Students will Purple Out for Military Appreciation Day
CLEMSON — Clemson will celebrate Military Appreciation Day Nov. 23 with a new twist on an old tradition: Purple Out. The student-led initiative encourages fans to wear purple rather than the traditional orange to the Clemson-Citadel football game to represent the significance of the color purple to both the U.S. military and Clemson.
Other Military Appreciation Day plans include recognitions of veterans and active-duty military personnel and military displays on Bowman Field.
All full-time Clemson students attending the game will receive a free Purple Out T-shirt, but it won’t include a Purple Heart symbol as originally planned. That design, chosen from more than 30 student submissions in a campuswide contest, didn’t meet licensing guidelines of the U.S. Army. Proceeds from sales of the redesigned shirt will still benefit campus ROTC units and the Student Veterans Association.
“Purple Out is intended to unite students and fans, pay tribute to Clemson’s history and show respect for the military and its association with the color purple as a symbol of sacrifice,” said Hunter Bagnal, a Student Senate member who chaired the task force that planned the Purple Out activities. “Our goal is to honor the military, and particularly those who have been wounded in service.”
Clemson originally was a military school, and evidence of that heritage isn’t hard to find today. The Military Heritage Plaza on Bowman Field showcases an array of ribbons and medals, including the Purple Heart, donated by alumni. Across from Memorial Stadium, which itself is named in memory of fallen soldiers, is the Scroll of Honor Memorial, a tribute to the nearly 500 alumni who died in service to their country.