‘Golden Tigers’ honor Clemson presidents with gift to Botanical Garden


Clemson University’s Class of 1962 is celebrating its 50th anniversary with gifts to the university and the public: a new garden and brick walkway in the South Carolina Botanical Garden.

The Class of 1962 Presidents Garden will be in the Clemson Heritage Gardens. The Heritage Gardens are 10 acres of specialty gardens, such as the Caboose Garden and the Cadet Life Garden. The new ADA-accessible brick walk will connect all of them.

“Some people can’t walk through the garden right now because there is no sidewalk,” said Amy Craft, assistant director of annual giving. “It’s a rough-routed path, so the Class of ’62 is completing a nice brick walkway for more people to be able to visit the various gardens. We are really excited to help the class dedicate this project.”

The brick path also leads to the proposed Presidents Plaza area, a part of the Presidents Garden that will feature each university president and his contributions to the school and the state. The plaza will have four swings, an entry arbor and 14 plaques — one for each of Clemson’s presidents — with pictures and reliefs. The plaza also will include space to honor future presidents.

The class has raised $114,000 and kicks off the fundraising for the plaza with the momentum of its golden anniversary. Donors’ names and a roster of the class members will be noted in the plaza.

“After 50 years, it is a real milestone to become a ‘Golden Tiger,’” said Jim Caughman, Class of 1962 president and fundraising chairman. “This special garden project will be a lasting tribute to the legacy of the people who have served as president of the university. It is humbling to see what the university has become under their leadership.”

Class members chose these gifts when Class of 1939 members approached them about partnering to finish the Heritage Gardens. The dedication and ribbon-cutting for the walk will be at 9:45 a.m. Friday, June 8, during Clemson’s annual Alumni Reunion Weekend. The Class of 1962 committee will attend the ceremony, and “Thomas Green Clemson” will cut the ribbon and lead a walk through the garden.

The Class of 1962 gifts are part of Clemson’s The Will to Lead capital campaign to raise $600 million to support Clemson students and faculty with scholarships, professorships, facilities, technology and enhanced opportunities for learning and research.

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