The World Needs Visionaries
Welcome Home!
Homecoming is an exciting time at Claflin University and we are expecting another overwhelming crowd of alumni and supporters next week. Administrators, faculty, staff and students are eager to greet you as you return to campus on November 15 through 18 to enjoy the many activities that have been planned to ensure that Homecoming 2018 is both rewarding and memorable.
We are especially excited about this year's Homecoming as it falls during our celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of South Carolina's oldest HBCU - Claflin University! The year-long celebration will be launched at Founders' Day Convocation on Sunday, November 18, at 4 p.m. in the new Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. I invite your attendance and support.
During our Homecoming ReUnion Weekend, we will honor the classes of 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, and 2013. I am confident you will enjoy seeing your classmates and reminiscing about the days spent at the University. 
I encourage you to get better acquainted with your University and share your time, talent, and treasures. I also encourage you to recommit yourself by joining the nearest alumni chapter.
The Homecoming Committee has worked tirelessly to plan events with you in mind as you enjoy each other's company at your Alma Mater. Be sure to review the schedule  below.
Thank you for your support and enjoy your stay in Orangeburg next week. I hope you will take the time to share with our students what Claflin means to you. Your stories along with their stories help to continue Claflin's rich legacy. Always remember that together, we are Claflin University!
Happy Homecoming!
Henry N. Tisdale, '65

C-U at "The Unveiling"
We have something special up our sleeve. Join us on Friday, November 16 at 3 p.m. on the grassy area near Bowen and Laymen Halls. 

Gladys Knight to Perform at Presidential Scholarship Gala;  Six Visionary Leaders to be Inducted into the Hall of Fame
Grammy Award-winning singer Gladys Knight will headline the 25th Annual Presidential Scholarship Gala on Friday, November 16, at 6 p.m. in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. The gala has raised more than  $3.3 million  since its inception to benefit the Claflin University Presidential Scholars. The scholars are high-achieving students who receive full tuition, room and board, and a book stipend as a result of their outstanding academic accomplishments.
Georgia-born, Gladys Knight began performing gospel music at age four in the Mount Mariah Baptist Church and sang as a guest soloist with the Morris Brown College Choir. Three years later, she won the grand prize on television's "Ted Mack's Amateur Hour," and the following year, her mother Elizabeth Knight created the group consisting of Gladys, her brother Bubba, her sister Brenda and her cousins William and Elenor Guest. They called themselves The Pips in honor of their cousin/manager, James Pip Woods. In 1959, Brenda and Elenor left the group, replaced by cousin Edward Patten and friend Langston George. The group was renamed Gladys Knight & The Pips, and following George's departure in 1962, the classic line-up was in place. 
The group debuted their first album in 1960, when Knight was just 16. With Knight singing lead and The Pips providing lush harmonies and graceful choreography, the group went on to achieve icon status, having recorded some of the most memorable songs of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Top 20 hits, like "Every Beat of My Heart," "Letter Full of Tears," "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and "If I Were Your Woman," set the stage for an amazing run in the mid-1970s, with Top 10 gold-certified singles like "Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye)," "I've Got to Use My Imagination," "Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me" and the #1 smash "Midnight Train to Georgia" established Gladys Knight and The Pips as the premiere pop/R&B vocal ensemble in the world. Knight enjoyed another #1 hit in 1985 when she teamed with Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Dionne Warwick on "That's What Friends are For."  All told, Knight has recorded more than 38 albums over the years, including four solo albums during the past decade.
Six visionary leaders will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Presidential Scholarship Gala. Individuals that are selected each year have made their mark  in areas such as community service, military, education, athletics, government and philanthropy.
The 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees are: Lieutenant Colonel Leon Bradley, '74; Senior Master Sergeant Leonard A. Jordan, '72 (posthumously); Jessie Ruth Littlejohn,  Gerald Mackey, 74; Vernon Wallace, '73; and Brigadier General Twanda Young, '89.

The "Handshake Teacher," Claflin Alumnus Barry White Jr., to Serve as Homecoming Parade Marshal
The educator who became known as the "Handshake Teacher," Barry White Jr., '14, will serve as the parade marshal in the 2018 Claflin University Homecoming Parade which begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 18, in downtown Orangeburg. The parade will begin on Russell Street at Edisto Memorial Gardens and will end on campus at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex on Magnolia Street.
White, who earned his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Claflin, teaches fifth-graders at Ashley Park Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2016, a video of White giving personalized handshakes to each of his students went viral, landing him a segment on the Today Show and mentions on ABC NewsForbes and other media outlets. He also appeared on the Steve Harvey Show.

