The World Needs Visionaries
Claflin Hosts Fall Commencement Convocation
Claflin University will hold its Fall Commencement Convocation on December 14, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. The speaker for the commencement ceremony is  Katarina Fjording, vice president of purchasing & manufacturing at Volvo America in Ridgeville, S.C.

Fjording is an automotive veteran with more than 27 years of global industrial operations experience from Europe, Asia and America. Her international experience spans product and tooling development, purchasing and manufacturing as well as being an automotive supplier to European premium brands. A mechanical engineer, she began her career in Volvo as a design engineer on the Volvo 850 model.

Fjording arrived at Volvo after a stint at Ford Motor Co., where she helped launch the D3 full-size car platform. Volvo was still under Ford ownership, and would be until 2010, and was facing the same problems as other automakers: how to survive when customers had stopped buying cars.

With avid interests in automotive engineering, Fjording has brought numerous projects from concept to production and has traveled to all corners of the globe in the process.
For most of the 1990s, Fjording was a design engineer in Sweden, briefly working for one of Volvo's suppliers before returning to the automaker in 1997. When Ford bought Volvo in 1999, she began traveling to Dearborn, Mich., to help with engineering. The Ford bosses offered her a job at the automaker that year, and Fjording moved to the U.S., going between Dearborn and Chicago to launch the D3 platform - a design that was to underpin at least eight North American Ford Motor Co. models.
Claflin Feeds 105 Families for Thanksgiving

Claflin University hosted its annual Thanksgiving Worship Service on Monday, November 19. Hosted each year prior to the University closing for the holiday break, this service brings together members of the community for a service of thankfulness. At the conclusion of the service, baskets are also given to members in the Orangeburg community. 

The baskets are prepared each year by administrators, faculty, staff and students and contain enough food for local families to prepare a full Thanksgiving meal. Last year, 92 families benefited from the event. This year, Claflin distributed baskets to 105 families. This event is coordinated annually by the the Office of Student Development and Services.
Renowned Artist Dr. Leo Twiggs Delivers Inspiring Message at Claflin's 150th Founders' Day Convocation

Dr. Leo F. Twiggs, '56, distinguished artist-in-residence at Claflin University, helped launch Claflin's year-long sesquicentennial celebration with a walk down memory lane, enlightening and enthralling his listeners about the institution's rich legacy of access and visionary leadership. "God's not finished with Claflin yet," said Twiggs during his keynote message at Claflin's 150th Founders' Day Convocation on Sunday, November 18, at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex.

Twiggs echoed a statement made by the late Dr. Joseph Bethea to respond to those who believe that Claflin's steady emergence as one of the nation's premier institutions of higher education signals the fulfillment of the University's destiny Bethea, who was elected the first black bishop of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, was a frequent visitor to Claflin.

Twiggs recited an impressive list of achievements that are a testimony to the University's proud legacy of student success and visionary leadership. Included were Claflin being founded as South Carolina's first historically black college/university (HBCU) and the first in the state to admit all students regardless of race, gender, religion or ethnic origin; becoming the first college in South Carolina to establish an art department that offered a full curriculum in art history and criticism; and the late Arthur Rose's selection as the first black president of the Art Education Association. Rose provided leadership for Claflin's art department and the University's art museum bears his name.

"The word 'visionary' was used before Dr. Tisdale arrived at Claflin," said Twiggs. "It's in the University's DNA. It was here in the beginning when Claflin was founded on a hilltop high. But Dr. Tisdale demonstrated the true meaning of being a visionary leader."

Twiggs praised Tisdale with increasing Claflin's overall fundraising, especially alumni giving, and enhancing the appearance of the campus with the construction of new facilities with state of the art technology.

"There was a reason Claflin was founded on higher ground," said Twiggs. "You have better vision when you are high on a hill. The founders had a higher level of thinking. They wanted to create a school that would prepare students to go somewhere else after Claflin. And you are reminded of that vision and Claflin being founded on a hilltop high each time you sing the Alma Mater."

