The World Needs Visionaries

Note: Claflin University will be closed to observe the holiday season from Thursday, December 19, 2019, through Sunday, January 5, 2020. University offices will reopen on Monday, January 6, 2020. 
"Your Destiny is Calling Your Name" Says Claflin Alumna to Fall 2019 Graduates in Commencement Message

Dr. B. DaNine J. Fleming, '96, told Claflin University fall graduates that they have beaten the odds during a turbulent period in the nation's history and that their future is bright  in her keynote message at the University's 2019 Fall Commencement on Friday, December 13, in the Jonas. T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex.  
"Your struggles of today are not the same as what your parents, grandparents, guardians, or I endured. For most of your lives you have known violence and tragedy: terrorists attacks, earthquakes, school  shootings, and the shootings at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. However, somehow you have  managed to overcome the odds and persevered,"  said Fleming to a capacity audience that included 105 graduates who received bachelor's and master's degrees. Fleming is an associate professor in academic affairs, director of training and intercultural education in the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Medical University of South Carolina. 
"Today,  you are showing the world that even a diamond in the rough is a  diamond  sure enough," she said. "On this day,  you are changing the narrative because this is your day of triumph. For every tear that was  shed, for  the doors that were closed and those that opened; you needed every one of those experiences. Today, you can thank God; you did not give in, give up or give  out."
Fleming is also the inaugural Unconscious Bias Faculty Scholar at MUSC and a founding member of the advisory council for "Taking Back OUR Village," a youth anti-violence community program. Fleming started the Little Book Lending Library Program at Flowertown Elementary School in memory of her mother, the late Doretha W. Jenkins, and she launched the inaugural Little Book Lending Library at the Charles Ross Municipal Complex in historic Lincolnville, S.C. To honor the legacy of her grandparents, Lawrence and Oletha Jones Jenkins, Fleming's family established an endowment at Claflin University. Fleming's grandmother graduated from Claflin in 1942.
"Hush, someone is calling your name," Fleming said. "Every single opportunity prepared you for this day as you reap the harvest that you have sown. Remember also that among you are your best natural resources - each other. Never forget the people you meet here at Claflin. Among you are tomorrow's leaders. You stand shoulder to shoulder and walk with giants."

A native of Givhans, S.C., Fleming graduated magna cum laude from Claflin with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She earned a master's in early childhood education from the College of Charleston and an educational specialist degree in educational leadership and administration from South Carolina State University. Fleming received a doctorate in educational leadership from Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio. She also earned a certificate of theology from the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Ga. 

Fleming is a life member and a past chapter president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. She is married to Travis N. Fleming, the mother of Sydnei L. Fleming and a bonus nephew, Donte' D. Reid.

"It matters not if it is a whisper or if  it's  being  shouted  from the  mountain tops," Fleming said.  "Your destiny is calling your name. You are prepared and you have completed the race. Now, it is time to stand tall with your ' Claflin  Confidence' and ' Claflin  Magic' - it is time to  answer  the call."  
The 2019 Fall Commencement was the first for Claflin President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, who began his tenure as the University's ninth president on August 1, 2019.
"We are truly proud of your success," said Warmack to Claflin's inaugural graduating class under his leadership. "If not for your hard work, dedication and commitment, the degree would be just a piece of paper. Your diploma was well earned and it can be the key to a very rewarding  future.
This key can open many doors and lead to highly profitable professional  careers a higher standard of living, and greater  recognition in your respective communities. However,  what happens after you walk through those doors is up to you. Earning your degree is not the end of anything - it's just the beginning. I am charging the 2019 Fall Class to remember your days at Claflin with fondness and gratitude. Try your very best to give something back to this institution so that others who come after you can have the same transformational opportunities you received."
Warmack praised two 2019 fall graduates - Diamond Boyd and  Briyanna Lechea Sinkford - for overcoming personal challenges to achieve their goals of earning a Claflin degree. Boyd is a first-generation college graduate who earned a bachelor's degree within 3 1/2 years in accounting with a 3.6 grade point average. She has accepted a full-scholarship at Bentley University in  Waltham,   Mass.,  where she will pursue a master's in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance.  
Sinkford is a single mother who worked full-time while attending Claflin as a full-time student. She has been offered a position with an accounting firm in Minnesota. She earned a 3.0 grade point average and graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration. Both students are from Columbia, S.C.  To Warmack, their success stories are examples of the "Claflin Magic" - a term he used to describe the university's phenomenal accomplishments through the collective contributions, effort, and support of the entire campus community. 
Pennshelia Latashawain Griffin, a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, was the recipient of the Presidential Academic Excellence Award. Griffin, a native of Yemassee, S.C., earned a bachelor's degree in human performance and recreation. She graduated magna cum laude with a 3.88 grade point average - the highest among all Fall 2019 graduates. 
Warmack also acknowledged and expressed his gratitude for a special gift from Fleming, the first keynote commencement speaker since Warmack's arrival to Claflin. She donated $18.69 for each member of the graduating class.
"I challenged a group of alumni leaders in the Images of Success program during Homecoming in November," Warmack said. "I asked if every young alumnus donated $18.69 in recognition of the year Claflin was founded, what impact would it have on our institution? When I had to consider who would be my first commencement speaker, I wanted someone who had walked these hallowed grounds and was unwavering in giving back to Claflin. Dr. Fleming later gave me an envelope with a donation that guaranteed that the 2019 Fall Class would be the first that 100 percent - each member of its class - has given back to Claflin. She also sent her daughter to Claflin so she really believes in this University.

