The World Needs Visionaries
Claflin Hosts Seventh Annual Become A Visionary Leader Event for High-Achieving High School Scholars
Claflin University will host its seventh annual "Become A Visionary Leader" event for high-achieving high school scholars on Saturday, January 26 in Ministers' Hall. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the program begins at 9 a.m.
Sponsored by the University and the Office of Admissions, the event will feature presentations by Claflin deans, faculty, staff and students. Presentation topics include an overview of the Freshman College, the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, academic programs, scholarships, financial aid, student life activities and more. Students and parents will also have the opportunity to tour the historic campus.
"We designed this event for students with exceptionally strong academic records who also aspire to become visionary leaders. We look forward to meeting all of the prospective students and families that will visit our beautiful campus and learn the many benefits of choosing Claflin University," said Antonio McFarland, assistant director of admissions. 
For more information and to register, contact Antonio McFarland via email at or (803) 535-5552.

Claflin Begins New Era of InterCollegiate Athletics in CIAA
Claflin University's 2018-19 academic year will be remembered as a seminal moment in the 150-year history of South Carolina's oldest historically black college/university (HBCU). The concurrent celebrations of the University's Sesquicentennial Anniversary and Dr. Henry N. Tisdale's exceptional visionary leadership during his 25-year tenure as president, have been the source of unbridled excitement and pride throughout the campus community.

Among highlight of historic significance is Claflin joining the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), recognized as one of the premier NCAA Division II conferences in college sports. Claflin's official membership in the CIAA began on July 1, 2018. For the past 10 years, Claflin has been a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC).
"We saw the CIAA as a great fit for Claflin University," said President Henry N.  Tisdale, who announced his retirement effective June 1, 2019. "The CIAA's footprint aligns with our strong collection of alumni in areas such as North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. This also is an opportunity to strengthen student recruitment efforts in those locations. All of these variables - including the conference's commitment to academic excellence and student success -  contributed to Claflin accepting the invitation to join the CIAA."
The Lady Panthers volleyball and cross country teams and Panthers cross country team launched Claflin's participation in league play during the fall. The volleyball team finished 6-17 overall and 6-12 in conference matches. The women's cross country team placed 11th in the CIAA Championships and the men finished seventh. Sophomore Domenic Samuel, the Panthers' top finisher, earned  All-CIAA honors.
The men's and women's basketball teams have taken center stage during the winter months. At the time of this article, the Lady Panthers  were 9-8 overall and 6-4 in the CIAA. They are 3-2 against Southern Division opponents.  Ashley Fields is the team's leading scorer and rebounder at 15.9 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. Dashia Jackson is next at 12.2 points and 5.3 rebounds. Deja Jackson is the third leading scorer for the Lady Panthers at 11.3 points with a team-high 37 three-point baskets.
The men's team is 6-9 overall and the Panthers' 5-5 conference mark includes a 3-2 record in the Southern Division. Claflin is led offensively by Triston Thompson at 12.9 ppg, 59 assists, 86.6 FT percentage (71-of-81). The Panthers are aiming to win back-to-back tournament titles, having won the SIAC title and qualified for the NCAA Division II tournament last season.

Both teams hope to clinch division titles and earn a top seed in the upcoming CIAA Basketball Tournament, Feb. 25- March 2 at the Bojangles Arena and Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. At stake are CIAA Tournament Championships and berths in the NCAA Division II Tournament. Tickets are on sale at Claflin in Tingley Hall on the 2nd floor in the Cashier's Office and on the 3rd Floor in the Office of Alumni Relations/Annual Fund. Tickets can also be purchased from the the Athletics Department online by clicking here.

"I'm looking forward to our first CIAA tournament," said President Tisdale, a sports enthusiast who can tell you the team's records on the spot. "I believe our teams will do extremely well based on their regular season play."

The CIAA Tournament has earned a national reputation as a showcase for its immensely talented teams and individual players, and outstanding coaches. However, the Tournament is also recognized as a celebration of HBCUs and African-American culture as alumni including former athletes from across the country attend reunions, themed parties and receptions to renew past or establish new relationships. An impressive line-up of renowned recording artists, luminaries from theater, politics, professional sports, and others can be seen during the games and throughout Charlotte during the Tournament. 
Founded in 1912, the CIAA is the first African-American athletic conference and one of the most recognized conferences in Division II. The CIAA conducts 14 championships attended by more than 150,000 fans from around the country. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the CIAA is governed by the Presidents and Chancellors of its 12 member-institutions: Bowie State University, Chowan University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Livingstone College, Saint Augustine's University, Shaw University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University and Winston-Salem State University. 

For more information on purchasing CIAA Basketball Tournament tickets and hotel information, contact Zelda M. Lee at  (803) 535-5348 or email or Tammy McCottry at ( 803) 535-5665 or email

Claflin NAACP Chapter Hosts Blood Drive

The Claflin University chapter of the NAACP hosted a blood drive on Wednesday, January 16. A mixture of students, faculty, staff and members of the community showed up to donate blood during this five-hour event. 

According the American Red Cross, one pint of blood could save up to three lives, and 70 percent of African-Americans have type O or B blood, which are the blood types most in demand. 

Sophomore Brandon Brown, '21, chief strategist for the NAACP, said the campus chapter tries to host a blood drive every year, and the organization has plans to host another this March. "This is one  easiest ways to get blood donations, so we will continue to host as many as we can."

Claflin to Host Wills Seminar on Daniel Island
Attorney F. Xavier Starkes will be the featured speaker for Claflin University's Wills Seminar on  Tuesday, February 12, 2019, from 6:30 until 8 p.m. The session will be held at the Hampton Inn, 160 Fairchild Street, Daniel Island, S.C., 29403. The event is free and open to the public. 