"Yes, some are asking what's going to happen to Claflin after Dr. Tisdale and First Lady Alice Carson Tisdale leave?," said Twiggs. "My response is where is your faith? We are the sons and daughters of Claflin who have been called upon to be visionaries. The God we serve is the same today as he was yesterday and he will be tomorrow. I think Rev. Bethea's vision and his prophecy are still as powerful today as it was when he proclaimed it 25 years ago. God is not through with Claflin."

Twiggs, a 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. 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. 

During the convocation, Dr. Tisdale presented a Presidential Citation to Harold Young, Orangeburg County Administrator (accepted by his sister, Harriet Young, Claflin University International Alumni Association first vice president). 

Tisdale also presented the 2018 Bythewood Award to  James A. Bennett, former Claflin University Board of Trustees Chairman and South Carolina Mid-South Area Executive of First Citizens Bank in Columbia, S.C. This award is given by the University's board of trustees for remarkable contributions to the University.  Bennett served as the chair of the university's most recent capital campaign that raised more than $105 million.

You can view the 150th Founders' Day Convocation by clicking here
Claflin Celebrating 150 Years; Tisdale says University has Created Leaders from the Beginning

President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale joined the university cheerleaders in the unveiling of a monument commemorating the University's sesquicentennial on Friday, November 16, during Claflin's 2018 Homecoming ReUnion Weekend. The aluminum sign pictured above was designed by Orangeburg's Signarama. It is  9 feet tall, 13 feet wide and weighs about 418 pounds. 

Click here to read about Claflin's historic sesquicentennial in an exclusive interview with Dr. Tisdale by the  Times and DemocratPhoto by Gene Zaleski, T&D
Lambda Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated Celebrates 80th Anniversary and Endowed Scholarships at Claflin 

Lambda Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated is leading fundraising efforts among Greek Letter organizations at Claflin University, a point of pride for the chapter during Homecoming Weekend on November 15-18, as the University officially launched the observance of its sesquicentennial celebration.
Nearly 100 members of the fraternity - most wearing the organization's signature colors, Royal Purple and Old Gold, attended the chapters 80th anniversary luncheon on Saturday, November 17, in Ministers' Hall. The Reverend Dr. Caesar Richburg, '72, presided at the luncheon and Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale, '65, gave the keynote address. 
"This is a memorable event and a time for us to share memories and reconnect," Tisdale said. "As students, we were expected to lead and be the scholars to follow. We were expected to set an example. That's who we were and that's who we are."
Tisdale, Claflin's eighth president, was initiated into the Lambda Sigma Chapter in the spring of 1963.
"A part of our leadership is honoring our commitment to Claflin through the fraternity's endowment," said Tisdale referencing the chapter's $250,000 endowment, the largest of any Greek Letter organization at Claflin. Lambda Sigma pledged to increase the endowment by $50,000 during Homecoming Weekend. To date, more than 35 students have benefitted from the endowment. 
"The Lambda Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated established the endowment during the celebration of our 50th anniversary - 30 years ago," said Rev. Dr. Whittaker V. Middleton, '73, vice president of institutional advancement at Claflin. "We wanted to do as much as we could for the University, particularly with supporting scholarships for students, which is one of the fraternity's Cardinal Principles. 
According to Middleton, a Spring 1971 Lambda Sigma initiate, Tisdale was the guest speaker for a similar event in 1988 that was held in Corson Hall.
"The chapter has met at practically every Claflin University International Alumni Association (CUIAA) Convention for the past 30 years to plan our annual Homecoming reunions," said Middleton. "We send correspondences each year in December reminding members of our commitment to increase the endowment. We hope that eventually, other fraternities and sororities will do the same thing. I can only imagine how much money would be raised."
During his remarks, Tisdale also stressed the importance of supporting historically black colleges and universities (HBCUS).  "We must do more in marketing, brand development and increasing alumni giving at HBCUs," Tisdale said. "HBCUs represent great American success stories. They are national treasures. The UNCF and the Lilly Foundation released a report titled "HBCUs Make America Strong," which focuses on the economic impact of HBCUs. These institutions are the bridges of hope that brought us over. I thank God there was a Claflin University that accepted me."
Six Visionary Leaders Inducted into the Claflin University Hall of Fame

Six visionary leaders were inducted into the Claflin University Hall of Fame at the 25th Annual Presidential Scholarship Gala on Friday, November 16, in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. 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: Brigadier General Twanda Young, '89; Vernon Wallace, '73; Jessie Ruth Littlejohn, Gerald Mackey, '74; Cathy L. Jordan (accepting for her husband, the late Senior Master Sergeant Leonard A. Jordan, '76); and  Lieutenant Colonel Leon Bradley, '74.

