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Edisto Fork UMC Pastor to Serve as Guest Speaker for Claflin's Sesquicentennial Baccalaureate Service

The Reverend Ellis White Jr. will be the guest speaker for Claflin University's Sesquicentennial Baccalaureate Service at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 10, in the Tullis Arena at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex.
Baccalaureate is an interfaith service offering farewell to the graduates of Claflin University. The service is open to all graduating students and their families, and live music will be performed by the Claflin University Concert Choir. Claflin's Sesquicentennial Commencement Convocation will take place on Saturday, May 11, at 11 a.m. at the South Atlantic Seventh-day Adventist Convention Center in Orangeburg.
Rev. White is a native of Lynchburg, S.C., and was educated in the public schools of Sumter County. He graduated from the University of South Carolina where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science. He received a master's degree in divinity from Erskine Theological Seminary in Due West, S.C.
Rev. White is an ordained elder in the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has served as pastor of Bluff Road United Methodist Church in Columbia, S.C., for 16 years and as pastor of Camden First United Methodist Church in Camden, S.C., for seven years. He is currently the pastor of Edisto Fork United Methodist Church in Orangeburg, S.C.
Rev. White is married to Vanetta Woolfolk White, nursing director at Palmetto Health Baptist. They are the proud parents of two children, Creighton Ellis White and Carmen Renee White.

Countdown to 2019 Commencement Week Activities

Click here  for an outline of all activities for Graduation Week (May 6-11) including a schedule of events, speakers, hotels, directions, and more.
Did You Miss the 45th Alumni Convention in North Charleston?
If you missed out on the wonderful experiences associated with the 45th Alumni Convention in North Charleston on April 25-28, have no fear. You can visit Claflin's official Flickr photo gallery. Click here to enjoy the memories captured by our photographers.
Mark your calendar for the 46th Alumni Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on April 16-19, 2020. See you then!
Claflin to Host Annual UNCF Community Luncheon
Claflin University will host its annual United Negro College Fund Campaign Community, Business, Industry and Friends Kickoff Luncheon on Friday, May 3, at noon. The luncheon, which helps to raise money for student scholarships, will be held in the auxiliary gym of the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex.

The luncheon will feature presentations from two UNCF scholars who will share how scholarships from UNCF has helped them during their time at Claflin. Individuals and groups will also be honored with the Sustained Leadership Giving Award for their contributions to UNCF.

The inaugural Iris D. Bomar Meritorious Service Award will be awarded posthumously to Barbara C. Moore, a former associate vice president of Institutional Advancement, during the luncheon. The award, named in honor of past UNCF Campus Campaign Coordinator and former associate vice president of Institutional Advancement Dr. Iris D. Bomar, recognizes individuals whose efforts have been defined by persistence, effectiveness,  and enthusiasm for the cause of ensuring that all students have equal access to excellent education. Moore's daughter, Walletta T. Moore-Johnson, will accept the award on behalf of her mother.

To RSVP for the luncheon, please contact Tabatha Livingston at (803) 535-5044 or Those in attendance are asked to make a $25 donation towards student scholarships.
Claflin University to Benefit From Midlands Gives Philanthropy Initiative
Claflin University is one of 415 non-profit organizations that will benefit from the Midlands Gives online giving initiative on Tuesday, May 7. Midlands Gives brings awareness of Midlands nonprofits during an annual 18-hour, online giving challenge. During Midlands Gives, everyone has the opportunity to be a philanthropist as contributions of just $20 or more are amplified through sponsored prize incentives. 
Funds raised through Midlands Gives for Claflin University will be used to support the FOCUS100 Scholarship Fund. Established by Claflin University's Board of Visitors, the FOCUS100 Scholarship Fund contributes emergency funding assistance to students who might otherwise be forced to forfeit attending school due to short term financial hardships. This scholarship specifically provides tuition fees, housing fees, book stipends and coverage for other unexpected school-related financial emergencies.
The FOCUS100 Scholarship Fund provides a crucial financial bridge allowing students to fulfill their dream of graduating from Claflin University, and helps to eliminate the stress and heartbreak experienced by students forced to terminate degree achievement when personal resources are exhausted.
Using micro grants to help assist students who have trouble covering the costs of their tuition and fees is not new but it is extraordinarily effective. Since its creation, the program has made awards ranging from $300 to $1,000 to 1,472 students. Over the period, first-to-second-year retention rates - a critically important indicator of student success - has increased by 18%! 
To put the FOCUS100 program on firm financial footing, on May 22, 2017, the Claflin Board of Visitors initiated a Special Gifts Campaign to raise $1 million by June 30, 2019. To date, approximately $824,000 has been raised toward the  goal. 
Click here to give on Tuesday, May 7, to help Claflin reach its $1 million goal for the FOCUS100 Scholarship Fund. Claflin University is seeking to raise $60,000 during this 18-hour giving campaign. 
Click here to view a video about how FOCUS100 has helped two Claflin University students.
Three Claflin University Students Named Lina McCord Interns
Samarya D. Jenkins, Terin M. Tyson and Frederick U. Uy were selected to serve as Lina H. McCord interns. The Lina H. McCord Summer Intern Program is sponsored by the Black College Fund (BCF), a ministry of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). The interns are named for the fund's longtime executive director, the late Lina H. McCord, and must be recommended by their chaplain and college or university president to participate.

Jenkins is a sophomore psychology major from Columbia, S.C. She is a member of the NAACP and Miss Plus Positive. She also serves as the Vice President of the Psychology Club and Miss D.R.E.A.M. of the Claflin University Gospel Choir.

