Is the story of Clemson University as simple as Thomas Green Clemson's dream of a land-grant college coming to reality? There is much more to the story than this public image portrays. Many influential forces have touched Clemson University from its founding to the present day to shape this story, including its location in South Carolina, the different people associated with the university, and the effect of national trends.

    One missing feature is the journey of African Americans in relation to Clemson University, a complicated story with different dimensions and steps along the way.  This land has seen slavery, segregation, and eventually, integration, yet the journey still continues, even until today.

    The University has displayed a public image of "Dignity" in regards to the subject of integration, creating a positive capstone on its dealings with African-Americans. Clemson does not deny that negative events regarding its relations with African Americans have happened in the past; however, this full story has not been infused into the public history of the university. A Renaissance needs to occur, a renewal of knowledge about the full history of the land of Clemson University and the complicated journey of African Americans that has led to an integrated campus today. 

    While there are events that support the image of Dignity, there are also some that contradict it. All dimensions of the story must be acknowledged as part of the full journey, so that we may learn from this history. Knowing the past of the university will help Clemson in the future to deal with similar problems of prejudice and racial barriers as it may apply to faculty or students. As a school, we should foster the critical thinking about history, and that applies to our history too. In addition, if all who love Clemson know its full history, with all the positive and negative components included, then we can create an even better future and not repeat past injustice.


About this site:

This website was created by Kali Kupp, a freshman English Major at Clemson University, for a Final Project
 in the 2013 Honors Seminar "Renaissance at Clemson," taught by Dr. Rhondda Thomas.