White continued to attract fame as the "Handshake Teacher," and found himself in the spotlight again as one of the first contestants on "Total Knock Out," an obstacle course competition series on CBS hosted by comedian Kevin Hart. White not only had a chance to share a handshake with Hart, but he was also the winner of the $50,000 prize.
Although White's TV appearances have made him a national celebrity, his students remain his top priority. He believes in empowering his students to "utilize their personal platforms and gifts to motivate and inspire others." White is hopeful that he can motivate his students to continue their education by attending college and push them to go beyond their local surroundings.

White is the founder of the Barry White Jr. Foundation that aims to help educators like himself provide students greater experiences in learning. He serves as a liaison for other teachers by connecting them with resources and expanded opportunities that will help them become effective educators. White also helped to co-found the Ashley Park Blue Wings Step -  the school's first-ever step team.

Now in his third year of teaching, White's career aspirations include continuing his career in educational leadership and eventually becoming a school principal.  

Religion Professor/Claflin Alumnus to Serve as Homecoming Worship Speaker
Rev. Dr. Walter Butler, '73, will be the guest pastor for Claflin University's annual Homecoming Worship Service on Sunday, November 18, at 9:30 a.m. in the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel. Rev. Dr. Butler is currently the assistant professor of religion at Morris College in Sumter, S.C.
Rev. Dr. Butler is a native of Saluda, South Carolina. He attended the public schools of Saluda County and received his diploma from Riverside High School in 1969. In 1973, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Claflin College.
In 1985 he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Morris College. He has done further studies at The Lutheran Southern Theological Seminary, in Columbia, S.C. He received a Master's of Divinity degree from The Morehouse Interdenominational Theological Seminary, located in Atlanta, Ga. He has a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Hood Theological Seminary in North Carolina. In May 2001 he received the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Morris College, Sumter, SC.   
Rev. Dr. Butler is married to the former Clara M. Bookhardt of Santee, S.C They have four daughters: Lakeshia, Deneathra, Waretha, and Corinth Butler. He also is a proud grandfather.

Award-winning Artist to Speak at Claflin's Sesquicentennial Founders' Day
Dr. Leo F. Twiggs, distinguished artist-in-residence at Claflin University, will deliver the keynote message at the University's 150th Founders' Day Convocation at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November  18, at the Jones T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. Founders' Day is an annual celebration of Claflin University's legacy as the first historically black college/university in South Carolina.

Twiggs, a 1956 summa cum laude graduate of Claflin, went on to earn a master's degree from New York University where he studied with the acclaimed African-American muralist, Hale Woodruff. He then earned a doctorate degree in art education in 1970 from the University of Georgia, making him the first African American to do so.

During his time as professor of art at South Carolina State University, he developed the first majors in studio art and art education for the university, and established the visual arts department. Twiggs was the first director of the I.P. Stanback Museum on the South Carolina State University campus and the school named him Professor Emeritus in 2000.

With exhibits in the Studio Museum and the American Crafts Museum and in the U.S. Embassies in Rome, Dakar, and Bern, Switzerland, Twiggs' work is recognized nationally and internationally. Recently, Twiggs completed a series of nine paintings titled Requiem for Mother Emanuel commemorating the lives of the nine Charleston church shooting victims. Galleries across South Carolina exhibited the paintings, and the paintings were featured on ESPN and CBS Evening News. 

Twiggs was the first artist to receive the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award in South Carolina in 19080, and he received a second Verner Award for lifetime achievement in the arts in 2017. In 2017, he also received the state's highest civilian honor, the Order of the Palmetto.

The Founders' Day convocation will also include the presentation of the presidential citations, as well as the presentation of the Thaddeus Bythewood Award to former Claflin University Board of Trustees Chairman James A. Bennett, South Carolina Mid-South Area Executive of First Citizens Bank in Columbia, S.C.

