Thomas Green Clemson's will called for a "high seminary of learning" to be founded upon the estate of Fort Hill. The will
called for the State of South Carolina to fund the institution, but provided it a limited role in the institution's governance.
Clemson called for a 13-member Board of Trustees to govern the course of Clemson Agricultural College, with seven "lifetime"
trustees and six trustees selected by the South Carolina state assembly to serve two-year terms. A president would also be
appointed by the trustees to oversee the day-to-day operations of the college. Henry Aubrey Strode was selected by the Clemson
Trustees to lead the new institution.Clemson Agricultural College opened its doors in 1893 to 446 new cadets. At that time,
the campus had only constructed two poorly-masoned brick buildings but by 1914 had
increased in size and reputation, academically and athletically. The legendary coach John Heisman coached Clemson football from
1900 to 1903, before moving to greater fame at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition, Clemson's academic calendar
became a model for many universities and colleges in the United States at that time, and the "Clemson calendar" became adopted as
the traditional two-semester academic calendar for the majority of institutions in the U.S. up through today.The World Wars saw a flurry of cadets leave Clemson for active duty and the campus itself became a base of military training.
World War I saw nearly every cadet in the classes of 1917 and 1918 enlist, and at one point the college had only 42 active
student-cadets. World War II saw even greater involvement, as Clemson sent the third highest amount of students abroad to war in
the United States, behind the United States
Military Academy and Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University.As a result of the G.I. Bill and the increased opportunities for Americans to go into higher education, Clemson experienced a
significant period of expansion under the leadership of two long-serving presidents, Robert M. Cooper and Robert C. Edwards. In
1953, a consulting firm was enlisted to help Clemson college plan a path for its future. In its findings, the group recommended
that Clemson drop its military status and become a civilian institution and that it should enroll women. Following this advice,
the first women were enrolled in Clemson in 1954, also the first year the school entered civilian status. Compulsory R.O.T.C. training remained until 1973.The campus also experienced a frenzy of construction during the 1950s, as new academic buildings and contemporary student
housing was constructed. The Johnstone Hall complex became a model for college dormitories, implementing a new raise-slab
construction method, a practice which was featured in many architectual magazines at that time. Today, only one of the original
Johnstone buildings is still standing on the campus. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, additional buildings, including the R.M.
Cooper Library, the Bryan Mall and Shoebox residence areas and the innovative Lee Hall were also constructed.Clemson had remained a "white only" institution, though nowhere in the will of Thomas Green Clemson did it call for the
practice of segregating races. In sharp contrast to the strenuous and violent situations at other southern universities in the
early 1960s, Clemson became peacefully integrated on January 22, 1963 when Harvey Gantt became the first African-American student at Clemson. Lucinda Harris who entered a semester later
would become the first African-American female student and would later marry Gantt.Clemson's expanding student body and expanded academic offerings prompted college administrators to submit to the South
Carolina legislature to change its name to Clemson University in 1964. The University continued to expand into the 1970s when
enrollment topped 10,000 for the first time.Clemson perhaps achieved its greatest recognition upon the heels of its 1981 football season, when the Tigers won all their
games and the Orange Bowl to become national champions. During the 1980s
Clemson football under the leadership of Danny Ford was a scandal-plagued but successful program, establishing it as a football powerhouse. Memorial Stadium, or "Death Valley" nearly doubled its capacity during these years of popularity, which continue to this
day.In the 1990s, Clemson underwent additional transformations, including an internal restructuring that reorganized the
university from nine colleges into five in an effort to streamline operations and cut costs. In 1996 the Carolina Panthers played their inaugural season in Clemson and in 1997
Clemson was ranked as one of the top-50 public universities in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report magazine. As of 2004-2005, Clemson ranks 32nd in the nation, in a
tie with Virginia Tech and the University of Colorado, with a goal of becoming a "Top-20" public university by 2010.Continued distinctions continue into the 2000s. Clemson was named in 2001 by Time Magazine as "Public School of the Year" for its "Communication across the Curriculum program."