One of Clemson's most recognized landmarks is the "Littlejohn Tiger" sculpture that sits outside the Clemson University basketball arena, Littlejohn Coliseum. The sculpture was commissioned by Tiger Brotherhood in 1967 and unveiled in 1969. Members of Tiger Brotherhood raised money for years to pay for the project and one of their fund-raisers was the selling of flat round straw Clemson hats. These hats were seen all over the football stadium on game days and are now highly sought after collectibles.
"The sculptor, Abe Wolfe Davidson, was a unique Clemson student. Davidson emigrated from Russia in 1922 and suffered for six years from a serious illness that was probably the result of the famine he endured during World War I. In 1934, at age thirty-one, Abe Davidson enrolled at Clemson under special arrangements made by President Sikes and the college’s business manager, J.C. Littlejohn (Class of ’08). He received free room, board, and tuition in exchange for a sculpture of Thomas Green Clemson. Included in the arrangement was a studio on the third floor of Riggs Hall, and all the materials he needed for the project. While at Clemson, he also sculpted numerous busts of college and state dignitaries and the stone football panel on the front of Fike Field House." Excerpted, with permission, from "Clemson - There's Something in These Hills"
In 1966, Abe Davidson returned to Clemson to to make a new casting of his most famous Clemson sculpture, the Thomas Green Clemson statue that sits in front of Tillman Hall. The original "Old Green Tom" was built out of cast-cement due to the lack of funds during the depression era of the 1930s. Clemson's chapter of Blue Key paid to have the sculpture recast in bronze and while Mr. Davidson was in Clemson, the Littlejohn Tiger project was inaugurated.
Today, the Littlejohn Tiger is the most photographed spot on graduation day as new graduates and their friends and family gather together one last time on campus.
This is the Clemson Wiki project's 1,210th article.