|Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina|
|Endowment||$623.2 million (FY 2014)|
|President||James P. Clements|
|Provost||Robert H. Jones|
|Location||Clemson, South Carolina, United States
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17,000 acres (6,880 ha)
|Colors||Clemson Orange and Regalia|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I – ACC|
|Sports||17 varsity teams|
|Logo of Clemson University|
Founded in 1889, Clemson University consists of six colleges: Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; Architecture, Arts and Humanities; Business and Behavioral Sciences; Engineering and Science; Health and Human Development; and Education. As of 2015, Clemson University enrolled a total of 18,016 undergraduate students for the fall semester and 4,682 graduate students and the student/faculty ratio is 16:1. The cost of in-state tuition and fees is about $13,882 and out-of-state tuition and fees is $32,800. US News and World Report ranks Clemson University 21st among all "national" public universities.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 2.1 Admissions
- 2.2 Research and rankings
- 2.3 Colleges and schools
- 2.3.1 College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences
- 2.3.2 College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities
- 2.3.3 College of Business and Behavioral Sciences
- 2.3.4 College of Engineering and Science
- 2.3.5 College of Health and Human Development
- 2.3.6 Calhoun Honors College
- 2.3.7 Eugene T. Moore School of Education
- 2.3.8 Graduate School
- 3 Student life
- 4 Traditions
- 5 Public safety
- 6 Notable alumni
- 7 Notable faculty
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Thomas Green Clemson, the university's founder, came to the foothills of South Carolina in 1838, when he married Anna Maria Calhoun, daughter of John C. Calhoun, a South Carolina statesman and seventh U.S. Vice President. When Clemson died on April 6, 1888, he left most of his estate, which he inherited from his wife, in his will to be used to establish a college that would teach scientific agriculture and the mechanical arts to South Carolinians. His decision was largely influenced by future South Carolina Governor Benjamin Tillman. Tillman lobbied the South Carolina General Assembly to create the school as an agricultural institution for the state and the resolution passed by only one vote.
In his will, Clemson explicitly stated that he wanted the school to be modeled after what is now Mississippi State University: "This institution, I desire, to be under the control and management of a board of trustees, a part of whom are hereinafter appointed, and to be modeled after the Agricultural College of Mississippi as far as practicable."
In November 1889, South Carolina Governor John Peter Richardson III signed the bill, thus establishing the Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina. As a result, federal funds for agricultural education from the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act and the Hatch Act of 1887 were transferred from South Carolina College to Clemson.
Clemson Agricultural College formally opened in July 1893 with an initial enrollment of 446. From its beginning, the college was an all-white male military school. The school remained this way until 1955, at which time it changed to "civilian" status for students and became a coeducational institution.
In 1963, the school admitted its first African-American student, future Charlotte, North Carolina mayor Harvey Gantt. In 1964, the college was renamed Clemson University as the state legislature formally recognized the school's expanded academic offerings and research pursuits.
|College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences||3,930|
|College of Arts, Architecture, and Humanities||2,215|
|College of Business and Behavioral Sciences||4,993|
|College of Engineering and Science||7,167|
|College of Health, Education, and Human Development||2,838|
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies the university as more selective, since the university admitted less than fifty-five percent of those who applied to be freshmen in 2006.
Clemson University emphasizes on the rigor of high-school study and standardized test scores, either SAT or ACT. The university also considers class rank, extracurricular activities, and an optional personal statement. The average incoming freshman had a combined SAT score of 1220 and a high-school weighted grade-point average (GPA) of 3.99 in 2010. In 2008, admission was the most competitive in university history.
Clemson University had over 15,000 applications for its freshman class of approximately 2,800 students. It was especially competitive for out-of-state students, in that it is a state-supported institution. Of those 15,000+ applications, over 10,000 were from outside of South Carolina; however, a little over 1,000 freshmen from other states gained admission.
