Bowman Field is an extremely large, open grassy area in front of Sikes Hall, Tillman Hall, Godfrey Hall, Holtzendorff Hall, and Mell Hall.
Named for R.T.V. Bowman, an instructor in forge and foundry, and an assistant football coach who died at 23 on April 14, 1899, it was originally the parade ground for Clemson cadets and the home of Clemson University's first football, baseball, basketball teams, track and even soccer teams.
As an assistant coach, Bowman had been responsible for much of the clearing of the area for use as an athletics field. Bowman holds the Clemson distinction of having coached the very first intercollegiate match played at Clemson, a baseball game with Furman on April 24, 1896, which, unfortunately, the Tigers lost, 13-20.
The two cannon located on the field were nicknamed Tom and Jerry by the class of 1952.
Today Bowman Field is regarded as "sacred soil," having played such a large part in Clemson's history and being the central location for leisure activity for students. On most any day with nice weather you are likely to see students laying out, tanning, studying, throwing frisbee, playing football, volleyball, soccer, or even playing with their dogs.
Bowman Field is used by many organizations throughout the year for a whole variety of different activities. Clemson AFROTC can be seen using the field for practice marches on most Thursday afternoons. Clemson fraternities and sororities also use Bowman Field for their many activities like Powderpuff Football. First Friday activities are usually held here and once a year, Homecoming floats are built on Bowman Field, in full view of all passing pedestrians and motorists. Habitat for Humanity builds a house for charity right on Bowman Field every year at Homecoming. Its use for parking vehicles for football games was discontinued in the 1990s over concerns of the damage done to the lawn.
Managed by Clemson Major Events, the “front lawn” of Clemson’s campus, Bowman Field provides the perfect location for a traditional Clemson event. Located in front of Tillman Auditorium and Military Heritage Plaza, Bowman features a wide expanse of grassy area for events like the Annual Welcome Back Festival, Homecoming Floats, ROTC drills, International Festival, and more.