The World Needs Visionaries
Claflin University Names New Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

Claflin University has chosen a dynamic and proven leader as its new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Tony O'Neal will assume the role on July 1, 2020, succeeding Dr. Jerome Fitch, who announced his retirement after serving 11 years in the position.
O'Neal has served at the senior administrative level of college athletics for more than two decades, including stints at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Savannah State University in Savannah, Ga. O'Neal was selected for the Claflin position after a national search.
"We are excited to have Tony join the Claflin Family," President Dwaun J. Warmack said. "He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our athletics program. I am confident he will sustain and enhance Claflin's proud legacy of success by our student-athletes in athletics and academics."
O'Neal spent 17 years in the athletics department at Bethune-Cookman University. For the past five years, he served as the senior associate athletic director of facilities and strategic initiatives. In between his time in Daytona Beach, O'Neal served as the director of athletics at Savannah State University, managing the University's 15 intercollegiate men's and women's athletic teams.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to lead a thriving athletic program," O'Neal said. "Claflin's amazing history and its commitment to success are impressive. I will do my best to keep Panther teams competing on a level that will continue to bring pride to the University and supporters of the athletics program."
Currently, O'Neal serves as the NCAA Chair of the National Bowling Committee. He has spent years participating in NCAA leadership programs. He was selected for the NCAA Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority Males in 2002, and he completed the NCAA Fellows Leadership Development Program in 2003. O'Neal also spent years interpreting NCAA bylaws for Bethune-Cookman's 17 sports.
O'Neal received his bachelor's degree in social welfare at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and he earned his master's degree in transformative leadership from Bethune-Cookman University. O'Neal and his wife, Bonnie, have six daughters and six grandchildren.
Claflin University sponsors 11 team sports that compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. Claflin has 10 sports that compete in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). The university's baseball program is a member of the Peach Belt Conference. For more information on Claflin University's athletics department, visit

U.S. Army Cadet Command Conducts Virtual Commissioning Celebration

Second  Lieutenant Irana D. Praileau, '20, was selected to represent Claflin University at the U.S. Army Cadet Command Virtual Commissioning Celebration on Friday, June 12. The event celebrated second lieutenants in the Class of 2020 that were commissioned across the Nation. You can watch the archived event by clicking here.

During the ceremony Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Ryan McCarthy lead the Cadets as they recited the Oath of Commissioned Officers. Cadets participated from their homes via Facebook and YouTube live events. 

2LT Paraileau along with  2LT Deanna Antoinette Brown,  2LT Brandon Traivon Guinyard,  2LT Hien Thai Nguyen Kreeger,  2LT Da'Ja Ma'Esha Louise Smalls, and  2LT Cyntasia Domineek-Alexandria Wright  completed South Carolina State University's Bulldog Battalion Reserve Officers' Training Corps ( ROTC ) program and earned active duty commission in the United States Army. The virtual ceremony was held on May 7. 
Since 1967, Claflin University has offered Air Force and Army  ROTC programs through a cross enrollment agreement with South Carolina State University. The pilot program began with 13 students. Officially signed in 1972, the program was coordinated by the late Charles H. Johnson, dean of student affairs (1967-1986) at Claflin University. By 1977, there were 107 students enrolled in the program, both males and females. 
Claflin University Featured During First-ever CIAA Virtual Day Party to Celebrate HBCUs

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, (CIAA┬«), the nation's first African American athletic conference , in partnership with Visit Baltimore, will host CIAA Virtual Vibe, the first-ever CIAA Virtual Day Party on Saturday, June 20. The fun-filled summer event will be simulcast live from 3-7p.m. (EST) on the CIAA's Instagram, Facebook and YouTube platforms and will benefit the CIAA General Scholarship Fund.

The CIAA Virtual Vibe will feature four prominent disc jockeys (DJs) from NYC, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.  The DJs will spin hits from different eras and genres to celebrate the rich tradition, history, and impact of the CIAA and its member institutions while highlighting the culture of excellence at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Claflin University is scheduled to be featured at 3 p.m. with two other CIAA-member schools. 
In December 2018, the CIAA announced that its annual Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament would move to Baltimore, MD for 2021-2023. The tournament dates for 2021 are February 23-27. General tournament information including hotel, tickets and the city of Baltimore can be found at .

For the latest information on the CIAA, visit,  Facebook Twitter  or  Instagram . Fans can subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive notifications on the latest CIAA video content.

Staff News

Claflin University Sports Information Director Romanda Noble-Watson served as a moderator during the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) Virtual Convention on Friday, June 12. The  panel discussion was titled Operating with Reduced Budgets Noble-Watson is a member of the CoSIDA Special Awards Committee and Mentorship Committee.
Alumni News

Congratulations to Don A. Brock, '66, who was inducted into the 2020 Hall of Fame at the Academy of Richmond County in Augusta, Ga. Brock served as a teacher and coach from 1972-1997. He was also the first African-American head coach and athletic director at the Academy.  As boys basketball coach, his teams won more than 325 games. 

Caleb Green, '20 , joined hundreds of protesters in his hometown of Metter, Ga., as one of its speakers for its Black Lives Matter Rally. Green, who will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall for grad school commented about the rally's unity stating, " It is good to see all of the races out here."

In the wake of the of the death of George Floyd, Shari-Zhane Harvin-Langley, '16, took a stand and sent an email and LinkedIn message on May 27 to several key executives of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team. Harvin-Langley, who works in the ticket sales department, felt the organization needed to take a stand against police brutality.  Her message struck a nerve with executives  and she was asked to help plan a company-wide conversation "to share thoughts, become educated, help educate others and work to drive change."

In his book titled He Spoke at My School, Dennis Richmond Jr., '17, shares the story of how he went from a young boy from Yonkers, NY, with a passion for history, to a powerhouse advocate for higher education. Richmond chronicles the highs and lows of his life, from suffering bullying at the hands of his peers throughout middle school to accumulating thousands of dollars in scholarships, grants, and sponsorships to live out his dreams. He paints the picture of how discovering his love for public speaking led to the development of his initiative championing for HBCUs. 

One of the many protests nationally and internationally in memory of George Floyd included one organized by Devin Roberts, '20, in Augusta, Ga., on June 8. "We weren't just marching because of the killing. But we were also marching because of injustice all around. Whether it's injustice in the criminal justice system, through our elected officials, through police officers or even in the educational system. That's why we were marching," said Roberts.

The Teachers in the Movement (TIM) project at the Center for Race and Public Education in the South (CRPES) is hosting a webinar series discussing interviews with educators who taught between 1950 and 1980 on June 16 at 1 p.m. Please join the TIM research team for a discussion that features interviews with award-winning South Carolina civil rights era photographer Cecil J. Williams, '60, and award-winning South Carolina artist and professor Dr. Leo F. Twiggs, '56. Panelists will discuss the legacy of their work for civil rights and African American education. This webinar comes as the nation and world witnesses the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and several others, and as the nation approaches the fifth anniversary of the murder of nine black parishioners in Charleston, SC. This webinar is co-sponsored by the Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students (CEEAAS), and the Center for Civil Rights History and Research. Click here to register.

June 12, 2020
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@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