The World Needs Visionaries
Claflin University President Henry N. Tisdale Announces Retirement 

After serving Claflin University as its eighth president for over two decades, Dr. Henry N. Tisdale on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, announced his retirement effective June 30, 2019. His tenure at his alma mater is marked by visionary leadership and remarkable accomplishments for the oldest historically black college or university in South Carolina.
"I am honored to serve Claflin in this leadership role," Tisdale said. "I am thankful for the Claflin community that embraced my hopes, dreams and vision for the University. I never felt alone in the process to move the University forward. This has been a rewarding journey and a mission to make a difference."

Click here to see the official press conference.
Claflin Celebrates the 11th Anniversary of the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel

Claflin University will host the 11th Anniversary of the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel on Sunday, April 22 at 4 p.m. The guest speaker for the anniversary worship service is Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.  

Two supporters who led the effort in building a new chapel for Claflin University are the late Dr. James Elmore, Sr., a former trustee, and his widow, Mrs. Dorothy Z. Elmore, a Claflin graduate. As a result of their pioneering vision, Claflin University's Board of Trustees voted to name the chapel in their honor. It was the wish of the Elmores to replace the T. Willard Lewis Chapel, named in honor of one of the Claflin founders, which was pulled down in order to build the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. In 1999, the Elmores made a $250,000 challenge grant to initiate the fundraising effort for the $3 million edifice.

The first worship service was held on the fourth Sunday in
April 2007.

Mrs. Dorothy Z. Elmore, a philanthropist and leal and loyal daughter of Claflin University, pledged to fulfill her late husband's dream of constructing a new chapel at her Alma Mater. Prior to Dr. James Elmore's death on February 24, 2002, the Elmores made several major gifts to the University to support various fundraising campaigns.

Dr. Elmore was a member of the Claflin University Board of Trustees and Board of Visitors. A self-made man, he was the ultimate donor, enriching so many lives by sharing his success during his 70 years.

Dr. Elmore, trained by apprenticeship and holding a Master's License, was the dean of Orangeburg plumbers. He began his own plumbing business in 1949, shortly after his marriage to Mrs. Elmore. He was a graduate of the South Carolina Police Academy and an honored reserve officer of the Orangeburg Sheriff's Department. For 15 years, he was a proprietor of Edisto Theater, which provided a wholesome environment for entertainment.

Mrs. Elmore graduated from Claflin University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961 and did further studies at South Carolina State University. Mrs. Elmore's career spanned a period of more than 43 years to include 18 years as a classroom teacher, librarian, and an assistant principal. The other years were spent as a business partner with her husband in Elmore's Plumbing Company.

Mrs. Elmore and the late Dr. James Elmore, Sr., have three children: Ernestine Charleston, James (Gloria) Elmore, Jr. and Teresa (Richard) Wilks.

Considered to be the faith hub of the campus, the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel is one of the most impressive constructions to date. The facility not only serves as a place for worship services or weddings, it is also the educational building for those students who are studying religion and philosophy as well as humanities and social  sciences. The Chapel houses a sanctuary, the office of the University chaplain, as well as classrooms and offices for professors. This crown jewel of the campus was erected debt free.
Distinguished Researcher and Scholar on Social Enterpreneurship, to Deliver Keynote Address for Research Day at Claflin University
Dr. Teresa Chahine, a distinguished researcher and faculty member at Harvard University, will deliver the keynote address to begin the University's annual Research Day on Thursday, April 19, at noon in the James S. Thomas Science (JST) Center Auditorium. " Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership" is the theme for this year's event.
"Research Day showcases undergraduates who have worked on research projects with mentors during the academic year," said Dora Waymer, Research Day chairperson and sponsored programs administrator. " It also provides the community an opportunity to see that Claflin students are working diligently in the classroom, conducting important research in laboratories, and in the field through experiential learning opportunities."

Oral presentations will be held at 1-3:15 p.m. in the James S. Thomas Science Center and the Molecular Science and Research Center. Poster presentations are scheduled for 1-3:15 p.m. at the Molecular Science and Research Center and the awards presentations will be held following the presentations at the James S. Thomas Science Center.
Chahine is the social entrepreneurship program leader at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard. Social entrepreneurship, as described by Chahine, is the power of the person to create positive change. She teaches her students how to launch new products, services, or systems and to tackle the world's most pressing concerns using evidence-driven, financially viable methods that result in population-level improvements.
Chahine is also the innovation advisor at Alfanar venture philanthropy and the author of "Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship" which is a 12-step guide to building impactful ventures in new and existing organizations. Her publication shares her work in her home country of Lebanon, where she helped launch Alfanar, the first venture philanthropy organization in the Arab world. Alfanar provides tailored financing and critical management support to social enterprises serving marginalized communities through youth education and women's socioeconomic empowerment.
Claflin to Host One-Man Show on the Life of Paul Robeson

Claflin University will host "The World is My Home: The Life and Times of Paul Robeson" on Thursday April 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. The one-man show, produced by Stoogie Kenyatta, is free and open to the public.
The late Paul Robeson was an American bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism. He was also an all-American football player who played in early NFL. Robeson graduated in 1919 from Rutgers University as valedictorian, received a law degree from Columbia, passed the NY Bar in 1922 and became the first African American lawyer with a New York law firm.
Kenyatta's entertaining, laugh out loud, music-filled show with audience participation, and call outs covers Robeson's friendships with Albert Einstein, W.E.B. Dubois, Cab Calloway and many others who contributed to the cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. This show, like Robeson's life, serves as a cultural ambassador inspiring us to greater achievement and a more noble life.
Stogie Kenyatta was classically trained at the African American Studio in Harlem, Henry St. Settlement & Al Fann Theatrical Ensemble. A finalist in the N.Y. State Theatre competition with artistic director, John Houseman, he also studied screenwriting and political science at the University of California and later privately with Ivan Markota at the Van Mar Academy for Television & Film Acting.
Claflin to Host Men of Color Symposium
Claflin University will host the 8th Men of Color Symposium on Friday, April 20, from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the W. V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. "Reimaging Civic Engagement" is the theme of this year's conference. Admission is free and the public is invited.

