The Cadet Life GardenClemson's Golden Tigers
The Cadet Life Garden is dedicated to a special period in Clemson history. From its foundation until 1956, Clemson was an all-military college, one of seven in the nation. The student body was organized as a Corps of Cadets under a regular army Commandant. All students wore uniforms, attended military classes, practiced military drills, lived in barracks, marched to meals in a common mess hall, and most attended military summer camp at a US Army post - all the while working towards a college degree in their chosen field. Most were commissioned as officers in the US Army Reserve Corps on graduation, and many saw active duty with the military in foreign wars. During those sixty years, 12,314 students graduated, nearly 10,000 became Reserve Officers, about 5,600 saw active military service, and 335 died or were missing in action while fighting for their country.
Life as a cadet was far different from that of present-day students at Clemson. The purpose of this garden is to portray and explain the customers and traditions that were unique to cadet life.
The Guardroom and Guardroom Bell
Atop old No. 1 Barracks, high above the Guardroom three floors below, the Guardroom Bell was at the very center of cadet life. The Guardroom was always manned by cadets assigned by the top cadet officers: two "rats" (freshmen) for running errands, the Corporal of the Guard (a sophomore), th Officer of the Guard and Officer of the Day (seniors). Their duties were to answer the only barracks telephone and to relay messages to cadets, to provide visitors with information and help, to maintain order, to ensure that the bugler sounded his calls on time, and to ring the Guardroom Bell for all formations and for the first class of the day.
All campus life marched to the tune of the Guardroom Bell, the same bell you see here. It was first rung in 1893 when the No. 1 Barracks was completed, and was deactivated in 1954 when No. 1 Barracks was razed to make room for modern new dormitories.
Given to honor all those cadets
Attending Clemson Agricultural College
From 1893 to 1956
Who so well exemplify the Clemson Spirit.
Class of 1942
Given in memory of all Classmates
Who gave their Lives
In the Service of their Country.