The World Needs Visionaries
Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale to Deliver Keynote Address  at University's Sesquicentennial Commencement Convocation
Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale will deliver the keynote address for the University's Sesquicentennial Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 11, at 11 a.m. in the South Atlantic Seventh-day Adventist Convention Center, 514 Neeses Highway, Orangeburg, S.C.
The choice of President Tisdale is appropriate for this historic Commencement Convocation since he will be retiring after providing 25 years of phenomenal and transformational leadership to the first historically black college/university in South Carolina.
He is leaving an indelible imprint on Claflin University. Soon after becoming the eighth president of Claflin University, he articulated his vision for his alma mater. He wanted Claflin to become recognized as "a premier private liberal arts institution in the Southeast Region, an institution of the highest quality that demonstrates its commitment to excellence in carrying out her mission by being and doing the best she can with what she has and by continuously striving to get better." And in virtually every aspect of the University, his vision has been realized.
Throughout his career, Tisdale has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors in recognition of his exceptional and transformative leadership. He is the recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian award, and the Higher Education Leadership Foundation Award. In September 2008, the town of Kingstree, in recognition of the extraordinary achievements of their native son, erected a lasting tribute, six highway markers proclaiming Kingstree, South Carolina the "Home of Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, The Eighth President of Claflin University." Tisdale's other recent honors include the 2008 CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) District III Chief Executive Leadership Award, the 2007 Milliken Medal of Quality Award, 2007 BellSouth Honoree, the I. DeQuincey Newman Humanitarian Award, the NAFEO (National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education) Distinguished Alumni Award, Who's Who Among Black Americans and the NAACP Educator of the Year Award. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Hofstra University and South Carolina State University.
Over the years, Tisdale also has served on many committees, councils, boards and task forces at both the state and national levels. He is a member of the Board of Directors of UNCF, American Council on Education Commission on Effective Leadership, UNCF Special Programs Board of Directors, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Council of Presidents, and the HBCU-ETS Steering Committee Additionally, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church and a member of the University Senate of The United Methodist Church, a member of the Orangeburg County Economic Development Partners and a member of the Board of Directors of the Orangeburg County Development Commission. He is a member of the Claflin University National Alumni Association, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the Orangeburg Rotary Club and Trinity United Methodist Church.
Tisdale and his wife, First Lady Alice Carson Tisdale, have two children, Danica Camille Tisdale Fisher (Dr. Damany Fisher) and Brandon Keith Tisdale, and two grandchildren, Asa and Anansa Fisher.
Countdown to 2019 Commencement Week Activities

According to the calendar, there are 29 days remaining until the 2019 Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 11. Click here  for an outline of all activities for Graduation Week (May 6-11) including a schedule of events, speakers, hotels, directions, and more.
Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College Celebrates 25 Years of Visionary Leadership and Academic Achievement

"I have truly enjoyed the last 25 years of my life and I pray that this flagship program will continue to celebrate and recognize the contributions of the young people from Honors College who walk this campus," said Claflin First Lady Alice Carson Tisdale at the 25th Annual Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College Banquet held Thursday, April 4, at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. Mrs. Tisdale has served as director of the Honors College which bears her name, since its inception in 1994.
More than 200 current and former ACT Honors College students were joined by friends, family members and Claflin administrators, faculty and staff to celebrate the accomplishments of the Honors College's graduating seniors and Mrs. Tisdale's transformational and visionary leadership. 

"I want to express my deep appreciation for the love and friendship you have continually extended to me since my arrival to Claflin.  I promise you I will not disappear," Mrs. Tisdale said. "I plan to be a voice for improving the educational system and opportunities for children in the state of South Carolina. I ask that you join me in being an advocate for women's and children's rights everywhere."

The success of Honors College graduates after they leave Claflin has been the source of tremendous pride for Mrs. Tisdale. Most of Claflin's student leaders, including Student Government Association presidents and cabinet members, are enrolled in the ACT Honors College. The list of impressive alumni includes Emmanuel Pressley, '15, politics and justice studies major who in 2014 became Claflin's first-ever Harry S. Truman Scholar.

Several graduating seniors revealed the names of highly-reputable corporations where they planned to launch their professional careers. Others announced that they will continue their education at prestigious graduate schools.
Jessica Tolbert, will pursue her Ph.D. in chemistry at Dartmouth College; Taylor Willis will enroll in the graduate program at North Carolina Central University to earn a master's degree in psychology; Charmaine Lindsay will pursue a Ph.D. in national products and human health at Rutgers University; and Craig Walker, has been accepted at Wake Forest University. However, he has also received job offers from Comcast, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDINC), and New York Life.
"I am very proud of our seniors and their accomplishments," said Mrs. Tisdale. "They represent some of Claflin's best and brightest scholars."

