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Timeless Tigertown: A sneak peak at tonight’s pep rally

David Ferrara, Editor-in-Chief

Last year’s Tigerama, its sixty-fifth year, saw an increased turnout since the last time it was held back in 2019.

Homecoming weekend is the social highlight of Clemson’s fall festivities, as reported by The Tiger in November 1959. This statement rings true today with the infectious excitement surrounding this week and as Tigerama returns to Death Valley tonight for its 66th year at 7 p.m.
Tigerama, Clemson’s annual Homecoming pep rally, has grown to feature a collection of student organizations, entertainment segments, philanthropic work and a traditional fireworks show.
There will be a mix of traditional and transformational components coming to Tigerama this year.
As fans enter the stadium Friday evening, there will be an acoustic set by the Carly Miller Band. The crowning of the 2022 Homecoming Queen, drills from the Pershing Rifles, a fireworks show, skits and appearances from the Rally Cats, Tiger Band and the football team are traditional components that will be expected.
Then, with an upbeat performance from B.o.B, American rapper, singer-songwriter and record producer, this year’s pep rally is aimed to be bigger than ever, according to Luke Hall, Tigerama’s marketing director.
“This event is imperative; you don’t want to miss it during homecoming week. It is an opportunity to be surrounded by a sea of orange with students, alumni and family, as we honor the Clemson spirit together,” said Hall. “It will be a moment of celebration and a moment of reverence. Tigertown remains timeless and four years is just the beginning.”

66 years of Tigerama

With all the excitement regarding Homecoming and Tigerama, many may not know when and how Clemson began its Homecoming pep rally. 
Joe Sherman, the retired director of alumni relations, got the idea for Tigerama while he worked at the University of Florida. The night before the Homecoming game, the University of Florida hosts an annual Gator Growl student talent show.
When Sherman came back to Clemson in 1956, he persuaded the Alumni Association to fund a show similar to Gator Growl. Months of preparation took place to be sure the first production would be a successful endeavor that would be able to continue in the future. 
The Blue Key Honor Society sponsored the first show in 1957 and continues to do so today. Joe Blandford, the president of Blue Key in 1957, launched a campaign to spark interest in the community, and Tigerama became a huge hit.
About 10,000 fans were present at the first Tigerama, with an event-filled evening, including a fire eater, juggling specialist and majorettes, according to Hall. There was musical entertainment at the gala event by Stan Kenton and his Modern Jazz Orchestra. The skit performances were started as well.
The grand finale consisted of a fan favorite even today: fireworks. The fireworks then cost around $850, and the price has continued to increase over the years. 
“Those fireworks were the things that carried the show during the first three years,” said Sherman.

The timelessness of the Clemson experience

“I go to Clemson” holds a special meaning for Maggie Crowe, this year’s Tigerama Director.
It is a statement that has brought her pride, but to her, it does not make sense that such loyalty only develops in a student’s four years at Clemson.
“The reality is that this unshakable dedication was never meant to last four, fast years … it was meant to last our whole life,” Crowe said.
The phrases “I am going to Clemson,” “I go to Clemson” and “I went to Clemson” are linked forever by the memories students have made with their Clemson family. From the Tigertown Bound acceptance letters, to current students and alumni, there is an everlasting spirit that binds students to Clemson.
 “I am going to Clemson” is a phrase every student has said before officially attending. Students have heard about the University in many ways and in different locations, but what has remained is the contagious enthusiasm, Crowe said. Clemson begins an unending lifestyle that allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the culture here.
“I go to Clemson” is the phrase that truly transforms students.
“Clemson redefines the words that make us who we are”, Crowe said. Students are constantly surrounded by inspirations demonstrated by researchers, athletes, leaders, musicians and soldiers who have made an impact on the University and out in the world. Hope, unity and love are not confined to a student’s years at Clemson, but rather they continue with them after graduation.
“I went to Clemson” is a phrase that declares who students are and that traditions never get old, orange is never out of style and memories are everlasting.
“You might be able to take the students out of Clemson, but you can never take the Clemson out of the student,” Crowe said. 
Others know Clemson as a four-year experience, but for students, it lasts a lifetime.
“We are who we are because of Timeless Tigertown, where four years is truly just the beginning of our Clemson story,” Crowe said.

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