The World Needs Visionaries
Save the Date - Claflin University Hosts Event For President Henry N. Tisdale and First Lady Alice Carson Tisdale For Their 25 Years of Visionary and Transformative Leadership

When: Monday, April 1, 2019, 6 p.m
Where: Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
For more information, please call (803) 535-5665.
Claflin Alumna, Brigadier General Twanda E. Young Delivers Motivational Message to Aspiring Visionary Leaders

"Do you look in the mirror and talk to yourself each day?" asked U.S. Brigadier General Twanda E. Young to students attending the Visionary Leader-in-Residence program at Claflin University on Thursday, January 31. "You need to look at yourself and speak truth to yourself, and figure out who is on your board of directors that will speak truth to you too."
Young graduated from Claflin in 1989 and participated in the Army ROTC program through the cross-enrollment agreement with South Carolina State University. She was the first female commissioned from the ROTC program to earn the rank of Brigadier General. Young's stellar military career led to her being a Class of 2018 inductee into the Claflin University Hall of Fame.
"Self-evaluate, flex-i-cute, and communicate," said Young during her presentation in Ministers' Hall. "I've been serving for 30 years, and I still go into meetings where I'm the only female general, but I know if I'm at the table, then I deserve to be there." 
Young defined "flex-i-cute" as the ability to operate in a myriad of environments and still be successful. 
"So, I'm asking you, if you're at the table, what are you doing to stay there? You're going to find yourself in so many situations where you don't like someone or you feel uncomfortable, but your ability to 'flex-i-cute' will determine how successful you will be," Young said.

The Leader-in-Residence program is hosted by the Office of the Provost. The program encourages exceptional leaders who are distinguished alumni, or representatives from corporate, education, government, non-profits, and other sectors to support students and the mission of Claflin University. 
Young used an interactive, group exercise using spaghetti noodles, string, and a marshmallow to validate her overall message. "Without a strong base, you will lean for anything," she said. "Stand for your standards. That is how you become a leader."
Young has served in command and staff positions in the continental United States and Hawaii with First Army, Joint Forces Command, U.S. Army Reserve Command, and in Afghanistan with NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (NTM-A/CSTC-A). Among her other key assignments were G1, U.S. Army Reserve Command; Commander, Theater Support Group-Pacific; Army Reserve Warrior Transition Liaison Program Manager; CJ1, Chief Strategic Initiatives (Kabul, Afghanistan); and Executive Training Officer, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Division. 
Claflin to Host 13th Annual First Lady's Hats and Gloves Scholarship Tea

Claflin University will host its 13th Annual First Lady's Hats and Gloves Scholarship Tea on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at 6 p.m. in the Tullis Arena of the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex . Aligning with the 2019 Women's History Month theme, this year's tea is themed "Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence."

Each year, the tea's committee chooses a woman (or women) to honor with the Visionary Leadership Award. The 2019 Visionary Leadership Award honorees are women who have made history by being a part of the largest number of African-American women ever to serve in the S.C. House of Representatives. The honorees are  Wendy C. Brawley, Gilda Cobb-Hunter, Chandra E. Dillard, Rosalyn D. Henderson-Myers, Patricia Moore Henegan, Annie E. McDaniel, Anne Parks, Leola C. Robinson and Krystle N. Simmons. These visionary women will be honored for their dedication and service to South Carolina and their ability to work in the House to bring positive and peaceful change to their respective districts and in the state. 

Vendor booths will be open before the program begins. There will also be entertainment by the Claflin University Concert Choir and the Claflin Jazz Ensemble during the event. Men are also welcomed to attend.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Alice Carson Tisdale Scholarship, which is presented to female students during the tea. The students are chosen based on need and academic success. 

For more information on applying for the 2019 scholarship, email Dr. Peggy S. Ratliff at  pratliff@claflin.eduMrs. Sadie D. Jarvis at, or Dr. Verlie A. Tisdale at

To purchase tickets, contact Ms. Charnita Mack at Tickets can also be purchased online by clicking here.

School of Business Prepares for ACBSP Reaffirmation  
A three-member team from  The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs ( ACBSP) will visit Claflin University's School of Business on February 10-13, 2019. This visit is a part of the School of Business's process for reaffirmation of the ACBSP accreditation of Business School programs.
ACBSP is a leading specialized accreditation body for business education supporting, celebrating, and rewarding teaching excellence. The association embraces the virtues of teaching excellence and emphasizes to students that it is essential to learn.

ACBSP accredits business, accounting, and business-related programs at the associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctorate degree levels worldwide. Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation ( CHEA ) in 2001 and again in 2011, ACBSP was the first to offer specialized business accreditation at all degree levels.

