The World Needs Visionaries
UNCF Releases Statement on The White House Executive Order on HBCUs

WASHINGTON  (Feb. 28, 2017) - UNCF issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump's  issuance of an executive order  on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs):

"A new HBCU Executive Order issued in the first 100 days of the Trump-Pence administration is a step in the right direction to promote the critical mission of HBCUs, which have created the nation's foremost African American leaders for 150 years and counting. The president has set a high bar; however, we await the opportunity to see if the administration will meet their pledges, specifically as it pertains to funding for HBCUs," said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO, who joined Trump for a ceremonial signing of the order this afternoon.

As the administration sought  UNCF's input  before the final order was issued, UNCF is pleased to see that one of our recommendations was included in the final order: establishing the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the office President, moving it from the current purview of the Department of Education.
None of UNCF's funding recommendations were included, which were:
  • Committing to an aspirational goal that HBCUs be awarded five percent of total federal grant, internship and cooperative agreement funding and 10 percent of total federal contract funding awarded to colleges and universities-which would nearly double federal support to HBCUs
  • Backing up the federal funding goals with concrete commitments for annual funding growth at each federal agency reflected in agency budgets
"We must continue to work with the administration and with Congress to ensure that these historic institutions get both the recognition and the additional resources they deserve," Lomax said. "Today, the president said he pledges to do more for HBCUs than any other president has done before, and we look forward to partnering with him to ensure this is a reality for the deserving students and faculty of HBCUs."
Media Re-cap of HBCU Fly-in and HBCU Executive Order
Business School Students Compete in Pepsico Contest to Win Scholarships
On March 1, from 6 until 9 p.m., four juniors from Claflin University's School of Business will compete against a team from Benedict College in the Pepsico Champion the Dream Competition.  The Claflin team consists of Steven Fuller,  Kiersten Hargett,  Alfred Mang and Jasmine Robinson as well as their coach, Dr. Charles Richardson, dean of the School of Business

The competition consists of the students receiving an issue that a local non-profit is having with marketing and fundraising. The team members will develop strategies to address the problem and then present it to the non-profit's leadership. The winning team will receive $5,000 in scholarship funds.  

Special guests for the event include ABC Columbia anchor Alicia Barnes and  Tristan   Wilds , also known as   Mack Wilds, an  actor, singer-songwriter, and record producer. Wilds is known for his roles as Michael Lee on the HBO original drama series, The Wire, and as Dixon Wilson on the CW teen drama series, 90210.

Good luck, Team Claflin!
Claflin University to Host NEA's Read Across America Day
More than 1,400 first through third grade students from Orangeburg Consolidated School Districts Three, Four and Five will visit Claflin University on Thursday, March 2 to participate in the annual National Education Association's "Read Across America Day" at 11 a.m. in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center.  Admission is free and the public is invited.

Now in its 20th year, "Read Across America" focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources. The event also commemorates the birthday of world-renowned author and illustrator Theodor Seuss Geisel, known as Dr. Seuss.  This year's event will highlight books written by Dr. Seuss that address hunger, homelessness and the Community Character Trait of the Month "Initiative." The program will also include "story time" narrated by Claflin administrators, faculty, students and community leaders, music, and appearances by key Dr. Seuss characters. 

"Read Across America Day" is sponsored by Claflin's Division of Student Development and Services, Office of Career Development and the Orangeburg County Community of Character.
For more information, contact Camika A. Beaton, program coordinator for Service Learning and Community Service at (803) 535-5466 or email
Columbia Mayor Brings Message of Leadership and Purpose to Inclusive Excellence Forum at Claflin University

"Claflin has played and continues to play a tremendous role in shaping this community, the state and the world," said Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin on February 27 at the Vice President's Forum on Inclusive Excellence held at Claflin. "We all believe that universities should be a microcosm of society. What has happened and is happening at this university is rare, unique and special.  You are being prepared for some incredible opportunities at a very high level. Fighting for inclusion and justice and being an advocate for those who don't have a voice is in Claflin's DNA. You need to know you have some very large shoes to fill."

Benjamin was the keynote speaker at the forum which was presented by the Division of Student Development and Office of Student Life in the Arthur Rose Museum. The purpose of the event was to highlight Claflin's ability to incorporate the diverse backgrounds, traditions, and experiences of faculty, staff, and students in realizing the goal of an inclusive community that values excellence in scholarship, teaching and learning, and student development. 

