Clemson, SC-Patriotism will be omnipresent at Clemson's Memorial
Stadium on Saturday, September 22. The Tigers and Cavaliers will
kick off the game at 5:45 PM, but pregame ceremonies will begin at
Clemson was a military school until 1955 and the institution
has a strong military heritage. Nearly 500 Clemson alumni gave
their lives in various wars for the United States over the years.
Four Clemson graduates who were prisoners of war and served
their country with distinction will be honored in pregame. Retired
U. S. Army Colonel Ben Skardon, Class of 1938, is a survivor of the
Bataan Death March. Colonel Skardon spent three years and four
months as a Prisoner of War in the Philippines, Japan, and China.
Former Army First Lieutenant Bill Funchess, Class of 1948, spent two
years and 10 months as a prisoner of war in Korea. Retired Air
Force Colonel Bill Austin, Class of 1959, spent five years and six
months as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. Retired Navy Commander Bob
Fant, Class of 1960, spent four years and eight months as a Prisoner
of War in Vietnam.
The pregame ceremonies also will include a moment of silence
in memory of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of
September 11. During Tiger Band's rendition of the The Star Spangled
Banner, it will also be communicated in sign language.
The halftime ceremonies will include the unfolding of a
Garrison Flag, a 21-gun salute by the Pershing Rifles and the playing
of TAPS. The Tiger Band will perform various patriotic hymns. The
200-member Clemson University Chorus will also perform during
Other signs of patriotism will be visible at Clemson on Saturday:
*Over 5,000 miniature American Flags will be distributed
*50,000 Tiger Paw Fans from The Palmetto Baptist Medical Center and
the National Kidney Foundation will be distributed. The Fans will
include an American Flag, the inscription "God Bless America,
September 11, 2001", and a message on how fans can become an organ
*Flags 5'X 8' will be on display as fans walk into the stadium.
*American Flags will be painted on Bowmen Field in front of the
Military Heritage Plaza, Riggs Field and in the end zones of Memorial
*50,000 paper American Flags will be distributed at the Ticket
Office, concession stands and all gates.
*Static military displays will be on Bowman Field beginning at 2:30 PM.
*The American Red Cross will be accepting donations as fans enter
Memorial Stadium when the Gates Open until 6:00 pm. (checks or cash
*All Clemson players will wear flags on their helmets.
*Over 1,000 junior ROTC Cadets will be seated together in the stadium.
CLEMSON STUDENTS PITCH IN TO HELP AMERICAN RED CROSS
CLEMSON -- Clemson students are lending a hand to help
volunteers from the Pickens and Oconee County chapters of
the American Red Cross collect donations at Saturday's
From 3 to 6:30 p.m., as people are filing in for Clemson's
football game against Virginia, volunteers from both the Red
Cross and several student organizations will be posted at
all gates of Memorial Stadium to accept donations to the Red
Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Public donations can be made
only with cash or check, but students may use their
TigerStripe accounts for donations at gate 1. Volunteers
will be recognizable by special T-shirts.
The idea to have a fund raiser at the game stemmed from a
discussion between a small group of Clemson students and
staff who wanted to do something to help the victims of the
tragedies in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.
When the group got word of a press release from Gov. Jim
Hodges asking high schools and colleges around the state to
collect money for the South Carolina Cares Fund, which has
already raised more than $325,000 for the Red Cross, they
knew what they could do.
Ben Walker, a Clemson senior involved with the Student
Union, was one of the students who initiated the plan.
"We wanted to show our Clemson unity, to show that the
Clemson family is part of the American family," Walker said.
University president Jim Barker said he is proud of the way
the students have united and responded to the crisis. He
added that this is one more example of "One Clemson," as all
members of the Clemson family unite with a common goal.
"I am very pleased to see this collaborative effort that has
been initiated by our students," said Barker. "There are so
many students here who have wanted to do something to help,
and this fund raiser will provide an opportunity for
everyone at the game on Saturday to help those in need."
Julie Walters-Steele, director of major events at Clemson
University, is one of the staff members who helped the
students organize the efforts.
"It's been great to see how the university has come together
as one to support those who are suffering," said
Walters-Steele. "I am sure people will donate generously. I
am optimistic that the Clemson family will raise lots of
money to help in the disaster relief efforts."
Gary Kirby, student body president, said that the fund
raiser is a way for students who felt the need to do
something to "apply action to their feelings." He also spoke
about Clemson's strong military heritage.
"Clemson has a lot of links to history, and particularly
because of our military legacy, we have a strong feeling of
responsibility to do something," said Kirby. "We've all
heard of past generations at Clemson taking action, such as
our grandparents in World War II. This is our generation's
time to do what we know we can do."
Among the student organizations involved are Tigers Who
Care, Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Epsilon Delta and Omicron Delta
Kappa. The last time donations were taken at a football game
at Clemson was in 1989, when donations were collected for
the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to help the victims of