The School of Business at Claflin University first obtained accreditation from ACBSP in 1998 and received reaffirmation in 2008.

Claflin Student Receives CIC/UPS Scholarship
Freshman Antonio Bussey, a biotechnology major from Aiken, S.C., has been selected to receive a $3,000 CIC/UPS Scholarship provided by the SC Independent Colleges & Universities, Inc. and its national partner, the Council of lndependent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, DC. Bussey is also a member of the Claflin men's basketball team. 
Nationally, CIC, through the CIC/UPS Educational Endowment, provided more than $1.6  million in student scholarships to make private colleges and universities more affordable and accessible to underserved students. This year, the SCICU awarded $60,000 in  CIC/UPS Scholarships to 20 students at private institutions across South  Carolina. 

"The UPS Foundation has been a long-time and generous supporter of independent  higher education, not only in South Carolina, but nationwide," said Edward Shannon, e xecutive vice president of SCICU. "We are very appreciative of its support and recognize that the lives of many worthy students have been changed for the better." 
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of nonprofit independent colleges and universities, as well as state-based councils and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education's contributions to society.
Established in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Georgia, the UPS Foundation identifies areas where its backing clearly impacts social issues. In support of this strategic approach, the UPS Foundation has identified the following focus areas for giving: volunteerism, diversity, community safety, and the environment.

Claflin University Advances to National Qualifying Tournament of 30th Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge
On Saturday, February 9, Claflin University will compete in the National Qualifying Tournament of the 30th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) in Greensboro, N.C. HCASC is America's premier academic competition for top HBCU students. This fast-paced buzzer competition highlights students' academic prowess and ability to answer questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and pop culture. Claflin University  is one of 65 teams competing for institutional grants and a spot in the HCASC National Championship Tournament taking place on the American Honda campus in Torrance, Calif., on April 13-17, 2019.

Claflin's team consists of Matias Salvo, senior English and mathematics major; Tariq Edwards, sophomore mass communications major; Mackenzie Brown, sophomore management information systems major; and Shafarah Dixon, sophomore biology major. The team is being advised by Dr. Belinda Wheeler (coach), associate professor of English; and Dr. Andre Key (assistant coach), assistant professor of African-American studies.

Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is a year-round program that centers on academic excellence, community service, leadership, networking opportunities and mentorship. It includes campus engagement, qualifying tournaments and culminates with the National Championship. Since 1989, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, one of Honda's longest running philanthropic  initiatives in the United States , has celebrated  and recognized the academic talents of HBCU students. More than $9 million in grants from Honda have provided support for scholarships, facility upgrades and other investments to improve the student experience. 

You can also help Claflin to qualify for the National Qualifying Tournament by voting for the team on the HCASC website. The top three universities with the highest votes will automatically qualify in the NQT. Voting is open to the public, and each voter is allowed three votes per day through Wednesday, February 13, at 5 pm EST. Click here to vote.

Claflin University to Showcase Student Entrepreneurs in Annual Business Plan Competition
Claflin University's Sixth Annual Entrepreneurship Business Competition will be held on Monday, February 11, from 6 until 8 p.m. in the Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend . "Promoting Innovation, Commercialization and Environmental Sustainability" is the theme for this year's competition.

The teams are comprised of undergraduate students at Claflin and most are enrolled in the University's School of Business.   The competition is modeled after ABC's Emmy Award-winning television show, "Shark Tank." At stake is $10,000 in total prize money that will be awarded to the first ($5,000), second ($3,000), third ($1,200), fourth ($500) and fifth ($300) place finishers.

The business plans will reflect the diverse interest and entrepreneurial ingenuity of each team. Among the presentations will be business development plans for  organic cosmetics, garbage/waste management, disposal, and recycling; and applications that assist with saving money and opportunities in experiential learning.

"The purpose of the competition is to promote student ideas and new venture creation in the areas of business and science," said Dr. Robin Davis, associate professor of management in Claflin's School of Business. "Each team has been mentored throughout this process and received assistance in developing their plans."

Career Expo to Be Held at Claflin
Claflin University, South Carolina State University and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College have once again teamed up to sponsor the 22nd annual Community Higher Education Council (CHEC) Career Expo. The event will be held in the Tullis Arena of Claflin's Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex on Thursday, February 14, from 9 a.m. until noon. 

More than 80 school districts and companies registered for the event, including Charleston County Schools, Richland County School District, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Teach for America. Registered companies include ABC WOLO TV, Chick-Fil-A Orangeburg, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, SCANA Corporation, First Citizens Bank and more. 

