Established in 1907 as a bi-weekly news and sports journal, The Tiger is South Carolina's oldest college newspaper. The weekly national award-winning publication has a circulation of about 12,000 and is distributed every Friday on and off campus. Today, The Tiger office is located inside Clemson University's Hendrix Student Center, its home since 2000. Previously, the newspaper had been located for many years on the ninth floor of the University Union. In the late 1940s and early 1950s The Tiger offices were located in the basement of Tillman Hall. (TAPS, 1948-1949, Volume XXXIX, page 14.) In October of 1997, the organization began the The Tiger: Online Edition which now manages to serve an average of 7,000 visitors a week. Although the newspaper used to receive funding each year from the University, The Tiger became financially independent in 2004.
The Tiger published its 100th anniversary issue on January 19, 2007. (The first issue appeared January 21, 1907). A Tiger reunion banquet was held March 10 in the Almeda Jacks Ballroom of the Hendrix Center
As part of the Tiger's centennial celebration, it was announced in July 2007 that the Dr. Louis Henry Endowment is being launched, honoring the student newspaper's long-time faculty advisor. The goal is to ensure that The Tiger enters its second century on sound fiscal footing.
In 1996 and 1998, The Tiger was awarded Best in Show for its class by the Associated Collegiate Press. The Best in Show award is one of the ACP's highest honors for a college newspaper and is competed for by thousands of publications each year.
The Tiger has been consistently named the best college newspaper in South Carolina by the South Carolina Press Association, beating out the University of South Carolina's The Gamecock the majority of the time despite the newspaper's daily status and the university's journalism school.
For many years, especially in the 1970's and 1980's, The Tiger had an alter-ego, The Buzzard. Published once or twice a year, as the last issue of the outgoing senior staff or in conjunction with Halloween and April Fools Day, The Buzzard dished the dirt on campus scandals, poked holes in balloons, and had a good time sending up just about everything. The Almond, unaffiliated with The Tiger, took over the role that The Buzzard once played for a period of two years, until it shut down following a cease-and-desist letter from the Onion.
The last Buzzard appeared in 2001.
On October 19, 1979, members of Kappa Alpha fraternity are caught stealing 2,200 issues of The Tiger after they object to article about certain of their members harassing campus EMTs during a call at the frat house on October 7. On October 31 two members are placed on probation by the university - the fraternity was placed on two-weeks social suspension and fined $200 on October 11 for the original disturbance. Dumbest Criminals Award - The KA brothers ditched The Tigers they had purloined in a dumpster - RIGHT NEXT TO THE KAPPA ALPHA HOUSE! They provide much grist for The Buzzard issue of March 14,1980. Another major theft of The Tiger will take place on October 28, 1994 with the perpetrators making off with 10,000 copies of a 12,000 press run.
In 2004, then-editor Daniel Lowrey stepped down after plagiarizing several columns from other collegiate newspapers. It was not the first time that an editor was deposed.
In 1988, several African-American students were arrested for taking bundles of newspapers as they were being distributed on campus as a protest for lack of coverage of African-American student groups. The arrests were not prosecuted on the technicality that Tigers are free to students. The words "one copy per student" were soon added to the masthead.
The Tiger was featured in the novel The Cold July by Phillip Caston, a 2001 Clemson graduate and editor of the student newspaper from 1999 to 2001. The book is about two reporters who uncover a murder conspiracy on campus.
In 2005, former Tiger senior-staffer Mike Puldy's novel "Zack Be Nimble" was based his work at the Tiger and Taps.