Research and rankings
|U.S. News & World Report||61|
The university endeavors to become a "Top 20" public institution, undergoing a process of enhancing its graduate programs while continuing to emphasize the quality of the undergraduate experience. It has steadily moved up the rankings for public universities from 34, to 30, to 27, to 22 in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 respectively: according to the U.S. News & World Report. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked Clemson as the 25th top public school in the US, and in 2015 the ranking improved to a tie for 21st.
However, some have questioned Clemson's efforts to improve its rankings. In 2009, an administrator revealed that "Clemson manipulated class sizes, artificially boosted faculty salary data and gave rival schools low grades in the rankings' peer reputation survey", with the goal of manipulating its U.S. News & World Report ranking. Since then the administrator retracted some of her statements and the university denied any wrongdoing.
The renowned economist Robert Tollison joined the Clemson faculty in August 2008. As part of its push to enhance graduate-level education, several new Ph.D. programs have been created including interdisciplinary doctoral programs in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design (RCID), and Planning, Design, and the Built Environment (formerly Environmental Design and Planning). Also noteworthy is a new master's degree in historic preservation, jointly offered in collaboration with the College of Charleston.
The university's currently most ambitious academic and research endeavor is the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). The CU-ICAR is a 250-acre (101 ha) automotive and motorsports research campus located in nearby Greenville, South Carolina. ICAR will include a graduate school offering master's and doctoral degrees in automotive engineering, and offering programs focused on systems integration. The campus also includes an Information Technology Research Center being developed by BMW. BMW, Microsoft, IBM, Bosch, The Timken Company and Michelin are all major corporate partners of the CU-ICAR. Private-sector companies that have committed so far to establishing offices and/or facilities on the campus include the Society of Automotive Engineers and Timken. Plans for the campus also include a full-scale, four-vehicle capacity rolling-road model wind tunnel.
In 2004 the Restoration Institute was founded. Its mission is to "advance knowledge in integrative approaches to the restoration of historic, ecological, and urban infrastructure resources." The institute is located in North Charleston and subsume the Hunley Commission that is currently undertaking the stabilization of the H.L. Hunley, the world's first submarine to sink a ship. As of 2013, the institute is constructing a 7.5MW and a 15MW wind turbine test facility for $100 million, to open on November 21.
In 2011, The Princeton Review ranked Clemson #1 for town-gown relations are great, #2 for happiest students, #2 for jock schools, #3 for everyone plays intramural sports, #8 for students pack the stadiums, and #9 for best career services.
In 2015, Clemson University broke ground on the Zucker Family Graduate Education Center in the City of North Charleston. The 70,000 sq.ft. facility is estimated to cost more than $22 million.
Colleges and schools
In July 1955, the four schools that made up Clemson ― Agriculture, Arts & Sciences, Engineering and Textiles ― were transformed into nine colleges: Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Commerce and Industry, Education, Engineering, Forestry and Recreation Resources, and Nursing. This structure was used by the university until 1995 when the university's nine colleges were condensed into five: Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences; Architecture, Arts, and Humanities; Business and Behavioral Science; Engineering and Science; Health, Education, and Human Development. As of July 14, 2014, the Eugene T. Moore School of Education broke off from the College of Health, Education, and Human development, thus becoming the sixth college.
College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences
The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences (CAFLS) supports Clemson University's land-grant mission to provide education, research and service to the public. CAFLS faculty members teach major subjects and core curricula while preparing students to be leaders, creative thinkers, and communicators. Emphasis is placed on engaging students in research, internships/coops, study abroad, and service learning. CAFLS research is focused on the sustainability of agriculture, forests, and natural resources; food and packaging systems to ensure a healthy and safe food supply; and biomedical sciences to improve human and non-human health.
College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities
The College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities (CAAH) contains three schools: the School of the Arts, the School of Design and Building, and the School of the Humanities. One of the departments of the College, the School of Architecture, was ranked as the #16 graduate school for architecture in the country by Design Intelligence.
College of Business and Behavioral Sciences
The College of Business and Behavioral Science (CBBS) is an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredited college within the university specializing in business fields as well as the social sciences such as economics. Through high levels of interaction and collaboration between students, faculty, business and industry, non-profit centers, and civic and governmental agencies, the college nurtures individual development, bolsters entrepreneurial thinking, spurs social and economic prosperity, provides customized professional education, and sparks a lifelong desire for learning.
With a unique college structure that combines traditional social and behavioral science disciplines with applied business disciplines, CBBS merges the strengths of the two disciplines to develop students prepared for a wide variety of opportunities.
College of Engineering and Science
The College of Engineering and Science (CoES) specializes in engineering as well as the physical sciences such as physics and chemistry. Inspired by Thomas Green Clemson's dream to create a "high seminary of learning to benefit the agricultural and mechanical arts," engineering and sciences have been an integral part of the University's development. Since the first degrees were granted in 1896, Clemson engineers and scientists have made significant contributions to South Carolina, the nation and the world.
CoES was formed in 1995, joining the engineering disciplines with the chemistry, computer science, geological science, mathematical science, and physics and astronomy departments.
College of Health and Human Development
The College of Health and Human Development (HHD) teaching, research and service efforts focus on public health sciences, nursing, education, and parks, recreation and tourism management. Inspired by the motto "The Engaged College with a Personal Touch," the college's vision and mission are to create collaborative models that enhance community well-being and to prepare skilled professionals and creative leaders who build healthy, well-educated communities.
Calhoun Honors College
Established in 1962, Calhoun Honors College strives to enrich the educational experience of highly motivated, academically talented students by providing opportunities for study and research that are usually unavailable to undergraduates. The college provides accelerated learning programs to the university's most talented undergraduates as well as unique research opportunities. Entrance to the college is very competitive, with only 250 incoming freshmen accepted each year with an average SAT score of 1400 or higher and finished in the top 3% of their high school graduating class.
Eugene T. Moore School of Education
Established in 2014, the Eugene T. Moore School of Education is Clemson's newest college. Named for the late Eugene T. Moore, it is centered in the famous Tillman Hall. The college has some 600 undergraduate students, and 600 graduate students, with the mission to embrace the diverse faculty, staff, and students and providing them with a diverse set of experiences. The SoE also houses the nationally acclaimed Call Me MISTER Program, and the Moore Scholars.
The Graduate School offers more than 100 graduate degree programs in 85 disciplines on the college's main campus and at sites such as Clemson at the Falls, the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research and the Clemson Architecture Center as well as some online/distance-learning programs. Many of the graduate programs are highly ranked nationally, and the school offers several unique interdisciplinary programs.
Clemson University teams are known as the Tigers. They compete as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level (Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sub-level for football), primarily competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for all sports since the 1953-54 season. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
The most-prominent athletics facilities on campus are Memorial Stadium, Littlejohn Coliseum, Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Historic Riggs Field, and Fike Recreation Center. Clemson has won four national championships including football (1981), two in men's soccer (1984 and 1987), and men's golf (2003).
- Flag football
- Indoor soccer
- Ultimate Frisbee
Fraternity and sorority life
The university's fraternities and sororities system (or Greek system) is somewhat different from other large universities in the southern U.S. in that there are no Greek houses on campus, as interfraternity activity did not begin until 1970, following the abolishing of the military cadre requirements at the university. There are residence halls designated for fraternities and sororities, but there are no traditional Greek houses on campus. However, there are a few fraternity houses off campus near the college. The Fraternity Quad on campus (consisting of seven fraternity and sorority halls) is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The remaining sororities' on-campus housing is located on the other end of campus, in what is commonly referred to as "the horseshoe," in Smith and Barnett Halls.
The College Panhellenic Council Chapters at Clemson University include Alpha Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Kappa, and Zeta Tau Alpha. The Interfraternity Council Chapters include Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Theta Pi, Beta Upsilon Chi, Chi Psi, Delta Chi, Delta Tau Delta, FarmHouse, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Kappa Tau, Phi Sigma Kappa, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Nu, Sigma Pi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Triangle.
As of the 2015-2016 school year there are twenty two IFC Fraternities, twelve NPC Sororities, and nine NPHC Chapters, which make up approximately 25 percent of the undergraduate student body. In the Spring of 2011, there were 3,370 students involved in Greek life, which is about 23% of the 14,531 undergraduate students. Also, the mean GPA of each sorority was above the all-university mean.
Although the university became a coeducational civilian institution in 1955, it still maintains an active military presence. The university is home to detachments for U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) as well as a host school for the U.S. Marine Corps PLC program adjacent to the Semper Fi Society.
In addition to students from the university, these organizations also serve students from Anderson University, Southern Wesleyan University, and Tri-County Technical College. The following organizations are present among the military personnel at Clemson:
- Company C-4 Pershing Rifles
- K-7 Scabbard and Blade
- Maj. Rudolf Anderson, Jr Squadron Arnold Air Society
- Maj. Dennis H. Satler Chapter Silver Wings
- Clemson Rangers
The university's AAS squadron was selected to be home of Arnold Air Society's National Headquarters for the 2005–2006 year, and again for the 2006–2007 year. This is the first time in AAS's history that any university has served as national headquarters two years in a row. The squadron again serves as national headquarters for the 2015-16 school year.
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) for 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.
Clemson University has two student-run newspapers. Founded in 1907, The Tiger is the oldest student-run newspaper in South Carolina. The Tiger publishes local and university related news pieces. Additionally, the paper publishes opinion articles on general and national issues, lifestyle articles on topics such as beer, sex, and music, and a large section on sports topics. The Tiger is published weekly, on Fridays, and maintains a staff of 20 senior members and 75 junior staff members. [Tigernews 1] Clemson University's second newspaper is the Tiger Town Observer. This newspaper focuses on political news and topics. The newspaper identifies itself as a "traditionally conservative" news source and lists its political values as liberty, transparency, lifelong learning, free market and charity.
Additionally, Clemson University Student Media produces Taps, the university's official yearbook since 1908, and the Chronicle, a literary magazine since 1897.
Clemson University also has a student-run television station, CTV, which was established in 1994
Clemson University's student-run Literary Magazine is called The Chronicle and is published biannually. The Chronicle publishes poetry, art, and short stories.
The student-run international affairs magazine at Clemson is called The Pendulum. It was established in 2014, and is published biannually in print and online. The Pendulum focuses on international politics, economics and global affairs.
The Tiger paw became the official logo for Clemson University in 1970, in place of the previous tiger logo. The change was inspired by President Robert Edwards to "upgrade the image of the university." The company tasked with creating the new logo contacted the Museum of Natural History in Chicago and requested a plaster imprint of a tiger paw. The paw is now used on all athletic teams and collegiate documents. The tiger paw is also painted on surfaces throughout campus and in footprint patterns on highways leading to the campus.
Homecoming and Tigerama
Every year Clemson students have the opportunity to attend Homecoming and Tigerama. The Clemson Homecoming tradition began in 1914 and has been held annually at Clemson University ever since. During homecoming week, various student organizations design and build Homecoming floats on Bowman Field. The floats are then revealed on the Saturday of the football game and judged by a select panel. Since 1957, Clemson has held "Tigerama" on the Friday night of homecoming week. Tigerama is one of the nation's largest student-run-pep rallies, averaging about 40,000 people. This Clemson event includes the crowning of Miss Homecoming, skits by various academic organizations, as well as a fireworks show. 
Welcome Back Festival
Clemson University's Welcome Back Festival is held every year, on College Avenue in downtown Clemson, on the Monday after University housing opens. At the festival surrounding stores, businesses, and restaurants provide free gifts, merchandise, and samples to new and returning students. Performances are also held in the downtown area throughout the event, featuring various local artists and bands. The festival is sponsored by the Clemson Student Alumni Council, and the money raised benefits the Student Alumni Council Endowment Scholarship Fund, which has raised more than $38,000 for the scholarship fund. Over 10,000 students attended the 24th Annual Welcome Back Festival on August 20, 2012.