These are just a few examples of how the 'Claflin Magic' continues to resonate throughout this University. This place is special and it takes a village to make all of these great things happen," Warmack said.
Images from Fall Commencement

If you missed the Fall Commencement Convocation on Friday, December 13, you can see pictures by clicking here . You can also view the recorded ceremony  by clicking here
Nursing Department Holds Pinning Ceremony

The Claflin University Nursing Department held its pinning ceremony on Saturday, December 14, at Ministers' Hall. Thirteen  graduates in the fall Class of 2019 earned a bachelor's degree through Claflin's RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Claflin launched the RN to BSN program in August 2016.  The program offers registered nurses an opportunity to earn a bachelor's in nursing degree Since the program's inception, nearly 70 graduates have completed the 100 percent online program. Claflin is the only institution of higher education between Columbia and Charleston, S.C., and the only historically black college/university (HBCU) in South Carolina that offers a bachelor's degree in nursing. 

Claflin's RN to BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Board of Commissioners. CCNE Accreditation ensures that the nursing program consistently demonstrates quality in mission and governance, institutional commitment and resources, and curriculum and teaching-learning practices. It also establishes that the program is effective in assessment and achievement of program outcomes. These are the hallmark attributes of a high-quality nursing program.

The program was also awarded Best Nursing Program at the 2019 HBCU Awards ceremony this past August. 
FUTURE Act to benefit South Carolina HBCUs

Local historically black colleges and universities will receive more than $2.7 million from the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act, according to House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.
The enactment of the FUTURE Act permanently reauthorizes mandatory funding for HBCUs and minority-serving institutions with $255 million a year in funding.
"HBCUs and MSIs have been historically challenged by underfunding and the uncertainty of the discretionary appropriations process. I want to thank the Senate for making this a permanent authorization, removing this uncertainty. That's why this bill is a top priority, because it provides these vital institutions with much-needed stability and certainty," Clyburn said in a release.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the FUTURE Act on Tuesday, December 17.
South Carolina's eight HBCUs will receive nearly $5 million annually in funding as a result of the FUTURE Act. Claflin University will receive $788,702. [ Times and Democrat]
Student Profile - Otiana Thompson

Sophomore Otiana Thompson has been selected to participate in the 2020 Black College Quiz (BCQ) competition . The quiz show series, presented by State Farm, features students from HBCUs who showcase their knowledge and skill in African-American history. Hosted by radio host, actor, comedian, producer, entrepreneur Thomas Miles, aka "Nephew Tommy," the weekly, half-hour series has featured more than 50 HBCUs since its inception and awarded over $500,000 dollars in scholarships.
Thompson, a history major from Columbia, S.C. , will travel to Atlanta, Ga., on January 10-12, 2020, to compete in the competition . To prepare for the competition, Thompson practiced with and serves as a member of Claflin's Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) team. HCASC is considered America's premier quiz bowl for top HBCU students. 

"I am so excited to participate in Black College Quiz," said Thompson. "I love learning about black history because it inspires me to fight for my dreams because anything is possible." Thompson is also a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College.
Dr. Belinda Wheeler, associate professor of English and HCASC coach, is equally excited about Thompson's upcoming participation in the competition. "We are very proud of Otiana and know she will represent Claflin well. Her knowledge of African-American history and culture is exceptional," Wheeler said. Wheeler will accompany Thompson on the trip. 

