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Topic: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s
Replies: 15   Last Post: Mar 9, 2019, 8:59 AM by: FORESTTIGER
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Replies: 15  

Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s

emoji_events [19]
Mar 8, 2019, 7:24 PM

I have truly loved this place. Very different in a lot of ways but still the same place in many respects. Back in those days the majority of the students were good ole boys from the south. A few ‘Yankees’ that somehow found the wisdom to seek an education south of the Mason-Dixon made up a small percentage of the enrollment. Already in the sixties there were issues regarding the education system in the south. I think that everyone knew that change was coming even though many opposed integration in a violent way. I can truthfully say that in my years at Clemson I never saw any hate issues on this campus. Minority athletes began to make their presence in games and were often seen at Clemson games. In a post a long time ago, I described my view of the entrance of Harvey Grant to Clemson. Never have I been more proud of my fellow Tigers than I was that uneventful day. It’s great to be a Clemson man.

During those days of unrest on the campus of many southern colleges I never saw it in my days as a student. In fact, one of the most popular and well loved guys at Clemson was a gentleman named Herman McGee. He, of course, was best known to the athletes on campus because he was a member of the training staff. I knew a number of guys very well on the football and basketball teams and everyone of them would go to war with Herman. Never was he nor any of his co-trainers described in a negative or in a disrespectful way by any player. Coach Howard was an old Alabama born guy who grew up in different times in his state but he never,never referred to Herman in a harmful way.

How I wish Herman was here today to help direct this group of students, and others, on the right path for Clemson University. I fear that his presence as an early leader at Clemson is being ignored or forgotten by those who really don’t know the real Clemson. It’s great to be a Clemson man.

Hopefully, in the very near future, someone in authority will recognize Herman McGee and put his name on the proper place. And it doesn’t have to be in the athletic dept either. Clemson is not a radical university and never has been. It’s great to be a Clemson Man,

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s


Mar 8, 2019, 7:26 PM

Gant. Sorry I know the man,

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s

[2]
Mar 8, 2019, 7:41 PM

That remark will show you how important punctuation is in writing!

Sorry. lol

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s

[1]
Mar 8, 2019, 10:24 PM

Gantt has two “Ts”.

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s

[2]
Mar 8, 2019, 10:16 PM

I was once told by an African-American that one of his cousins transferred into Clemson as a Junior the year after Harvey Gantt enrolled and the two of them were roommates. He said his cousin graduated a year before Harvey, thus was the first African-American to graduate from Clemson. I've never been able to corroborate this story.

Any how, the last time I saw Harvey Gantt, he got out of his car like 20 feet from the South Gate of DV and walked into the President's Box entrance.

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s

[4]
Mar 8, 2019, 8:01 PM

Herman and Lucia McGee were two of the finest folks to ever walk the earth

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Saw smiling & hard-working Herman a lot but sadly never introduced myself.

[3]
Mar 8, 2019, 8:09 PM

Wish I had now, but still remember his being cared for & highly respected by the entire football team and coaching staff since he was obviously a man of integrity..and helped run the day to day operations of the equipment room as well as being a hospital corpsman for minor injuries.

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s

emoji_events [8]
Mar 8, 2019, 8:03 PM

Wiser heads prevailed when Harvey Gant was admitted to Clemson. It was the press clamoring for anything that would make headlines. The maim body of the press remained at the Clemson House and One (there may have been two or three) represented the entire body. Some of the press were actually hoping there would be riots and all sorts of actions and were disappointed when things went smoothly. I credit Dr. Edwards and his staff for making a smooth transition. I had a first hand report re the comments of some members of the press. Harvey Gant did an admirable job in view of the pressure on him that day.

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s

[4]
Mar 8, 2019, 8:30 PM

I remember all so well how everyone was expecting another Alabama or Mississippi event and Mr. Gants enrollment was 180degrees from what the press had become accustomed to seeing. Great to be a Clemson man that day in particular. I’m glad there are some on this site who help me remember what really was the “good ole days”.

