Augustus Schilletter

Schilletter Dining Hall

Many students may have eaten at Schilletter dining hall but very few know the story of the individual it is named after.

Augustus Schilletter got away with what might be one of the biggest crimes in Clemson history simply due to the circumstances at the time it happened.

Schilletter was the dining hall steward around the time that Clemson was first starting to grow after it was founded. For years, he embezzled money from the university. The University noticed in 1902 that money had been disappearing from the universities funds for a while but had no idea who was doing it or where it was going. The board of trustees hired a detective to figure out who was doing it but was unsuccessful. This is due to the fact that he completely focused on the wrong area, investigating all of the professors and nobody else.

Later on in 1912, President Riggs hired a private investigator on his own with his own money. He did this in order to keep from making any kind of paper trail and avoid a scandal because Clemson was already struggling to hire new professors and attract students. A major scandal would send the university back to square one and make the troubles they were having a thousand times worse. If it had been a small amount of money it wouldn’t have been as big of an issue, but Schilletter was reported as embezzling between five to eight thousand dollars a year when President Riggs’ salary was only $3500 a year. Riggs allowed him to keep working there for a few years but cut off his access to the funds he was embezzling and slowly phasing him out as an employee. The cover up was so effective that in 1968 the University even named a dining hall after him, and to this day barely anyone knows about what happened.