The episodes featuring Thompson will be broadcast nationally on Bounce TV and several local stations later in the year.
Claflin Meets World
Meet the travelers (from left): Wes Guyton, Kayla Hodges, Tariq Edwards, Harris Roach, Arteria Gibson and Dr. Cletra Peters

Five Claflin University scholars, along with Dr. Cletra Peters, will travel to Israel from December 17-28, to study abroad and learn positive cultural influences. You may follow their experience, titled Claflin Meets World, on social media through Facebook and Instagram. The trip is made possible by the Maccabee Task Force
Claflin's Upward Bound Program Brings Christmas Cheer to Local Healthcare Facilities

Claflin University's Upward Bound program presented Christmas programs at Edisto Post Acute Care, Pruitt Healthcare Center, and The Oaks on Saturday, December 14. At each facility, the students presented a gift to the attendees as well as performed carols and shared the history behind many Christmas traditions and the history of Kwanzaa. 

Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of post-secondary education.
Vote for Miss Claflin in the Ebony HBCU Campus Queens Competition 

Make sure to keep voting for Miss Claflin University, Faith McKie, in the EBONY HBCU Campus Queens 2019 competition.  She is currently in third place. Campus Queens who finish in the top 10 in votes received will be named an Ebony HBCU Campus Queen.
Faith is a senior sports management major and a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College.  Let's get her to #1!  Voting in the competition is unlimited and will be open until December 31. Click here to vote now.
Alumni News

Congratulations to North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess, '08, for being nominated by Governor Henry McMaster to lead the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Congratulations to Core4Sucess Foundation (and founder Donavan Moten, '03) for hosting the second annual Urbanity Sneaker Gala on Saturday, December 14, in Charleston, S.C. More than 200 pairs of sneakers we're donated and will be given out to adolescent boys and girls during a community cookout. To view pictures of the event, visit @Urbanity_SneakerGala via Instagram.

Dr. Leo F. Twiggs, '56, will be honored by the town of St. Stephen, S.C., with a "Dr. Leo Twiggs Day" on February 15, 2020. The committee members planning the celebration are also working to establish an endowed scholarship in his name.  For more information, please call Rev. Dr. George West at (864) 617-5914, Mr. Bobby Matthews at (843) 499-2513 or Mr. Louis Mayrant, (843) 749-0749.

President Dwaun J. Warmack met with the Washington, DC Metro Chapter on Saturday, December 14, as a part of the Presidential Alumni Tour.

The Presidential Alumni Tour made its final stop of 2019 when Dr. Warmack visited Summerville, S.C., on Monday, December 16, to meet with the Greater SC Coastal Alumni Chapters
Panther Pride

Claflin Men's Basketball Team Drops Non-Conference Game to Bowie State

The Claflin University men's basketball team dropped a non-conference contest to Bowie State University, 67-53, at the A.C. Jordan Arena on the campus of Bowie State on Saturday, December 14.  The loss, drops the Panthers to 4-7 in the season. MORE

Claflin Women's Basketball Team Closes Out Road Swing with a Loss to Bowie State

The Claflin University women's basketball team fell to Bowie State, 67-37, Saturday, December 14, to close out its two-game road swing. The loss drops the Lady Panthers to 0-9 on the season.  The teams will meet again on Saturday, January 11, 2020, in a CIAA game in Orangeburg.
Claflin will return to action on Wednesday, December 18, when they host St. Augustine's University in a CIAA Southern Division contest. The game, which is set to tip-off at 2 p.m., is free and open to the public and will be held at Tullis Arena inside the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. MORE

Claflin Cruises Past Lincoln 76-61

The Claflin University men's basketball team turned 19 Lincoln University (Pa.) turnovers into 28 points en route to defeating the Lions 76-61 in a non- conference contest in Lincoln University (Pa.) on Thursday, December 12. The win the pushes Claflin record to 4-6 on the season.  The teams will meet again in Orangeburg on Saturday, January 18. MORE

Lincoln (Pa.) Tops Lady Panthers in Non-Conference Basketball Action

Lincoln University (Pa.) defeated the Lady Panthers, 81-54, in a non-conference women's basketball game on Thursday, December 12. MORE
December 18, 2019
In This Issue

Calendar of Events
Connect with Us
@Claflin is published by the Office of Communications & Marketing 
President: Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack
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