1979

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1979 in Clemson History

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Events in 1979

  • January: Former Physical Plant employees found guilty in Pickens County General Sessions Court and sentenced: two receive two-year terms, one receives a four-year term, and one receives two years probation.
  • January 19: The Gutter, the Union coffeehouse located under the YMCA, reopens after one and a half year's renovation. Texas folk singer Allen Wayne Damron is featured entertainment (Damron passed away in August 2005 after a long illness.). Budapest Symphony Orchestra performs in Littlejohn Coliseum.
  • January 20: Guitar band Boston performs in Littlejohn Coliseum. Opening act is Sammy Hagar.
  • January 31: Last run of the Southern Railway-operated "Southern Crescent" passenger train through Clemson, one of two privately-operated trains in the United States. The other, the Denver & Rio Grande Western's "Rio Grande Zephyr", will operate until 1983, at which time the route will also be turned over to Amtrak.
  • February 1: Amtrak takes over the passenger route and renames it simply the "Crescent".
  • February: A new computer science major and a master's program in computer science are approved by the faculty senate and sent to the Commission of Higher Education in Columbia for approval.
  • February 2: Clemson fencing team, coached by Charlie Poteat, wins ACC regular season championship at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  • February 6: P.D.Q. Bach (Peter Schickle) concert in Littlejohn Coliseum. Snowstorm hits Clemson, President Edwards cancels classes.
  • February 9: Sea Level and Oconee concert in Tillman Hall Auditorium.
  • February 13: Shawn Weatherly wins Miss Clemson University title, beginning her run to the Miss Universe crown.
  • February 16: The Union Cultural Committee presents "The Hobbit", a unique puppet show by the Hutsah Puppet Theatre, in Tillman Auditorium.
  • February 17-18: A second snowstorm beginning on a Saturday night closes the university for two days the following Monday and Tuesday. Many hall keg parties are thrown. (It's not safe to go to class, but we can darn sure get to the keg store uninjured!)
  • February 19-24: The Clemson Players present "The Beaux' Strategem" in Daniel Auditorium.
  • February 22: The Union presents the "Tell-Tale Poe" in Tillman Auditorium.
  • February 24: Selection of Bill Atchley as new president of the university is announced.
  • February 28: Alan Funt of Candid Camera fame speaks in Tillman Auditorium and presents filmclips from the show. A reception is held afterwards in the Palmetto Ballroom.
  • March 6: The Union sponsors The Harlequin Street Theatre which performs on the Union Plaza during lunch.
  • March 9: The Union sponsors beer bust at the Hanover House.
  • March 14: The Southwest German Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Paul Angerer, with piano soloist Michael Ponti, performs in Littlejohn Coliseum.
  • March 16: The Buzzard is published. Front page stories: "Dr. Ball Batchley¬†: the 'inside' story " and "Stupid government loses leaders". Spring break begins after last classes. Renovation and expansion of the campus bookstore located under Harcombe Commons dining hall begins during the break week.
  • Mid-late March: Student leader elections overturned after candidate breaks rules on campaign expenditures; appeals follow, eventually Bob Fuzy is confirmed as new Student Senate president.
  • March 30: Billy Joel concert in Littlejohn Coliseum.
  • Early April: A team of investigators from the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, visit the campus to review compliance with Title XI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
  • April 6: Special Olympics for disabled children from Anderson, Pickens and Oconee Counties held on campus.
  • April 7: Sororities hold Dixie Day on Riggs Field.
  • April 11: Honors and Awards Day; Founders Day ceremonies capped by naming of portion of US 76 as the Thomas Green Clemson Parkway.
  • Mid-April: The Clemson Players present ""The Eccentricities of a Nightingale" by Tennessee Williams in Daniel Auditorium.
  • April 15: Nantucket, Molly Hatchett and Scottish band Horselips appear in concert at Greenville Memorial Coliseum.