The event also provided Honors College alumni an opportunity to express their gratitude and share memorable moments from their experiences at Claflin.

"There was just something about her and Dr. Tisdale," said Dr. DaNine Jenkins Fleming, '96, an associate professor at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
"Together, they taught us about the Claflin Confidence. It was amazing and transformative. Mrs. Tisdale leaves a phenomenal legacy. She gave people a chance who otherwise may not have had the opportunity. Mrs. Tisdale, you have always been the wind beneath our wings."

Antoine Marshall, '09, an attorney in Raleigh, N.C., said his goal was to become a medical doctor when he enrolled at Claflin. However, Mrs. Tisdale helped him earn a scholarship in a program that provided him an opportunity to work on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The introduction into politics and the inner workings of the government altered his career aspirations. 

"I remember Mrs. Tisdale asking our group to look around the room and saying that many of us would find our husbands or wives in this room," said Marshall, who was the first student to enter the Honors College as a freshman. "She was right. My wife (Christelle) was a member of the Honors College and she was sitting in that room.  Mrs. Tisdale has always supported me and given me so much love and support. What I have achieved would not have been possible if  Mrs. Tisdale had not seen something in a young, gangly, 18-year-old freshman."
Panther Editor Wins Top Honor
The Panther, Claflin's student newspaper, won four awards in the 2018 Collegiate Division contest sponsored by the S.C. Press Association, the organization of the state's daily, weekly and collegiate newspapers.

Olanma Hazel Mang was named the S.C. Collegiate Journalist of the Year for colleges/universities with under 5,000 enrollment. The honor is unprecedented as she is the fourth Panther editor in the past five years to win the award. She follows Bradley Harris in 2017, Andres Waters in 2015 and Princess Williams in 2014.

Mang, from Nigeria, is a Claflin senior. Her bylines have appeared beyond The Panther in The Times and Democrat and at the HBCU Times website.

Of her selection for the award, the SCPA stated: "It's been a full journalistic year for Mang. During the spring semester, she was a primary reporter and planner for The Panther. A highlight of the period was Panther coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre - with a special print edition of The Panther devoted to the anniversary. Mang was the team reporting leader for the project. She also contributed coverage related to the Orangeburg Massacre anniversary to The Times and Democrat.

"Mang is recognized for her enterprise, accuracy and clear writing style. Judges said her portfolio was solid and diverse with good use of multiple sources."

The Panther also won first and second place in the Special Edition category for its special print and online coverage of the midterm election (first place) and the 50th anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre (2nd place).

Mang won second place in Best Photograph for her shot of CNN commentator Bakari Sellers at an event surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre.

The awards were presented Saturday, April 6, at the SCPA annual meeting in Columbia. Mang was a keynote speaker at the collegiate awards ceremony. [ Times and Democrat]
Student Spotlight - Alaina Dixon
Alaina Dixon, '22, has accepted a summer research position at Johns Hopkins University as a part of the Leadership Alliance's First Year Research Experience (FYRE). The FYRE program provides research opportunities for students who have just completed their first year at one of its minority-serving partner institutions. Dixon, who is a history major, will be attending the program from May to August 2019 conducting research in the Humanities Collaboratory, and she will have the opportunity to participate in social and professional development activities with other students in the program. Students are recommended by faculty mentors and then have to apply to program.

Countdown to Charleston; Claflin Hosts Alumni Convention in Holy City

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." Click here to watch a video that will welcome you to Charleston for the Convention!
Faculty News
Dr. Nan Li, associate professor in the School of Education, won national awards at the 2019 Association for Teacher Educators (ATE) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Li served as the South Carolina ATE president in 2018, and under her leadership the organization won two John P. Sikula Unit Awards. Dr. Li is also serving on the Council of Accreditation for Teacher Educators national accreditation team for the site visit at Indiana State University. 
Alumni News
Dr. Bernice Davis Cooper, '81 , recently released her first book, "The Walk from the Well - A Spiritual Journey to Realizing God's Presence, Love and Purpose." The book, available on  Amazon , encompasses seven personal testimonies about the extraordinary persistence and power of God's voice in our everyday lives. She also developed a Scripture and Reflection Guide to accompany the book. Cooper's passion for God, teaching and learning was utilized as she served in several teaching capacities in her local A.M.E. Church as she organized Vacation Bible School and taught Sunday School. The Hemingway, South Carolina, native served 35 years as an educator and administrator in the Williamsburg County Schools. She currently serves as a pastor and college instructor, and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  

The Orangeburg County Alumni Chapter of CUIAA will have its annual Alumni and Friends breakfast on Saturday, May 18, at 9 a.m., in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. The speaker for the occasion will be President Henry N. