Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

The High Seminary. Volume 2: A History of Clemson University, 1964-2000

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

The High Seminary. Volume 2: A History of Clemson University, 1964-2000

Article excerpt

The High Seminaiy. Volume 2: A History of Clemson University, 1964-2000. By Jerome V. Reel. (Clemson, S.C.: Clemson University Digital Press, 2013. Pp. xxii, 505. $45.00, ISBN 978-0-9835339-9-3.)

Jerome V. Reel's The High Seminary, Volume 2: A History of Clemson University, 1964-2000 opens as Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina began its transformation into Clemson University in 1964 and concludes with James F. Barker's inauguration as the university's fourteenth president in 2000. Using an array of archival sources, including faculty and presidential papers, oral histories, and student publications, Reel seeks to provide "a study of the growth of the school in size, in influence, and in subject matter taught" (p. xiv). In doing so, the author examines specific institutional developments while analyzing larger social, political, and educational trends as a southern land-grant university became a national research university.

While the detailed history of faculty and staff growth, academic development, presidential leadership, athletics, and student life focuses on what was unique to Clemson and its culture, other elements reveal struggles very familiar to other aspiring southern research universities. The 1960s and 1970s witnessed growing student activism and involvement on campus as Clemson transitioned from its traditional in loco parentis ideals. By 1964, Clemson had become coeducational and had desegregated. Reel details the ways that the institution, during the following decade, sought to provide a more inclusive environment while providing avenues for more minority voices among students and faculty.

During the three and a half decades examined in this study, Clemson grew from just over 4,500 students in 1964 to more than 17,000 students by the end of the twentieth century. Growth in the student population resulted in a major building program on the campus, which posed challenges to the tiny college town. As the campus expanded, so did degree programs, graduate studies, university advancement activities, and of course, athletics. …

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