Bowman Field is a huge field in the center-North of campus, next to the beginning of Downtown and Tillman Hall. Its uses are nearly universal, with its everyday use mostly being students and residents of nearby Clemson using it to play frisbee with their friends and/or dogs, laying out on the lawn and taking a nap/reading a book, and many other things. It is also used for school events, such as the International Festival and were homecoming floats are during Homecoming week, and is where ESPN hosts College Gameday when it comes to Clemson. Bowman Field is one of the most recognizable and historic locations of Clemson University.
Bowman Field was the sight of Clemson’s first intercollegiate athletic contest on April 24, 1896, when Clemson played Furman in a baseball game. The field was named in honor after Randolph T.V. Bowman, one of the first instructors to teach at Clemson, and the school’s first baseball coach, after he died tragically young in 1899 at the age of 23. Bowman Field also hosted Clemson’s first football game on October 20, 1898, when Clemson defeated Bingham 55-0, kicking off Clemson Football’s winning tradition. Bowman was also the location of Clemson’s first track meet, where they defeated Georgia.
Besides being used for athletic purposes, Bowman Field was used as a drill field and parade ground for the Clemson Corps of Cadets. Having a strong military presence from the start, Clemson University (Clemson College at the time) used the large field not only to play sports, but to organize military exercises. While the military presence at Clemson today is not as strong as it was a century ago, you can still see ROTC members doing military exercises on a part of Bowman Field if you come at the right time of day.
While Bowman Field doesn’t host any collegiate events anymore, it is still used often. The huge space is most often used recreationally by students, to unwind after a long day of classes, or to participate in school or club activities. Bowman is often referred as the ‘front lawn’ of Clemson’s campus, due to its location and vast space and potential as the location for events. Besides Memorial Stadium, Bowman Field is one of the most recognizable areas on campus to outsiders, due to it being the perfect location for College Gameday when it comes to Clemson. Bowman Field is the perfect play to spend an afternoon alone, with your friends, or with thousands of people.