  • April 16: James Dickey, author of "Deliverance", speaks in Daniel Auditorium.
  • April 20: Spring Folly presented by Union Special Events Committee on Bowman Field.
  • April 21: Orange and White game played in Death Valley. Seventh annual Bengal Ball held at Y Beach.
  • May 11: Commencement held in Littlejohn Coliseum.
  • June: President Robert C. Edwards retires after 21 years at Clemson's helm. . The university motor pool takes delivery of five 1979 Chevrolet Chevettes as economy experiments.
  • June 1: A chemical research project catches fire and explodes in a Brackett Hall laboratory at 5 p.m. causing $20,000 in damage and slightly injuring the student researcher with flying glass.
  • June 2-3: New university IBM computer system installed replacing 2 1/2 year old model - cost is approximately $3.4 million.
  • June 17: Dr. Claude Bethune Green, dean of undergraduate studies since 1970, dies in Toccoa, Georgia, four weeks after undergoing heart surgery.
  • June 27: Star Trek episode "The Menagerie" shown in Edgar's by the Union film board.
  • Summer semester: Off-campus activities attract attention of Pickens County authorities who set undercover "cool dudes" out in public drinking establishments, lurking amongst the clientele. Eventually some fools fall into their trap and a small non-conspiracy of the usual suspects will be busted in early December when the Narcs spring their trap. Most infidels are small change, but Dave Lorick, the head of the Central Dance Association, is living that rock lifestyle and his charges are for real.
  • July 1: Bill Atchley takes office as the ninth Clemson president.
  • July 25: Star Trek episodes "Trouble With Tribbles" and "Space Seed" shown in Edgar's by the Union film board.
  • August: With most of the work completed, the remodelled Student Bookstore reopens, expanded into basement spaces that were formerly storerooms, one of which had been converted into the band room for the Clemson University Bands.
  • August 19: Dormitories open, 10 a.m.
  • August 22: The Union sponsors a disco party on the Union Plaza at 8 p.m., music provided by WANS-FM, Anderson, South Carolina.
  • August 24: Classes begin. The Central Dance and Concert Committee (CDCC) sponsors a Beer Bust at the Hanover House beginning at 4:30 p.m. - beer costs 25 cents. Drunken foodfight in Schiletter dining hall afterwards forces the Union to discontinue using the Hanover House location for beer fests.
  • September 1: Jack D. Ferguson Jr., an executive officer with the Greenville County Sheriff's Department, takes over as director of public safety at Clemson University.
  • September 7: "Paw the Paladins" First Friday Parade. Two Furman students are arrested after painting a purple "F U" on the side of the President's Mansion.
  • September 11: Student government elections are held but results are cast out when some 20 candidates fail to file election expense reports.
  • September 12: First Speakers Bureau event of the semester with President Bill Atchley appearing in Tillman Auditorium.
  • September 14: Union sponsors East Bank beach party.
  • September 18: The Tequila Mockingbird Chamber Ensemble performs in Daniel Auditorium.
  • September 22: Clemson defeats traditional opponent Georgia Bulldogs in Death Valley, 12-7, marking the Tigers' 400th victory. Gene Cotton in concert in Tillman Auditorium.
  • September 29: The "Weird Party" held off-campus.
  • Fall: Stephen M. Gregg opens the Clemson Newsstand on Sloan Street in a recently-constructed building. Student senate moves to create a campus shuttle system. Renovation of Sirrine Hall begins. Kicker Obed Ariri breaks Banks McFadden's forty year old record for best punting average.
  • October: The university housing office determines that the installation of cable television in dormitories is not "cost feasible" at this time. Television reception has long been dicey on campus, especially in Johnstone Hall where the sheet-steel walls play havoc on the signal.
  • October 1-6: The Clemson Players present "The Apple Tree" in Daniel Auditorium.
  • October 4: The Dixie Dregs play Tillman Hall Auditorium.
  • October 6: Seven students shot at Homecoming Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity party, two fatally, at the University of South Carolina. A sophomore is charged.