Footballl Wise ..... not so much,

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s

[2]
Mar 8, 2019, 8:24 PM

:)

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s

[2]
Mar 8, 2019, 9:46 PM

1 was one of those yankees who had the wisdom to seek my college education at CU(64-68).one of my best choices and experiences.never met Harvey,as he was there ahead of me,so I missed his matriculation,but there were other minority students introduced over my time there,and I have always told people that I was really proud that we at CU didn't have the bad experience that students at other schools had.in all my years at CU I can't recall there being any negative racial incidents-a credit to everyone there.yes i'm very proud to be a Clemson man.

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s


Mar 8, 2019, 9:51 PM

The only thing I can add about the good ol' days (late 60's) is:

The out-of-state guys always indicated that they could come to CLEMSON and pay out-of-state rates cheaper than going to college in their home state. Most of the people I knew were from New Jersey (or Joysey like they called it). They never indicated that they thought it was the wisest choice considering their education, but just a financial decision. I always enjoyed knowing those Joysey guys, as we always made fun of how each other talked.

:)

It was already CLEMSON University when I got there. Life was totally different in those days, almost like it was a different planet.

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s

[2]
Mar 9, 2019, 6:25 AM

Harvey Gantt was originally turned away but was admitted after suing Clemson. Yes, the day he arrived went fairly smoothly but it wasn't all a bed of roses. I've heard Harvey speak on several occasions about how the only friendly faces he encountered during his early weeks/months on campus were the African-American employees in the dining hall. Some of these individuals invited him into their homes and churches. President R.C.Edwards handpicked a few students to live in adjoining dorm rooms to keep an eye on things. His arrival was peaceful but not exactly welcoming. But he has been an exemplary alumnus, successful in his career and supportive of many university programs.

He earned a degree in architecture with Honors from Clemson and a Master's degree in City Planning from MIT.

Here is an account of his acceptance to Clemson published by The State newspaper in 2016:

Jan. 28, 1963: The day Clemson University integrated

For its first seven-and-a-half decades, Clemson University’s student body was exclusively white. It was 1960 when an African-American teenager settled on Clemson as his dream school – and it was 1963 before he first entered the university’s halls as a student.

Harvey Gantt’s enrollment itself was a quiet affair, shepherded by civil rights lawyer Matthew Perry. But the road leading up to that day was hard. Anti-black feeling in South Carolina was so strong that the state paid out-of-state tuition to educate some black students elsewhere, keeping them out of Clemson and the University of South Carolina. Gantt himself enrolled at Iowa State University before making his way back down South.

Clemson rejected Gantt in 1961, claiming his Iowa transcript was incomplete. Gantt sued, and his lawsuit made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied the university’s final appeal. Highway patrolmen and police aircraft escorted him into Clemson on Jan. 28, 1963, where he was met peacefully by 100 students.

Gantt went on to meet his future wife, Lucinda Brawley, at Clemson. She became the first African-American woman to enroll there. Gantt went on to a successful career in politics and architecture, and credited his time at Clemson as an inspiration to himself and his peers.

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s


Mar 9, 2019, 7:49 AM

Is Jeff Davis a good enough roll model to be guiding today's players through the PAWS program?

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s

[2]
Mar 9, 2019, 8:32 AM

Herman was the only man that I would let tape my ankles. A truly great man!!!

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Re: Since I first entered Clemson A&M in the early 60’s


Mar 9, 2019, 8:59 AM

I once turned my ankle running to class one rainy morning and went to the infirmary after my early class for medical attention. The place was packed with students but Herman and one of his aides volunteered to tape my ankle and send me on my way. I quickly saw why the football guys like Mr. McGee so well. I could have raced back to my room in the tin cans my ankle was taped so well I had zero pain. I remember he gave me a bag of ice wrapped in a Merita bread sack to take with me. He WAS the real deal!

I saw Mr. Gantt every morning going to early classes and I never failed to speak to him. The same can be said of all my classmates. Never a negative event that I heard about ..... and I got around pretty well on campus.

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