Homecoming Weekend Schedule at-a-Glance

Thursday, November 15

13th Annual Claflin Golf Classic
Registration: 8:00 a.m./Shotgun Start 9:00 a.m.
The Orangeburg Country Club, 2745 Griffith Drive, Orangeburg, SC 29115
This fundraising event benefits "FOCUS100" Scholarships and the Orange and Maroon Athletic Support Association (OMASA)
Alumni Reception and Registration
4:30-7 p.m.
Country Inn & Suites, Lobby Area
731 Citadel Road, Orangeburg, SC 29115
Friday, November 16

Images of Success
8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Classroom and Campus Visits
CUIAA Executive Committee Meeting
8:30 -10:30 a.m.
W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Campus Center
Multipurpose Room
Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College
Alumni Round Up Drop-In (25th Year Anniversary)
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Kleist Hall Multipurpose Room
Academic Receptions
11 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Various Locations
* School of Business - Grace Thomas Kennedy
Business and Communication Building
* School of Education - Bowen Hall
* School of Humanities and Social Sciences  -W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center
* School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics  - James S. Thomas Science Center
*The Center for Professional and Continuing  Studies-Calhoun-Downs-Laymen Hall
Leadership Giving Luncheon (Invitation Only)
12 p.m. - Ministers' Hall

Leonard Huggins Book Signing
2 p.m. - Campus Bookstore

"The Unveiling"
3 p.m. - Grassy area near Bowen and Laymen Halls
Silent Auction
6 p.m. - Tullis Arena, Jonas T. Kennedy  Health and Wellness Complex

25th Annual Presidential Scholarship Gala featuring Gladys Knight
6-10 p.m. - Tullis Arena, Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex
Price: $200 (Sold Out)
"Back Down Memory Lane" Dance
9 p.m.-1 a.m. The Premiere
1235 Five Chop Road, Orangeburg, SC 29115 
Join your classmates for an unforgettable evening of memories and conversation while enjoying food, great music and cocktails included. Price: $35
Saturday, November 17
Homecoming Parade
9:30 a.m. - The parade begins on Russell Street at Edisto Memorial Gardens and ends at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex on Magnolia Street. Parade Marshal: Barry White Jr., '14
Affinity Group Events
11 a.m.
* Mu Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Luncheon  - Orange and Maroon Room - Price: $20
* Lambda Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi  Fraternity, Inc., 80th Anniversary Luncheon  - Ministers' Hall - Price: $25
Class Meetings and Reception for Classes Meeting in Reunion
11 a.m. - Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium
Classes of 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013
Class of 1973 45th Luncheon Reunion
Immediately following the Parade - 1869 Club. Price: $25
Panther Den and Alumni Registration
Noon - 4 p.m.
Tent located near the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. Enjoy your  classmates during Claflin's ultimate tailgating experience. Great food, good music and lots  of fun. Price: $25
Homecoming Basketball Doubleheader
Tullis Arena, Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex
1:30 p.m. - Lady Panthers vs Anderson University
3:30 p.m. - Panthers vs Tuskegee University
Greek Step Show
7:30 p.m. - Tullis Arena, Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. Price: $15
Orange and Maroon Dance
9 p.m. - 1 a.m.
The Premiere, 1235 Five Chop Rd., Orangeburg, SC 29115. Come dressed to impress for a night of fun, tasty treats, and great music. Price: $35
Sunday, November 18
Pre-Worship Service Breakfast
8:30 a.m. - 1869 Club. (Reservation required)
Worship Service
9:30 a.m. - Speaker: Rev. Dr. Walter Butler, '73, Pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, Lexington, SC. The James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel
Founders' Day Convocation
4 p.m. - Speaker: Dr. Leo F. Twiggs, '56
Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Claflin University. Tullis Arena, Jonas T. Kennedy  Health and Wellness Complex

November 9, 2018
In This Issue
Calendar of Events
Connect with Us
@Claflin is published by the Office of Communications & Marketing 
President: Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, '65
Vice President for Institutional Advancement: Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton, '73
Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing: George Johnson Jr.
Public Relations Director: J. Craig Cotton
Public Relations/Social Media Coordinator: Charnita Mack
Web Communications Manager: Colin Myers, '07
Sports Information Director: Romanda Noble-Watson
Photographers: Cecil Williams, '60, Geoff Henderson and Colin Myers, '07
Student Interns: Cody Dallas and Annchester Williams