  • October 16: Sponsored by the League of Women Voters, a group of state and industry panelists hold a public meeting at the United Methodist Church on Seneca Road addressing safety procedures and policy in case of an incident at Duke Power's Oconee Nuclear facility.
  • October 18: The Pocket Mime Theatre performs in Daniel Auditorium.
  • October 19: Members of Kappa Alpha fraternity are caught stealing 2,200 issues of The Tiger after they object to article about certain of their members harassing campus EMTs during a call at the frat house on October 7. On October 31 two members are placed on probation by the university - the fraternity was placed on two-weeks social suspension and fined $200 on October 11 for the original disturbance. Dumbest Criminals Award - The KA brothers ditched The Tigers they had purloined in a dumpster - RIGHT NEXT TO THE KAPPA ALPHA HOUSE! They provide much grist for The Buzzard issue of March 14,1980. Another major theft of The Tiger will take place on October 28, 1994 with the perpetrators making off with 10,000 copies of a 12,000 press run.
  • October 24: Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz speaks in Tillman Hall auditorium. Jazz legend and Cheraw, South Carolina native John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie performs in Littlejohn Coliseum.
  • October 25: Jimmy Howard opens the Sloan Street Tap-Room in a recently constructed building.
  • Late October: Pink Floyd releases The Wall, a concept double album - it receives immediate and sustained airplay on WSBF.
  • October 26: The Union sponsors an End of Summer Beer Bust at East Bank beach.
  • October 27: N.C. State fans vandalize the Tiger statue at Littlejohn Coliseum with spray paint.
  • November 3: Progressive rock band Kansas appears in Littlejohn Coliseum. Sniff & the Tears is opening act.
  • November 3-4: Clemson soccer team wins eighth consecutive ACC title.
  • November 7: Baseball personality Bob Uecker speaks in Tillman Hall auditorium.
  • November 8: Dinner theatre in Edgar's with the Alpha Omega Players, a two-couple troupe, presenting a comic western melodrama, "Jenny, the Mail Order Bride".
  • November 13-17: The Clemson Players present "So Far From China" in Daniel Auditorium.
  • November 14: Some 400 students rally on Bowman Field to protest the actions of Iranian students who took over the American Embassy in Tehran on November 5. Ayatollah Khomeini poster is burned, volunteer students speak their minds, local television stations cover the event.
  • November 16: Twiggs Lyndon, road manager for the Dixie Dregs, is killed in a skydiving accident at Duanesburg, New York. He becomes separated from his chute at deployment.
  • November 17: Clemson beats Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, 16-10. Obed Ariri boots three field goals so that Steve Fuller can toss the winning pass in the fourth quarter.
  • November 19: The Prague Chamber Orchestra performs in Littlejohn Coliseum with pianist Hans Richter-Haaser.
  • November 20: The Chronicle staff meets with Deans Walter T. Cox and Susan G. Deloney over possibly controversial nude photos in latest issue but they okay the layout of the magazine.
  • November 26 - December 4: The university motor pool takes delivery of 80 new 1980 Ford Fairmonts, replacing the previous "U Car" fleet of 77 1975 Ford LTDs and 20 1975 Plymouth Gran Furies delivered in the summer of 1975. The primitive economy design of the Fairmont is not popular.
  • November 30: The Son Seals Blues Band performs in the Clemson House ballroom.
  • December: Walter Cox, dean of student affairs, announces that he is cancelling all future rock concerts at Clemson in light of a handful of drug arrests and minor bathroom vandalism at the Kansas concert in Littlejohn Coliseum on November 3.
  • December 7-December 8: Pickens County authorities arrest some eight or ten students on drug charges culminating an investigation that began in mid-year.
  • December 31: Clemson loses Peach Bowl to Baylor, 24-18, in frigid Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta on New Years Eve for a season record of 8-4. It snows in Atlanta that night. Boogie band ZZ Top plays in the Omni that evening.


1978 The 1970's 1980

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