Representatives from the companies and school districts will share information about their businesses and potential employment. Students who plan to attend should dress professionally and bring an updated resume.

"The goal of this expo is for the students to have the chance of being gainfully employed upon graduation or to attend graduate school with funding," said Carolyn Snell, assistant to the vice president  of student development and director of career development at Claflin. "This is a golden opportunity for students to research the companies and be able to have conversations with them directly."

For more information, contact Claflin University's Office of Career Development by calling (803) 535-5012, or emailing

Claflin to Host Annual Black History National TRIO Day Celebration and Step Show
Claflin University will host its annual Black History National TRIO Day Celebration and Step Show on Saturday, February 16, beginning at 9 a.m. in Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. The event will feature a keynote speaker, an American TRIO Idol Competition, and a Stepping Back into Black History Step Show Competition and Exhibition.
TRIO programs are federal outreach and student services programs designed to address the cultural, and social barriers to education in America. TRIO programs serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs.
To register, and for more information contact Gwendolyn B. Phillips, TRIO Programs director at (803) 535-5058 or via email at

Claflin Students Win Award at Computer Science Event
Nineteen students from Claflin University attended the "CUHackit" event hosted by Clemson University on January 26 through 27. At this 24-hour invention marathon, students from different academic disciplines collaborated in small teams to create solutions to real problems. Ultimately, a hackathon empowers participants in the design process through creativity and hands-on learning.

This is Claflin University's first time participating in a hackathon. "Taking the students to this event  provided an experiential learning opportunity," said Dr. Cheryl Swanier, associate professor of computer science. "As an institution, we have to become a classroom without walls." Swanier accompanied the students to the event. 

Congratulations to Shilpa Kannan, computer science major; Emmanuel Ndubuisi, computer science major, Anna Swanier, computer science major; and Frederick Uy, business major  who won the Beginner Hack Award.

Panama School Teachers Seek Expanded Career Opportunities at Claflin University

The Claflin University Intensive English Language Program (IELP) is providing training and instruction in the English language for 20 elementary school teachers from Panama. The teachers began classes on January 9, and they will complete eight weeks of intensive coursework in English and in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) during the program, which ends on March 3.
"The students are in the third week of the program but we can already see their progress," said Dr. Esther Lee, IELP Director and assistant professor of English. "Their English speaking level was pretty low when they arrived. However, they are very motivated, and they really want to learn how to speak and communicate in English."
The teachers are participating in the Panama Bilingue Program, which began in 2014 and will continue through 2019. Funded by the Panamanian government, the program seeks to provide a solution to the huge need to prepare the population with English, so all Panamanians have access to employment opportunities. Through this initiative, the Government of the Republic of Panama seeks to train at least 2,000 teachers per year in bilingual education and to prepare 20,000 high school students and 30,000 elementary students. The program includes three parts: Teacher Training, After School Program, and Kids.

"This is the fourth cohort of students in Claflin's IELP and TESOL Training Programs from Panama," Dr. Lee said. "Claflin's partnership with Panama began in 2016, and we hosted English teachers for 8 weeks and high school graduates for 16 weeks in 2017. We also had elementary school English teachers from Panama in 2018."
In addition to the classes, the students participate in an English Conversation Partners Program for three days each week. Claflin students volunteer to interact with and engage the teachers, to help improve their English speaking skills and make them more familiar with the campus community. The Panamanian teachers also visit Edisto Elementary School and Edisto Primary School on Fridays to observe students and teachers and the classroom environment.

"This is a great experience. The American teachers are very helpful, and I am learning a lot of English," said Dacyana Murillo, one of the teachers from Panama. "I like Claflin's atmosphere."

Alberto Aguirre is also enjoying his visit to Claflin and Orangeburg.  "Everyone is so nice and helpful," said Aguirre. "It's very interesting being here for the first time. I am learning a lot with the help of the professors and my partners. I feel my English is improving each day."
Claflin University Celebrates Black History Month

Claflin University is celebrating Black History Month with a series of thought provoking, community events.