Click here to read their full bios. 
Claflin University Honors Donors at Special Luncheon During 2018 Homecoming Weekend
On Friday, November 16, Claflin University honored more than 200 individuals who have made gifts to the University at the leadership level of $1,000 and above at the annual Leadership Giving Luncheon. The program has been a tradition at Claflin University since 1996. Each year at the luncheon, donors are given thank-you gifts and recognized by their categories of giving. Leadership gifts this year totaled $871,182. This was an increase of $140,663 as compared to 2017 leadership-level giving which was $730,518.  
The special honorees at this year's luncheon were Joel M. Harris and Philip G. Harris and Cherryetta Williams and Family.
The late Dr. James O. (Pete) Harris
Joel M. Harris and his brother, Philip G. Harris, recently established the James O. and Louise M. Harris Scholarship Fund with a gift of $75,000 in their parents' honor to support chemistry and biochemistry students at Claflin University. In so doing, they are helping the University to address one of America's greatest challenges: its pressing need for well-trained college graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Some 60 years ago, when America took up the challenge of building a 41,000-mile network of interstate highways, their father, Dr. James O. (Pete) Harris, was a scientist with Monsanto who recognized the relevance of his opportunities. Faster speeds and more cars on the road would require new materials in American tires and new technologies for testing them. Thirty years later, with some 40 patents to his credit, their father retired from corporate life and turned his attention to an even greater opportunity.
"I was going to plow back some of what I'd reaped," the senior Dr. Harris had written. "I decided that these kids needed me a lot more than did kids at bigger schools."
Dr. Harris accepted an appointment teaching chemistry at Claflin University in 1975, where he served faithfully until his retirement in 1994. The difference that Dr. Harris made at Claflin cannot be measured in dollars or understood with statistics, but it is surely seen in the lives he changed. His creativity and drive shaped community leaders, encouraged inventors and entrepreneurs, and inspired future physicians.
Joel M. Harris earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in chemistry from Duke University in 1972 and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Purdue University in 1976. He then joined the faculty of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he has been teaching and running a research lab for the past 42 years. Joel is married to Frances Harris and has a son, Peter, who lives in Portland, Oregon.
Philip G. Harris earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in chemistry from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, in 1968. After three years as a research chemist at Goodyear Tire and Rubber, he continued his education earning a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Clemson University in 1977. He joined Milliken & Company in 1977 holding research and development positions in Milliken Research, Impression Products Business, and Milliken Chemical during his 36-year career. Philip is married to Reyne Harris and has a son, Matthew (Pamela), living in Raleigh, N. C., and a daughter, Sarah (Chris Carter), living in Inman, S.C.