Since being elected mayor in a record turnout election in April 2010, Mayor Benjamin has made it his mission to create Columbia as the most talented, educated and entrepreneurial city in the Southeast. Re-elected by a 30 percent margin in November 2013, Mayor Benjamin's administration has been characterized by his firm belief in Columbia's potential and intense focus on job creation. In his first term alone, his leadership helped cut unemployment in the metro by roughly half and secured billions of dollars in new regional capital investment in the midst of a national recession.

Benjamin's message included references to historic moments in South Carolina that helped change American culture and race relations.

"Sarah Mae Flemming was not looking for a fight or to become a part of history when on June 22, 1954, when she sat in a segregated section on a bus in Columbia," said Benjamin. "Who knew what was on her mind."

The incident took place when only a few weeks earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that "separate but equal" doctrines were unconstitutional." Flemming eventually filed suit against SCE&G which operated the city's bus transportation. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., overturned a previous decision in South Carolina and ruled that "separate but equal" Jim Crow laws were unconstitutional. 

"The ruling paved the foundation for the bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., led by Rosa Parks which launched the career of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," said Benjamin.  "Flemming did not see it coming, but neither did they. She was not looking for history - but when history found her she chose to act."

Other participants of the program were Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler; Devin Randolph, assistant vice president for Student Development and Services at Claflin; and Dominique Riggins, president of Claflin's Student Government Association.

"I never had to face the hardships that so many had to endure during the Civil Rights Movement. But we are here because they did," Benjamin said. "The Sarah Mae Flemmings and others fought, bled, cried and died for us. Because of their commitment to diversity and inclusion, we have the opportunity to enjoy the lives we now enjoy."
Claflin Library Receives Internal Updates
The H.V. Manning Library celebrated its new renovations during an Open House on Thursday, February 23. Event attendees were able to meet the librarians, learn about the library services and to tour the library.
"The library redesign prepares students for success beyond Claflin University. We wanted to create a comfortable environment that encourages student engagement and interactive learning," stated Marilyn Gibbs Drayton, library director.
The library renovations also include new technology resources (iPads and updated computers) whiteboards and other learning equipment.
The renovations are a response to research and suggestions collected from university administration, students, faculty, and staff. The design also implements current and future higher education and career-readiness trends.
Have you Voted for Claflin in the Retool Your School Competition?
Do you remember the old adage "It takes a village to raise a child?" Well, it also takes a village to win the Retool Your School Competition and we need your full support to win! Note: Currently we are in 6th place.
Click here and vote daily for Claflin University. No matter if you have a laptop, desktop, smart phone, or tablet - you can vote on ALL of these devices once per day. The more votes we have, the better our odds are to win the $50,000.
Also in all of your Twitter and Instagram posts, use the hashtag #Claflin_RYS17 - remember its just Instagram and Twitter only. You can do this for an unlimited amount of times during the day.
Let's show others that we can win. Show that Panther Pride and vote online as well as using the hashtag in all of your social media conversations on Instagram and Twitter only.
Student Spotlight: Johnasten Cooper
Johnasten Cooper, a senior criminal justice major, has been offered full time employment opportunities with several agencies including the Durham Police Department, the North Charleston Police Department, the Richland County 5th Circuit Solicitor's Office and Vanguard Group. 

Johnasten is the reigning Mister Claflin. 
Student Spotlight: Adonikam Hudson
Adonikam Hudson is a senior politics and justice and philosophy and religion major and a  member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College.  Adonikam serves as the Student Government Association Chaplain and he completed an internship at Nelson Mullins Law Firm, in Columbia, S.C.

Adonikam has been accepted by several law schools that include Lincoln Memorial University; Widener University; University of South Carolina; and Delaware School of Law.