The Men of Color Symposium is an annual event designed to provide practical strategies and techniques that enhance the economic, educational and spiritual empowerment of males. The symposium invites male students attending high schools and colleges from across the state of South Carolina to hear renowned speakers and participate in vigorous discussions that will prepare them for transformative leadership in their respective communities.

Keynote speaker for this year's symposium is Dr. Wes Bellamy, vice mayor of Charlottesville, Va.

Other guest speakers for the symposium are Touissant Gaskins, personal financial coach and Carl Sharperson Jr., leadership innovation strategist.
For more information, contact Devin Randolph, assistant vice president for Student Development and director of Residential Life at (803) 535-5301 or
Claflin Celebrates Earth Day
Claflin University's environmental organization, "Friends of the Earth," will celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 20, from 3-6 p.m. at the Claflin Commons on the campus of Claflin University. The theme for this year's Earth Day activities is "End Plastic Pollution."

Celebrated annually worldwide, Earth Day is held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events are now held in more than 193 countries is coordinated by the Earth Day Network. "It is important that we host events like this to help others understand the importance of preserving the Earth and how we can take an active part in doing so," said Dr. Tantiana Burns, assistant professor of environmental science.

Several local vendors will be on hand including the Department of Keep Orangeburg Beautiful, Friends of the Earth, American Chemical Society, and the Claflin University Tobacco Free Alliance. The keynote address will be delivered by Diana Curlee, who will speak about how we can make a positive impact in our community by being taking care of our environment.
Claflin to Host Sixth Annual Evening of Elegance Scholarship Dinner
The Sixth Annual Evening of Elegance Scholarship Dinner will be held on Saturday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m., in the Tullis Arena of the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center.

Funds raised during this event benefit a special need-based scholarship fund for Claflin students. The scholarship fund is designed to assist students who have an unmet financial need beyond the financial aid resources allotted them through financial aid packages and family resources.
Click here to purchase tickets or to donate towards the scholarship fund.

For more information contact Carolyn Snell, assistant to the vice president for student development and services and director of career development at (803) 535-5338 or email
Countdown to the 2018 Commencement Convocation

According to the calendar, there are 24 days until the 2018 Commencement Convocation at Claflin University on Saturday, May 12. Please visit the University's website for an outline of all activities including a schedule of events, speakers, Golden Anniversary Class, hotels, directions, and more. The baccalaureate speaker is Rev. Otis Scott Jr., '69, and the commencement speaker is April Ryan.
Alumni Notes
Kenita D. Pitts, '13, was  elected to the Board of Directors for the Bootstraps Mentoring Foundation in Orangeburg, S.C., and her term will run from 2018-2021. The vision of Bootstraps Mentoring Foundation is to empower Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5 students to excel academically and celebrate the completion of grades K-12 with the assistance of faith-based and community partnerships. Claflin University is one of the organization's community partners.
Pitts currently serves as the student services program coordinator for the Division of Student Affairs at South Carolina State University. 
Panther Pride
Claflin to Host Francis Marion in Baseball

The Claflin University Panthers will play Francis Marion University in a non-conference baseball contest on Wednesday, April 18 at Mirmow Field.
The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. MORE

Claflin Softball Opens Seven-Game Road Swing

The Claflin University softball team will begin a seven-game road swing Wednesday, April 17, when they travel to Spartanburg, S.C., to take on Converse College in a non-conference doubleheader. The first pitch is set for 2 p.m. and the second game will begin at 4 p.m.
The Lady Panthers will remain on the road this weekend, April 21 and 22, when they travel to Columbia, S.C., to face SIAC rivals Benedict College in a three-game series. MORE

Claflin University Track & Field Honors Senior Student Athletes 

Claflin University Athletics honored senior student athletes of the men's and women's track and field teams on Saturday, April 14, at Adden Street Softball Field in Orangeburg.
Three men and five women were recognized prior to the Lady Panthers softball doubleheader against Clark Atlanta in a SIAC matchup. 
The men honored during the ceremony were Nicholas Williams, You'shi Kirkland and Odou Hazel.
The women honorees were Brandi Taylor, Brenay Brown, Jamaica Miller, Arnesha Brown and Trisana Fairweather. 
Both Claflin men's and women's team will head to Albany, Ga., on April 20-22, to participate in the 2018 SIAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships.  
April 18, 2018
In This Issue
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
Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator: Bernita Cooper, '12
Web Communications Manager: Colin Myers, '07
Sports Information Director: Romanda Noble-Watson
Photographers: Cecil Williams, '60, Geoff Henderson and Colin Myers, '07
Interns: Nathaniel Fields, Alexis Garner and Trendon Howard