Editors in Chief
The following people have served as editors in chief of The Tiger (all elections for editor are held in March, or December if someone is voluntarily stepping down):
- October 2008 - present: Ashley Crisp
- March 2007 - October 2008: Caroline Rash
- December 2005 - March 2007: Julie Ledbetter
- March 2005 - December 2005: Naylor Brownell
- February 2004 - March 2005: Caroline Stone
- December 2003 - February 2004: Daniel Lowrey*
- December 2002 - December 2003: Adora Cheung
- December 2001 - December 2002: Will Bryant
- March 2001 - December 2001: Mackie All
- December 1999 - March 2001: Phillip Caston
- December 1997 - December 1999: Jonathan Hayes
- March 1997 - December 1997: Dave Baker
- March 1996 - March 1997: Greg Schmidt
- 1992-1993 - Terry E. Manning
- 1991-1992 - Terry E. Manning
- 1990-1991: David Chamberlain
- 1989-1990: Andrew Cauthen
- 1988 - 1989: Jennifer Brown
- 1987 - 1988: Mark Shoen
- 1986 - 1987: Bob Ellis
- 1985 - 1986: Foster Senn
- 1984 - 1985: Pam Sheppard
- 1983 - 1984: Jim Gilstrap (Mar. thru Dec. 83); Karen Reynolds (Dec 83); Kavin Taylor (Jan. - Mar. 84)
- 1982 - 1983: Cindy Powell
- 1981 - 1982: Dana Hanson
- 1980 - 1981: Richard Brooks
- 1979 - 1980: Jim Stovall (Mar. 79 - Oct. 79); Charles Bolchoz (Oct.79 - Mar.80)
- 1978 - 1979: Steve Matthews
- 1977 - 1978: Tom Taylor
- 1976 - 1977: Jack L. McKenzie
- 1974 - 1975: Nancy Jacobs Qualls
- 1973 - 1974: Nancy Jacobs Qualls
- 1972 - 1973: Co-editors Bob Thompson and Tom Priddy
- 1971 - 1972: Jim Walser
- 1970 - 1971: Richard Harpootlian
- 1969 - 1970: Dennis Bolt
- 1968 - 1969: Don O'Briant
- 1967 - 1968: Harry Tinsley
- 1966 - 1967: Fred E. "Ernie" Stallworth
- 1965 - 1966: David Crawford
- 1964 - 1965: William H. "Bill" Linn, Jr.
- 1963 - 1964: Frank Gentry
- 1962 - 1963: Dave Gumula
- 1961 - 1962: Jim Stepp (First Semester); Gray Garwood (Second Semester)
- 1960 - 1961: George P. "Phil" Crotwell, Jr.
- 1959 - 1960: Richard Shick
- 1958 - 1959: Ronnie Ellis
- 1957 - 1958: Co-editors Gus Moore and Charles Spencer
- 1956 - 1957: Tom Berry (First Semester); Thomas Hutchinson (Second Semester)
- 1955 - 1956: Roger Yike
- 1954 - 1955: Co-editors Frank Anderson and Roger Yike
- 1949 - 1950: A. McNeil Howard (November 1948-1949); William V. Costello (November 1949-June 1950)
- 1948 - 1949: Robert Cole "Bob" Bradley
- 1947 - 1948: Harry Graham Reynolds (February 1947-December 1947); Edwin H. Rhyne (January 1948-)
- 1946 - 1947: Edward "Elbo" L. B. Osborne
- 1941 - 1942: Walter Stuart McDonald
- 1940 - 1941: James Jefferson "Senator" or "Jimmie" Lever
- 1939 - 1940: Earl Mazo
- 1938 - 1939: Frampton "Framp" Wyman Durban
- 1936 - 1937: Harry Scott Ashmore
- 1935 - 1936: Joe Dew Kinard
- 1934 - 1935: George "Chap" Chaplin
- 1933 - 1934: William "Bill" Lawrence Leverette
- 1932 - 1933: William "Bill" Greene Ashmore
- 1931 - 1932: James Edgar Baker
- 1930 - 1931: Joel Goodlett Adams
- 1929 - 1930: Henri West Dorsett
- 1928 - 1929: Paul Barr "P. B." Leverett
- 1927 - 1928: Amidas "Mike" Crawford Link
- 1926 - 1927: James Kirkham Avent
- 1925 - 1926: Wright Bryan
- 1924 - 1925: Earle Lewis Smith
- 1922 - 1923: Hughey Allen Woodle (also served as Business Manager)
- 1921 - 1922: Walter McLendon "Doc" Redfern
- 1920 - 1921: T. J. Webb (also served as Business Manager)
- 1919 - 1920: Harry Chandler Walker (also served as Business Manager)
- 1918 - 1919: George Hubert Aull (although The Tiger reported on May 29, 1918 that Deans Haltiwanger had been elected to the office; and J. B. Bankhead is listed as editor-in-chief in the first fall issue dated October 2, 1918, with Aull listed as business manager. Bankhead then resigns to return to the Editor-in-Chief position of TAPS. Aull was elected editor on January 13, 1919.)
- 1917 - 1918: Floyd Lavinius Parks; later, John Bernard Faust
- 1916 - 1917: James Blanding Dick
- 1915 - 1916: Edwin H. Agnew (also served as Business Manager)
- 1914 - 1915: George Reynolds Briggs
- 1913 - 1914: Robert Boyd Ezell
- 1912 - 1913: C. K. Dunlap
- 1911 - 1912: Tandy Roy Reid
- 1910 - 1911: Robert Wallace Freeman
- 1909 - 1910: Claude Furman Inman
- 1908 - 1909: Olin Mitchell Clark
- 1907 - 1908: George Geddings Weathersbee
- 1907: Samuel R. "Slim" Rhodes
*Resigned from office due to plagiarism