By Sara Ann Hutto ’17
Photography by Sydney Lykins ’19

The front cover, now a faded orange leather, reads “Y.M.C.A.” in large letters and also sports a roaring, golden tiger.

It’s the fall of 1940 in Clemson. The new school year has begun, and despite the war overseas, students are continuing classes as normal. Hints of what’s to come for the small, all-male A&M college are heard on the radio and read in newspapers, but for now, all is routine. To help new students with that routine, The Students’ Handbook is written, published and disseminated throughout campus.

The front cover, now a faded orange leather, reads “Y.M.C.A.” in large letters and also sports a roaring, golden tiger. The editor, Don B. Wentzel, writes in the front of the book, “Having passed the milestones of the freshmen, sophomore, and junior years, I am well aware of the helping hand you will need upon entering this institution. It is my utmost desire that the handbook will be your first friend.” The associate editor is none other than Hoby Holtzendorff, whose father was the general secretary of the old YMCA building, now known as Holtzendorff Hall.

Flipping through the handbook’s pages, the reader will find the college calendar; the alma mater; a welcome letter from President R.F. Poole; college history; information on campus buildings and locations; a directory; tips for freshmen, including chants and traditions; a few pages of blank schedule templates; a military/ROTC section; a YMCA section with “Y” activities; a list of college publications and staff, including The Tiger and Taps; a club section for the various fraternities; an athletics section, complete with sports schedules and cheers; and finally, a foldout campus map pasted to the inside of the back cover. Poems, songs and notes from upperclassmen and faculty are scattered throughout. All of it fits into the palm of one’s hand.

One entry of the handbook worth noting for its humor and simple wisdom is the “Unwritten Laws at Clemson,” found below.


Speaks to every Cadet and every professor at every opportunity.

Leaves the door open while in a room where the occupants are out.

Leaves a note when he borrows something from another’s room.

Never makes rude, insulting, or uncalled for remarks at girls passing barracks, and stays away from windows when not fully dressed.

Learns the college songs and yells as soon as possible.

Thanks the driver who has given him a “lift” and offers to help the driver if he has trouble while the driver is with him.

Dresses neatly, and is a gentleman at all times, in uniform or out.

Never “razzes” a referee or umpire.

Keeps quiet during inter-collegiate boxing bouts.

Keeps silence when in the hospital and library.

Pays his debts.

Respects the principles and regulations of the college.

Comes to attention and holds the salute while “The Star Spangled Banner” or “To The Colors” is being played if in uniform, or if in civilian dress, uncovers and stands at attention.

Respects the rights of others in the theatre by not talking and laughing at the wrong time.

Is always honest in the classroom, regardless of what he may see others doing.

Realizes that someone is making a sacrifice to give him the opportunity to be at Clemson, and consequently makes the use of his time to the best advantage by conscientious work, whether it be in study or leisure; he both plays and works hard.

Sara Ann Hutto ’17 is the assistant editor of Clemson World magazine.