed by Esther Revis-Wagner and her husband Ken, a retired biology
professor.

COLUMBOS’ (1984): Tucked behind the National Guard Armory on Pendleton Road, Columbo’s has been serving Chicago-style pizza and calzones since the early 1980s.

TDS (1988): Offering daily specials plus a “meat and three” for lunch, TDs also is the spot for occasional live music on the weekends.

TIGERTOWN GRAPHICS (1988): There’s a good chance your student group got their shirts designed and printed here.

VARIETY & FRAME (1992): Specializing in custom-designed diploma frames, Variety & Frame also offers a wide range of Clemson memorabilia and art supplies.

POT BELLY DELI (1994): Tucked behind the Rite Aid on Wall Street, Pot Belly almost always has a line of students waiting for sandwiches or a breakfast burrito.

SARDI’S DEN (1994): Started by Louis and Gale Sardinas in 1994, Sardi’s was purchased by alums Irv Harrington and Mike McHenry in 1995. Sardi’s specializes in ribs but has a host of daily specials.

BLUE HERON (2002): Serving steaks, seafood and sushi, Blue Heron also has a downstairs bar with daily specials and live entertainment.

MELLOW MUSHROOM (2000): It’s part of the chain, but doesn’t really feel like it since it occupies the former Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house, which was condemned in 1999. Creative remodeling and a sense of humor combined for the current interior design.

SMOKIN’ PIG (2009): Only open Thursday–Saturday, this family-owned barbecue spot has quickly become a Clemson tradition.

10 FUN THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU’RE IN CLEMSON

Play a round of golf at the 18-hole championship JOHN E. WALKER SR. GOLF COURSE, with its signature Tiger Paw hole. Call 864-656-0236 to set up a tee time.

Spend an afternoon at the SOUTH CAROLINA BOTANICAL GARDEN (take a picnic). Almost 300 acres, it includes formal and informal gardens, woodlands, ponds, walking trails and garden structures such as the nature-based sculpture program. Pick up a map at the Fran Hanson Discovery Center.

The “90 MINUTES BEFORE KICK-OFF CONCERT.” Tiger Band leads this pep rally in the amphitheater before every game. Then head over for Tiger Walk to cheer on the football team as they arrive.

Sit in a swing at ABERNATHY PARK overlooking Hartwell Lake. Built in 2004 to honor the late Clemson mayor (and Clemson professor), Larry Abernathy, the park includes walkways, boardwalks, picnic tables and boat docks.

STUMPHOUSE TUNNEL AND ISSAQUEENA FALLS (or broaden out and check out the other waterfalls close by). It’s worth the drive to see the birthplace of Clemson Blue Cheese.

HIKE THE FOOTHILLS TRAIL. Not the entire 76 miles from Table Rock State Park to Oconee State Park, but you can find sections that range from easy to strenuous. The University has been involved since its inception, and students recently constructed an accessible viewing platform at Sassafras Mountain, the highest point in S.C. Map of Foothills trail.

Take a hike or a bike ride in the EXPERIMENTAL FOREST. It’s large: 17,500 acres dedicated to education, research and demonstration. There are trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. See maps and pdfs of the Clemson Experimental Forest trails and waterfalls at clemson.edu/cafls/cef/maps_of_trails.html.

Take a picture under the CENTENNIAL OAK, the largest bur oak in South Carolina and believed to be more than 100 years old. Four feet shorter than it was in 1988, it’s considered “over mature.” That means you need to take your picture this year, not next.

Wander through CEMETERY HILL. It’s a favorite place to tailgate, and it’s full of Clemson history. If you’re a cemetery buff, you might find some headstones worth a rubbing. Take a virtual tour.

If it’s GAME DAY, get to campus early and enjoy the excitement. There’s nothing like it anywhere else.

 

The lasting imprint of the Paw

President Barker's view from his office in Sikes Hall

President Barker’s view from his office in Sikes Hall

From my second-floor office window in Sikes Hall, I look down every day on Bowman Field and a giant orange Tiger Paw painted on the road at the intersection of Old Greenville Highway and Calhoun Drive. You can see it, too, on a live webcam at clemson.edu.

From all points on the globe, alumni send us photos of themselves holding Tiger Rags and Tiger Paw flags. The backdrop may be the Eiffel Tower, a glacier in Alaska or a fighter jet on a dusty runway in Afghanistan, but the people are always smiling. You can see these photos, too, in this and every issue of Clemson World magazine and throughout the social media world.

Wherever Marcia and I travel, our Tiger Paw shirts and caps and lapel pins are recognized by strangers. They also smile and say: “You’re from Clemson!”

These are the measures of a successful graphic design.

The Tiger Paw is universally acknowledged as the most recognizable logo in all of college sports. It has helped define Clemson athletics and Clemson University for more than four decades. It has brought joy to thousands of alumni and fans.

The evolution of a symbol

The paragraphs above were read aloud from a message I sent to Arlene Antonio, the wife of the late John Antonio, at his memorial service in June. John and his talented team at Henderson Advertising had created the Tiger Paw logo for Clemson.

On behalf of the Clemson Family, I was proud to express our gratitude for the excellent work they did on our behalf.

More literal representations of tiger mascots — even cartoon versions — come and go in style. Some are ferocious and intimidating, others are cuddly and lovable. The Paw, on the other hand, is ageless.

The Clemson Tiger Paw is as fresh today as it was when it was introduced in 1970. As a designer myself, I can appreciate the skill it took to create such a successful, enduring piece of graphic art.

As an alumnus and Clemson’s 14th president, however, I have come to appreciate its symbolic power.

The Paw has evolved from an athletics logo into a university symbol. Why? Because the Tiger Paw managed to capture something essential about the “One Clemson” spirit. It is beloved by all and we are united, as a community, by that simple affection.

It also represents not only our ferocious power, but the lasting imprint Clemson folks leave upon the world as we pass by.

Go Tigers!

James F. Barker, FAIA
President