The dedication of the Tiger Band Plaza.

The dedication of the Tiger Band Plaza.
Image by Josh Kelly

CLEMSON — Clemson University officials and Tiger Band directors, alumni and friends today dedicated the John H. Butler and Bruce F. Cook Tiger Band Plaza. With this new plaza, the Tiger Band outdoor facility becomes the premier college marching band rehearsal space in the country.

Band alumnus and lead donor Keith Snelgrove, along with his wife, Risse, named the plaza in honor of the two former Tiger Band directors. Butler and Cook were college roommates at West Texas State College. The two became lifelong friends, band mates in “The Collegians” and work colleagues at Clemson.

After five years of planning, design and construction and more than $1 million in fund raising, the Tiger Band practice field renovation is a reality. What began as a beautification concept for the practice field turned into an initiative that raised enough for the renovation and to establish a $500K scholarship endowment for Tiger Band members, through the generosity of the Mike Jansen family.

band3Spirit Walk, gateway to the plaza and field, is a paved pathway from the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, home of Tiger Band, to the practice field. It was donated by DP3 Architects of Greenville, led by Tiger Band alumni Mike Taylor and Mike Pry.

Inspirational quotes are etched into markers every five yards along the walk, similar to a football field. Visitors can choose an ADA-accessible alternate pathway that takes them by a Tiger Band history wall, sponsored by Rick and Lesa Foster and family, that marks major events and milestones on the band.

Other significant donors were Mike Schwehr, Ed Glynn and Kathy Hale, Louis Lynn, LeRoy and Gerrie Adams, Charlie Gibson, Mike Cheatham, John Smith, Walter and Theresa Betsill, Hank and Kay Owen, Kevin and Cathy Wigington, Tony and Debbie Stapleton, Kathy Cawood, Chuck Allen, Dave McGregor, Jim Johns and Frank Hartsell.

The plaza incorporates brick pavers with naming opportunities for band alumni and friends. Proceeds from the brick sales will go to the Clemson University Tiger Band Association (CUTBA) scholarship fund

Phase II of the project will add “Spirit Point,” envisioned to become one of the most visited and photographed spots on campus.