CLEMSON – Clemson University will celebrate the bicentennial of Anna Clemson’s birth Feb. 13 with a birthday party in Trustee Park on campus from 10 a.m. to noon. Guests can enjoy milk and cookies, ice cream and informative birthday cards.

Anna with balloonsThe event will help kick off Clemson’s Woman’s History Month observance, which will continue through March. Tours of Fort Hill, the home of John C. Calhoun, his family and later the Clemsons, will highlight the lives of the Calhoun and Clemson women, especially Anna.

Anna Maria Calhoun Clemson, wife of Thomas Green Clemson, was the benefactor of the land the couple gave to South Carolina to establish the state agricultural college that eventually became Clemson University.

She was the daughter of John C. Calhoun, the seventh vice president of the United States. She began serving as her father’s copyist in 1834, living at times in Washington D.C., where she met Thomas Green Clemson in 1838. After a whirlwind romance, the two were married at Fort Hill on Nov. 13, 1838.

Clemson University’s website describes her: “Anna seamlessly shifted between diplomat’s spouse, plantation mistress, mother and confidant. Intellectually gifted, Anna accomplished much in her short life of 58 years. Anna embodied the true role of an alma mater, the nurturing mother, as a co-founder of the institution that bears her married name.”