Tiger Ice Cream

The plaque on Clemson's campus commemorating the ice cream hoax.

Those familiar with Clemson University’s history know that it once was a military school and those familiar with military schools know that upperclassmen play pranks on incoming freshmen.

Clemson’s past ritual hazing incorporated their school’s creamery. While I’m sure it varied from year-to-year, the basic scenario went something like this; during lunch, an announcement was made over the PA system informing all that the creamery’s freezers had broken. Students were asked to come to the creamery to get free ice cream before it melted.

Alumni line up for Clemson ice cream at the 55 Exchange.

Freshmen immediately ran over to the creamery with their stainless steel milk pitchers in hand for their free share. Once they got there, the upperclassmen told them that the freshmen’s pitchers were to small and to get something bigger — milk cans or trashcans — so they could bring ice cream back.

Only after the freshmen had run all over the campus retrieving large containers, and lined up — 300 to 400 deep — did the upperclassmen let them in on the hoax.

Thankfully, getting some Clemson ice cream these days doesn’t require jumping through so many hoops. You can get the student made ice cream on Clemson’s campus at 55 Exchange or Seasons Restaurant in the Madren Center. Make certain to try the Tiger Rag Milkshake.

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