Tiger Prowl is held on either the Monday or Tuesday after University housing opens, on Bowman Field and a portion of Highway 93 on Clemson's campus. More than 400 registered student organizations attend Tiger Prowl, including organizations in volunteer and service, recreational activities, and Greek life.
First Friday Parade
The First Friday Parade has been held on the Friday before the first home football game every year since 1974. The parade includes fraternities, sororities, the Clemson marching band, the university President, as well as many other student organizations. The parade route travels through portions of Highway 93 and Main Street and concludes at the university's amphitheatre, where the first pep rally of the year is held. In 1985, the parade had its highest attendance, when accompanying CBS commentators were the Grand Marshalls.
Spirit Blitz Week
Spirit Blitz Week is annually held a week before a prominent football game. The Spirit Blitz Week tradition originated in the 1980s, and encourages students to wear orange during the entire week and promotes athletic events throughout the week. It also includes the Spirit Blitz Pep Rally, which is held during any available day of the week before the football game.
A university tradition has been in place, since September 24, 1977, for the school's fans to spend two-dollar bills on trips to away football games. The tradition began when Clemson played against Georgia Tech "for the last time", as Georgia Tech did not wish to travel to Clemson for future football games. Of the seventeen games played between Georgia Tech and Clemson between 1953 and 1977, only once, in 1974, did the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets come to Memorial Stadium. In Atlanta, Georgia, Clemson fans purchased items with two-dollar bills stamped with "Tiger Paws" to show how they contributed to the local economy, which began the tradition. The tradition became very popular in the 1980s and 1990s.[unreliable source?]
During home football games, after Clemson scores a touchdown, the Clemson tiger mascot performs push-ups equal in number to the number of points Clemson has scored at the time. The tiger is in full mascot attire and has been rumored to lose 12 pounds in a single game. The Tiger pushup tradition began in 1978 by the Tiger mascot at the time - Zack Mills. The Tiger mascot outfit weighs 45 pounds, with the head itself weighing 20 pounds.
The annual Ring Ball, organized by the Clemson Undergraduate Student Government and Student Alumni Council, is a nighttime celebration on the Carillon Gardens for graduating seniors as they receive their Clemson rings. The tradition began in the 1930s but was canceled in 1936 due to a flu epidemic. The tradition was reestablished on April 26, 2013.
Clemson University and the University of South Carolina host a blood drive competition to determine who can donate the most blood during a week before their annual rivalry football game. Since the tradition began in 1985, more than 90,000 pints of blood have been donated. The blood drive is sponsored by the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, and donations at Clemson benefit The Blood Connection and the AnMed Blood Center.
Memorial Stadium traditions
The Clemson University alma mater originated in the 1910s after a group of Clemson ROTC cadets in May 1918 was asked to sing the school's song at a gathering of ROTC cadets in Plattsburg, New York; they were unable to do so, as Clemson had no song at the time. One of the cadets in attendance, A.C. Corcoran of Charleston, South Carolina, decided to remedy the situation and wrote the words to the alma mater and set them to Annie Lisle, which was the melody of Cornell University's alma mater, as well as many others. The words were later officially accepted by the then-named Clemson Agricultural College as the alma mater and was first performed by the Clemson Glee Club on February 17, 1919.
In 1947 the club "Tiger Brotherhood" decided that, rather than continue borrowing another school's melody, the university should compose its own. As a result, the Tiger Brotherhood sponsored a contest to have Clemson students compose a unique melody. On May 5, 1947, Clemson University's school newspaper "The Tiger" announced Robert E. Farmer of Anderson, South Carolina, a member of the glee club at the time, as the winner. Farmer's melody was slightly altered in 1970, but was restored to its original tune in 2009.
The Clemson University operates with the Clemson University Police Department and the Clemson University Fire & EMS, for public safety needs. Both departments are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The University Fire & EMS has one station, located at 1521 Perimeter Road. The Police Department is located at the West End Zone of Frank Howard Field.
