If you visit Clemson, chances are that a sweet smell in Hendrix Student Center will lead you to the campus ice cream shop, '55 Exchange. '55 Exchange is a Clemson-only student-run ice cream shop that opened publicly in 2007 to the public and its Clemson body. The shop was made possible from a generous donation from the Clemson class of 1955 as a celebration of their 50th anniversary as alumni in 2005. This was the last year of graduating Clemson cadets. Their wish was to recreate a facet of Clemson history and implant it in the future of Clemson.
'55 Exchange is a source of Clemson pride. The shop prizes itself on being 100% student run and boasts its ability as a teaching tool for students of multiple majors to get more experience in running a business. Not to mention, all the food in the shop is made by the students in the Ice Cream Innovation Laboratory in Newman Hall on campus. The shop also sells Clemson blue cheese. The Class of '55 also hoped to help students gain experience with business with their donation.
The shop itself is relatively new, but the tradition lies in the student-made ice cream. Looking at historic Clemson events, you would often hear about the Agriculture College's ice cream available at big events made by the students for the students. This included the blue cheese, milk, and eggs offered by the Agriculture college. Apparently, these products have been sought after for decades by Clemson fans and strangers alike. '55 Exchange exists as a link to Clemson's early days as an agriculture college and the nostalgia the Class of '55 felt over eating ice cream back in their college days.
The beginning of '55 Exchange's history is found in the historic Clemson course catalogues. There was a course called 'Dairying' that taught how to make butter and cheese as well as separating milk with the Clemson cattle back in 1897. Clemson had been creating and distributing food since the 1920s. The beginning of Clemson blue cheese began when a diary professor realized that a tunnel could cure the blue cheese in 1941. Clemson has and continues to encourage food production and management skills by the students and hopes to instill this in its future with the '55 Exchange.