In 1952, Cherryetta Williams' father, a man she never met, gave his life for his country when his F-21 Bomber was shot down during a mission in North Korea.
The late Reverend Geneva Belton Williams
Suddenly a single parent, Cherryetta's mother, the Reverend Geneva Belton Williams, was determined to continue her professional career, as well as her civic and religious involvements. As she moved forward to fulfill her responsibilities and achieve a lifetime of remarkable achievement, Cherryetta and her sister Edwina, were blessed with stunning lessons. Through their mother, they learned about faith in action, selfless service, and unconditional love. Indeed, watching their mother's fine example, the girls learned to cope with the unanswered questions about their father's military service and, at the same time, to appreciate the exquisite beauty of the full spectrum of the liberal arts and sciences. Naturally, Cherryetta and her sister were not the only ones whose lives were strengthened by the Reverend Geneva Belton Williams' service.
Rev. Williams served Claflin University faithfully for more than 60 years, and she took her responsibilities as a professor and administrator very seriously. She became a role model for perseverance and tolerance and for the tenacity required of all of life's journeys. Her students became part of her extended family as she nurtured, mentored and supported them through their various academic and personal endeavors. Students were greatly benefited by her generous tutelage, which helped them achieve their individual goals in medicine, law, theology, music, science and more.
As a community member, Rev. Williams enjoyed her service to numerous organizations, which, among others, included Eastern Star, Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW, Gold Star Wives, Church Women United, and the United Methodist Women.
The family of the late Reverend Geneva Belton Williams is pleased to establish an endowed scholarship fund with a gift of $50,000 in memory of her exemplary record of academic and administrative service to Claflin University. Through this endowed scholarship fund, future students at Claflin University will learn to follow her example and vigorously champion excellent education programs and explore challenges facing our global society.
Student Spotlight

Claflin University hosted a Junior Achievement Day on October 25, at Marshall Elementary in Orangeburg.  Junior Achievement was founded in 1919 and is the nation's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. Junior Achievement's programs in the core content areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy have ignited the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century. Students that participated in the JA Day (all members of the freshman class) included  Raven Townsend, psychology major;  Aaleeyah Housey, computer science major;  Zya Harrell, elementary education;  Zamar Jager, biology major;  Aniyah Woodard, business administration major;  Bettina Stearns, political science;  Nana-Aba Kwofie, undeclared major; and  India Eady, biology major.
Alumni News
In an Executive Order signed on Thursday, November 15, S.C. Governor Henry McMaster appointed Lieutenant Colonel (U.S. Army Retired)  Harriet Holman, '18 , of Reevesville, to Dorchester County Council. Holman was elected to serve the residents of District 1 beginning January 2019. The appointment allows Holman to serve the remainder of Councilman Willie Davis' unexpired term. Davis held the seat from 1991 until his passing on July 26, 2018.  Holman was sworn in on Monday, November 19, in the Summerville County Council Chambers.

Dennis Richmond Jr., '17, wrote an article for lohud, a part of the USA Today network, titled "We need black men to step up and become teachers." Richmond is a graduate student in  The Art Of Teaching Graduate Program  at Sarah Lawrence College, and founder and director of The New York-New Jersey HBCU Initiative. Click here to read the article.
Panther Pride
Claflin Indoor Track & Field Opens Season at JDL College Kick-off Classic

The 2018-19 indoor track and field season gets underway for the Claflin University men's and women's track and field teams, on Saturday, December 1. Both teams will be in action at the JDL College Kick-off Classic in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The meet will get underway at 9:30 a.m. with the men's and women's shot-put and the men's and women's high jump. The running events are set to begin at 10 a.m. with the 60-meter hurdles.

Long's Buzzer Beating Tip-in Gives Lady Panthers CIAA Win over Shaw

Dionna Long's tip-in as time expired lifted the Claflin University Lady Panthers past Shaw University, 77-75, in a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) contest on Saturday, November 24, at the C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium on Shaw's campus.
The win kept Claflin unbeaten against CIAA opponents at 2-0 and improved the Lady Panthers overall record to 4-2, including four straight.
Claflin will continue its four-game road trip, traveling to Virginia State University for a non-conference contest on Thursday, November 29.

Claflin Panthers Battle, Fall Short at Shaw in CIAA Action

The Claflin University men's basketball team battled till the final seconds, but came up just short, falling to Shaw University by five, 71-66, on Saturday, November 24, in a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) contest at C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium.

The loss, the second straight for Claflin, drops Claflin to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the CIAA.

Claflin will remain on the road for its next three contests beginning Thursday, November 29, when they travel to Tuskegee, Ala., to take on Tuskegee University in the second of two meetings of the season. The Panthers will then return to CIAA play, facing Chowan on December 1, and Elizabeth City State on December 3.
November 28, 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. 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
Student Interns: Cody Dallas and Annchester Williams