Furman University Oral Histories

Streaming Media


A video interview with Carl Clawson, the 2004 Belltower Award Recipient. Mr. Clawson was the Resident Engineer and Director of Planning and Construction at Furman University from 1955 to 1983. Thirty-one structures were built at Furman under his direction. The video begins with a walking tour with Mr. Clawson. He explains the layout and design of the Furman campus. Carl talks about the construction of Furman's new campus, and campus life at that time. He speaks of the master plan, and how Dr. Plyler wanted a "Williamsburg, walking campus," so a Colonial Style was used. He explains how parts from the downtown campus were used in the construction of certain areas on the new Furman campus. Carl explains why Furman needed to move from downtown Greenville. He shares the story of how he got the job at Furman, as well as anecdotes from his job interview and first meeting President John Plyer. Mr. Clawson gives a detail account of how the Bell Tower on Furman's Lake was constructed. He personally climbed the old Bell Tower on the downtown campus to record it's exact dimensions because the original plans did not exist. He talks about the decision to put the replica on the peninsula at the Furman Lake, how he did the surveying and layout, and gives details of the construction process. Mr. Clawson finishes the interview briefly speaking about the construction of the Student Center in the 1960's.

Publication Date


City and State

Greenville (S.C.)


Furman University; History; Oral histories; Building




Copyright Furman University Department of History. Materials are intended for non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, and are not to be reproduced or distributed without written permission. In compliance with fair use, whenever items are used for personal use, research, or teaching, please credit as follows: 'Furman University, Department of History'.

Carl Clawson Oral History

Included in

History Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.