Attorney Starkes is a native of Columbia, S.C., and is an experienced attorney that has been practicing since 1988 with a proven track record of providing the highest quality of legal services to his clients.  His professional affiliations include the American Bar Association, South Carolina Bar Association as well as the South Carolina Black Lawyers Association and the American Trial Lawyers Association. In addition, he is an adjunct professor at the USC School of Law, of which he is a 1988 graduate.  

To find out more about developing and/or revising your will, please reserve your space today by contacting Ms. T. Livingston at (803) 535-5044 or .

Claflin University is Tom Joyner Foundation® January 2019 School of the Month
Claflin University is the January 2019 "School of the Month" by the Tom Joyner Foundation®. The Foundation, formed by the nationally-syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner, chose Claflin as part of its on-going effort to provide scholarships for students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
As a Tom Joyner Foundation® "School of the Month," Claflin will be promoted by the Tom Joyner Morning Show in January 2019 and will work with the Foundation to raise funds from listeners, alumni, and other supporters throughout the entire year. The show, which can be heard in more than 90 markets around the country, reaches more than 10 million people through its various media platforms.
All funds raised through this initiative at Claflin will support FOCUS100 Scholarships. Gifts of $2,500 or more to the campaign in January, whether made by individuals or given by alumni chapters, affinity groups, or organizations may be highlighted that month on the Tom Joyner Morning Show with a 1-2 minute taped segment that will be broadcast and share online.

Donations for this initiative can be made directly to Claflin University, via any of the University's existing means, or through the Tom Joyner Foundation by:
  • MOBILE PLEDGE: Text ClaflinPanther to 41444 to donate via credit card.
  • CROWDFUNDING: Text ClaflinPanther to 71777 to donate or become a Fundraiser for Claflin. Visit the Foundation's Crowdfunding Page to learn more.
    ONLINE: Visit (select Claflin University in the drop-down menu)
  • MAIL A DONATION: Send checks made payable to The Tom Joyner Foundation, Re: Claflin, P.O. Box 630495, Irving, Texas, 75063-0495
For more information or to volunteer to help with Claflin's 2019 School of the Month initiative, please contact Barbara Chappell, major gifts officer, at (803) 535-5349 or

Alumni News

The Greater SC Coastal Alumni Chapters of Claflin University (which consists of Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton & Dorchester Counties) will host the 45th Claflin University International Alumni Convention on April 25-28, in North Charleston, S.C. This year's planning committee is pleased to welcome attendees to Charleston, the "birthplace" of Claflin University, where the theme for the Convention is "Visionaries: From the Lowcountry to a Hilltop High."
As noted in the book,  On a Hilltop High: The Origin and History of Claflin College to 1984 by Dr. Blinzy L. Gore, in Charleston, a small group of black and white ministers gathered for deliberations on the grounds of a local religious institution, and when they concluded their efforts, they had given birth to the notion of Claflin University.
The merger of Baker Biblical Institute at Charleston and the Normal and Training School at Camden resulted in Claflin University opening its doors in Orangeburg, S.C., on October 27, 1869. These ministers, along with Lee and William Claflin, T. Willard Lewis, Alonzo Webster and many others formed the foundation upon which Claflin stands today - 150 years of academic excellence and visionary leadership! 
Click here to register for the convention and to see the full schedule. Early bird registration is now open until March 25.

Panther Pride
Have You Purchased Your CIAA Tournament Tickets? 

The Claflin University Panthers will make their inaugural appearance in the CIAA Basketball Tournament which begins Tuesday, February 26, 2019, through March 2, 2019, at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. The tournament is widely-acclaimed as one of the nation's top sports, cultural, and entertainment attractions. Men's and women's basketball teams representing all 13-member institutions will compete for the tournament title and a berth to the NCAA Division II Championships. Let's cheer the Panthers on to a CIAA Tournament Championship!

The Panthers will need your support at the games!

Tickets are on sale Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Claflin University cashier's window on the 2nd Floor of Tingley Hall. Please contact the CU Athletics Department at (803) 535-5504 or email for additional information. 
Tickets can also be purchased from the Athletics Department online by clicking  here.

Ticket packages available for the tournament as of Thursday, January 17, are as follows:
  • Courtside Tickets - $485.00 each (only 2 tickets available)
  • Center Court - $250.00 each (only 4 tickets available)
  • General Admission - $200.00 each (only 124 tickets available) 
The host hotel for Claflin University is the Doubletree Hilton Hotel Charlotte, N.C. Please click  here  to reserve your hotel accommodations. You may also call the hotel at (704) 227-2815 and use the group code - CLA.
Please contact Tammy McCottry at (803) 535-5665 or email or Zelda M. Lee at (803) 535-5348 or email if you need additional assistance.

Claflin Falls to Virginia State

Virginia State University defeated the Claflin University men's basketball team, 77-68, in a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) game at the Tullis Arena on Wednesday, January 16. The loss ended a two-game winning streak for Claflin, now 6-10 overall and 5-6 against fellow CIAA teams.

Claflin will travel to Livingstone College on Saturday, January 19, for the first of four straight road games. The contest will follow with games at Fayetteville State University on Monday, January 21, and Johnson C. Smith University on Monday, January 28, and Benedict College on Thursday, January 31.

Lady Panthers Past Virginia State

Claflin University rolled past Virginia State University, 59-33, in a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) game at the Tullis Arena on Wednesday, January 16. In winning its third straight game, Claflin is now 10-8 overall and 7-4 in the CIAA, including a 4-2 record in the Southern Division.

The Lady Panthers will take to the road for four straight games, starting with Livingstone College on Saturday, January 19, followed by Fayetteville State University on Monday, January 21, and Johnson C. Smith on Monday, January 28, and Benedict College on Thursday, January 31.

January 17, 2019
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. 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