Event schedule includes:
  • Friday, Feb. 8, 11 a.m. - 51st Commemorative Ceremony of the Orangeburg Massacre, SC State University Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium
  • Saturday, Feb. 9, 4-8 p.m. - Black Film Festival, (Student Activities and History & Sociology), W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center
  • Monday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m. - "Tell Them We Are Rising" documentary, Grace T. Kennedy Business and Communications Auditorium
  • Tuesday, Feb. 12 , 7-8 p.m. - Redefining Black Power Forum (Sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.) Grace T. Kennedy Business and Communication Building Auditorium
  • Thursday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m. - An Evening with Frederick Douglass, James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel 
Click here for the complete schedule of Black History Month events.
Vote for Miss Claflin to be Miss CIAA
Vote for Miss Claflin, Shantavia O. Edmonds, to be the next Miss CIAA. Sponsored by Food Lion, the online voting for Miss CIAA began Monday, February 4, and will continue until Friday, March 1. The college/university queen with the most votes will receive $2,500 from Food Lion for the food pantry in the local school's city/town.

Click here to vote for Miss Claflin! You may vote an unlimited amount of times. 

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. Tabatha Livingston at (803) 535-5044 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.

Anthony Hallmon, '16, is the new deputy director of community outreach at Bamberg Legal, LLC. Hallmon will manage the firm's community outreach in Orangeburg County. For the last three years, he has served the citizens of Orangeburg as an estate clerk for the Orangeburg County Probate Court. He is an active member of the Delta Zeta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Olive Grove Masonic Lodge #477, and Good Shepherd Community Ministries.  "I am excited about continuing to pour into the place that helped mold me into the man that I am today," said  Hallmon.

Pennsheila Griffin, '19, and Stephon Clunis, '19, were selected as the recipients of The Good Paid Forward Scholarship, presented by Claflin Alumna and Cosmopolitan Creations, LLC Owner, MarshaƩ Smith, '17 (left). The scholarship's focus is on the importance of HBCUs, visionary leadership, spreading acts of kindness and more. In addition to providing financial assistance, Smith is committed to remaining connected to the Good Paid Forward Scholars to provide ongoing mentorship and coaching throughout their college matriculation, just as her mentors did for her.

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 Monday, February 25, 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 Wednesday, February 6, are as follows:
  • Center Court - $250.00 each (only 2 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.

Vote for Lowe's CIAA Senior CLASS Award

Ashley Fields and Triston Thompson are Claflin University nominees for the Lowe's CIAA Senior CLASS Award, given to a male and female basketball seniors who excel in the areas of the four C's - Classroom, Character, Community and Competition. Each winner, which will be announced on championship day of the CIAA Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 2, in Charlotte, N.C., will each receive a trophy recognizing them as the overall winner.
The men's and women's winners will be determined through a voting system that includes fans, CIAA basketball media members and CIAA coaches. Fan balloting is now open and will conclude on Wednesday, February 20. Vote now by clicking here.

St. Jean Named CIAA Men's Track Runner of the Week
Claflin University sprinter Derick St. Jean has been named this week's CIAA men's track Runner of the Week.
St. Jean (6-1, 180, Roseau, Dominica) had an outstanding week on the track. In the JDL Meet (January 27), he ran a 22.30 en route to winning the 200 meters. At the USC Carolina Challenge hosted by the University of South Carolina, he ran a 47.23 to finish 6th overall and 1st in his heat. His time leads the Atlantic Region and the CIAA and automatically qualified him for the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. 
The Claflin University men's track and field team will head to Winston-Salem, N.C. on February 10 and 11, to participate in its first-ever CIAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Claflin Men's Basketball Team Wins Over Fayetteville State

Claflin University men's basketball team won its second straight game, defeating Fayetteville State University, 68-67, in a CIAA contest in Tullis Arena on Monday, February 4.
The Panthers will return to action on Thursday, February 7, when they host Winston-Salem State University for Military Appreciation Day. It will also be blackout night and fans are encouraged to wear black at the 7:30 p.m. contest.

Claflin Women's Basketball Team Looses to Fayetteville State

Fayetteville State University defeated Claflin University, 69-55, in a CIAA contest in Tullis Arena on Monday, February 4.  The loss dropped the Lady Panthers to 12-11 overall and 8-7 in the CIAA .
The Lady Panthers will return to action on Thursday, February 7, when they host Winston-Salem State University for Military Appreciation Day. It will also be blackout night and fans are encouraged to wear black at the 7:30 p.m. contest.

Claflin Baseball Team Falls to Lincoln Memorial University

The Claflin University baseball team dropped both games of a double-header with Lincoln Memorial University (5-4, 10-1) at Historic Mirmow Field on Monday, February 4. Claflin is now 2-2 on the season.
Claflin will host Salem University in a three-game series this weekend at Historic Mirmow. Action gets underway on Friday, February 8, with the series-opener at 5 p.m. followed by second game on Saturday, February 9, at 2 p.m. The series wraps up on Sunday, February 10, at 1 p.m.

February 6, 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
Student Interns: Alaysia Kelly and Deontre' McCray