Tyson is a a sophomore management major from Spartanburg, S.C. She is the NAACP President, Miss Purple & Gold of the Lambda Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and the  Student  Government Association Business Manager.

Uy is a sophomore business administration major from Tacoma, WA. He is a member of the Global Student Organization, National Society of Black Engineers, Claflin Toastmasters International, Up to Us Net Impact, and the Wesley Foundation. Uy is a 2018-2019 Presidential Scholar and a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College.
Jenkins, Tyson and Uy will travel throughout the year, across United Methodist jurisdictions and annual conferences representing the Black College Fund and the General Board of Higher Education Ministry. After successfully completing one year as an intern, students have the opportunity to become ambassadors, a permanent designation, which allows continued travel and representation of the program.
Student Spotlights - Robyn Jackson and Majayla Page
Robyn L. Jackson, a native of Orangeburg, S.C., was crowned Miss UNCF 2019. Jackson is a senior elementary education major and upon graduation, she plans to attend graduate school. 
Majayla Page, a native of Latta, S.C., was crowned Miss Pre-Alumni Council. Page is a freshman biotechnology major. After completing her matriculation at Claflin, she plans to attend medical school to become a pediatric cardiologist and the first African American female doctor from her community.
Alumni News
Congratulations to the following winners of the raffle drawing at the 45th Alumni Convention held in North Charleston on April 25-28:
  • 1st Place - $500.00 - Micheal Bowman, '15
  • 2nd Place - $300.00 - Betty L. Frazier, '74
  • 3rd Place - $200.00 - John E. Allen Jr.
The Orangeburg County Alumni Chapter of CUIAA will have its annual Alumni and Friends Breakfast on Saturday, May 18, at 9 a.m., in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. The speaker for the occasion will be President Henry N. Tisdale. Tickets for the event are $25 and can be purchased by calling (803) 920-4503 or (803) 533-1828.
Panther Pride
Claflin Softball Escapes Elimination Three Times to Advance to Championship Day of the 2019 CIAA Softball Championships

The Lady Panthers will face Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) on Wednesday, May 1, to earn the automatic bid into the 2019 NCAA DII Regionals scheduled for Thursday-Sunday, May 9-11, 2019. Claflin must defeat WSSU twice on Wednesday to advance to the regional. The Rams enter championship day undefeated. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. MORE

Claflin Softball Sweeps Top Post-Season CIAA Honors

In its first season in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), the Claflin University softball team swept the CIAA Post-Season top honors and dominated the All-Conference Teams. The post-season honors, voted on by the CIAA Softball Coaches Association and Sports Information Directors Association, were announced on Monday, April 29, by the league office.
Senior first baseman Kayla Cato  was named the CIAA Player of the Year and earned First Team honors while freshman Shaniya Thomas  earned the Rookie of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, First Team and All-Rookie Team honors.
James "Marty" Kinard of Claflin University was named Coach of the Year. In their inaugural CIAA season, Kinard led the Panthers to an undefeated record of 18-0 in conference play during the regular season to win the CIAA Southern Division title.
LaKaylin Lee rounded out the All-CIAA First Team selections for the Lady Panthers. 
Claflin led the conference with eight All-CIAA selections including five All-CIAA Second Team selections. Earning Second Team honors were catcher Marion Goins, t hird base Jada Ames,  shortstop Kaela Robinson,  outfield Ashley Thomas , and designated player Chaston Huntly . Goins, Thomas, Huntly along with Bre'Zhay Chambers  were also named to the All-Rookie team.
Cato, a native of Decatur, Ga., earned three CIAA Offensive Player of the Week Honors and two CIAA Defensive Player of the Week honors during the regular season. She finished the regular season with a .408 batting average and a .835 slugging percentage while recording 58 runs batted in (RBI), 54 hits, and 51 runs scored in 48 games. Her total RBI, hits, and runs scored were the most by a CIAA player this season while her 11 total home runs tied for first. In CIAA contests, the senior first baseman registered 35 RBI and a 1.245 slugging percentage, both of which ranked first in the league, while finishing second  with six home runs and tied for first with 10 doubles. Cato also finished third with 27 hits and fourth in triples with three in league play while going a perfect 12-for-12 on stolen bases during the regular season, including eight in CIAA games which tied for 10th-best. Defensively, her 284 putouts and .993 fielding percentage in all games were tops in the CIAA this season. 

Thomas was impressive in her first collegiate season as she finished the regular season with a 12-1 record while leading all CIAA pitchers with a 2.07 earned run average (ERA), a .185 opposing batting average (OBA), and 114 strikeouts in 101 innings. Her 12 total wins were second-most by a pitcher in the conference this season. In CIAA games pitched, the Jefferson, S.C., native had a league-leading eight wins and six saves, ranked second in strikeouts with 62 and OBA at .138 while her 1.30 ERA was third-best in league play. For her efforts, Thomas was also named CIAA Rookie of the Year. 

Claflin Baseball Drops Weekend Series to Winston-Salem State

The Claflin University baseball team dropped all three games of the weekend series to Winston-Salem to close out the 2019 regular season. The Panthers will travel to Marion, N.C. to participate in the Independent Schools Tournament scheduled for May 3-5, 2019.
With these losses, Claflin falls to 23-15. MORE
May 1, 2019
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@Claflin is published by the Office of Communications & Marketing 
President: Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, '65
Vice President for Institutional Advancement: Rev. Dr. 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