Alumni Notes

The  Florence County Chapter of Claflin University International Alumni Association hosted its annual signature fundraising event on February 3, 2017, at the Florence County Museum. 
Panther Pride
Claflin Cheerleaders Win All-Female Division at the 2017 SIAC Cheer Competition

The Claflin University cheerleading team coached by Leslie Simpson was crowned the 2017 Southern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (SIAC) Cheerleading Champion for the All-Female Division. 
Simpson, who is in her fourth year as the head coach and 14th season overall on the coaching staff is truly proud of the Lady Panthers Cheerleading Squad. "I am prouder than I've ever been," said Simpson. "In the face of unfortunate adversity, my entire team stepped up and kept the all-female title in Orangeburg."
The cheer competition was held in conjunction with the 2017 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Tournament.  The tournament runs through Saturday, March 4 at the Bill Harris Arena inside the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama.

Claflin Falls to Bluefield State in Series Finale

Bluefield State College defeated Claflin University, 13-8, in an NCAA Division II non-conference baseball game on February 26 at Historic Mirmow Field.  Claflin, which dropped to 3-12 on the season, won the three-game series 2-1.
Claflin will take a 10-day break from competition before returning to the field on March 7 to host College of Saint Rose at 6 p.m. 

Ricky Jackson Named SIAC Men's Basketball Coach of the Year

Claflin University head men's basketball coach Ricky Jackson has been named the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Coach of the Year, announced Friday, February 24 by the league office.
All-conference honors are voted on by the league's head coaches and sports information directors.
Jackson, who is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Panthers, led his team to a 17-9 overall mark, 12-5 in the SIAC. Claflin, who finished first in a three-way tie with Benedict and Clark Atlanta, was named the east division champions.
The Panthers enter the 2017 SIAC Basketball Championships as the No. 1 seed in the East - the highest ever for the Panthers under Coach Jackson.
In addition, Claflin is ranked seventh in the South Region of the Men's Basketball Division II Media Final Regional Poll sponsored by D2SIDA.
Jackson will lead the Panthers in their quest for a SIAC title beginning Wednesday, March 1 at 3:15 p.m., against the winner of Kentucky State (No. 4 Seed in the West)/Fort Valley State (No. 5 Seed in the East).
The 2017 SIAC Basketball Championships began February 27 and will end March 4 at the Bill Harris Arena inside the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama.

McNeill-Moses Named to the 2017 SIAC Men's Basketball All-Conference Team

Claflin University's men's basketball senior  Ryan McNeill-Moses  was named to the 2017 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Preseason Team. Preseason honors were announced February 24 by the league office and were voted on by the head men's basketball coaches and sports information directors. 
McNeill-Moses, a 6-4, 200lb, guard from Washington, D.C., averaged 12.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. He is ranked 17th  in the nation and second  in the conference is field goal percentage.
McNeill-Moses is currently, 11th in steals, 12th in blocked shots, 13th in defensive rebounding, and 14th  in both assists and steals. He is 15th  in overall rebounding, and 18th  in scoring in the SIAC. He scored a career-high 35 points against Kentucky State on December 1, 2016, and he had a season-high 11 rebounds at Fort Valley State on January 23.
March 1, 2017
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Feb. 27-March 3, 2017
Mid-Semester Examinations

March 2
Read Across America Day

March 3
Residence Halls close for Spring Break at 6:00 p.m. University Open.
March 6
Last day for instructors to submit grade changes for Fall 2016.
March 6-10
Spring Break. Classes Suspended. University Open.
March 12
Residence Halls Reopen 12:00 p.m.
March 13
Classes resume. Senior Thesis due for May graduates. Last day to add courses for the 2nd CE/DC
March 16-17
Senior Exit Examinations

March 21
First Lady's Hats and Gloves Tea

March 22
Last day for withdrawing from classes without Penalty (WF or WP)
March 22
Advisement and registration for Summer 2017 and Fall 2017 continues

March 23
UNCF Community, Business, Industry and Friends Luncheon

March 27
Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society Induction
March 27-March 30
University Honors Week
March 28
Honors and Awards Convocation. Classes suspended from 10:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Connect with Us
@Claflin is published by the Office of Communications & Marketing 
President: Dr. Henry N. Tisdale
Vice President for Institutional Advancement: Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton
Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing: George Johnson Jr.
Public Relations Director: J. Craig Cotton
Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator: Bernita Cooper
Sports Information Director: Romanda Noble-Watson
Photographers: Cecil Williams and Geoff Henderson
Student Worker: Sarah Brogden, Semoria Mosley and Jermaine Whack