- Major Rudolf Anderson Jr. Class of 1948, was the only person killed by enemy fire during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission in a U-2 spy plane during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His air surveillance of the island nation of Cuba in early October 1962 proved essential to the detection of Soviet surface-to-surface, medium-range ballistic missiles.
- David Beasley, South Carolina governor (1995–1999). Beasley ran for the South Carolina State House while a student at Clemson and transferred to the University of South Carolina upon taking office, from which he went on to graduate with a bachelor's degree and law degree.
- Kris Benson, baseball player
- Robert H. Brooks, founder of Hooters of America, Inc.
- Jonathan Byrd, PGA Tour golfer.
- James F. Byrnes, U.S. Congressman, Senator, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1941–1942), Secretary of State (1945–1947), Governor of South Carolina (1951–1955), and confidant of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A dormitory on the eastern part of the university's campus is named after Byrnes. While not a graduate of Clemson, Byrnes was a Life Trustee of Clemson University (appointed in 1941).
- Chad Connelly, Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party
- Brian Dawkins, former professional football player, Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos free safety and nine-time Pro-Bowler.
- Dave Dondero, American singer/songwriter/guitarist. Dondero released numerous albums as a solo artist and with the non-defunct South Carolina band Sunbrain. In 2006, National Public Radio's "All Songs Considered" listed Dave Dondero as one of the top ten greatest living songwriters.
- Lt.Col. Jimmie Dyess, of the United States Marine Corps, the only person in history to earn both the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Carnegie Medal of Honor. Annually, the Semper Fi Society on campus holds a 5K in the Spring to honor LtCol Dyess and those Marines that served from Clemson.
- Ekwee Ethuro, Speaker of the Kenyan Senate
- Lucas Glover, PGA Tour golfer, 2009 U.S. Open champion.
- Nikki Haley, current Governor of South Carolina.
- James M. Henderson, advertising executive in Greenville; Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina in 1970
- Stuart Holden, played soccer for the university until being signed with the Sunderland U.K. club in March 2005; played for the U.S. team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and currently plays for the Bolton Wanderers U.K. club
- Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney, United States Ambassador to Thailand and former Ambassador to The Philippines
- Nancy O'Dell, American television host and entertainment journalist.
- Oguchi Onyewu, professional soccer player, currently plays for Charlton Athletic F.C. and the U.S. men's national team
- William "Refrigerator" Perry, former NFL defensive lineman, three-time NCAA All-American (1982–1984)
- Ben Robertson, war correspondent in World War II, author
- Phillip Sandifer (writer, recording artist) received a master's degree from the university.
- Jim Speros, formerly the majority owner of the Baltimore Stallions of the CFL, UFL Norfolk; served on coaching staffs of the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills in the 1980s. Won a Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins; youngest assistant coach in NFL history; played linebacker at the university from 1978 to 1981; member of the championship winning 1981 Clemson Tigers football team.
- C.J. Spiller, football player, New Orleans Saints running back and #9 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft
- Sammy Watkins, football player, Buffalo Bills wide receiver and #4 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft
- Strom Thurmond, U.S. Senator from South Carolina who was the longest-serving Senator in U.S. history.
- Ambassador David H. Wilkins, former U.S. Ambassador to Canada; former Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives, the first Republican Speaker in the South since Reconstruction
- DeAndre Hopkins, football player, Houston Texans wide receiver and #27 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft
- David Reinking, Eugene T. Moore Professor of Education (since 2003); co-editor of Reading Research Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal published by the International Reading Association
- John W. Huffman, Research Professor of Chemistry and creator of many synthetic cannabinoid compounds, including JWH-018, one of the main ingredients in Spice (drug).
- Antony Valentini, Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
- Jo Jorgensen, United States Libertarian Party candidate for vice-president in the 1996 United States Presidential Election.
- Thomas Hazlett, Hugh H. Macaulay Endowed Professor of Economics (since 2014); co-author of "Public Policy Toward Cable Television" with Matthew L. Spitzer (MIT Press, 1987) and author of "The Political Spectrum" (Yale U. Press, 2016).
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<ref>tag; name "national_rank" defined multiple times with different content
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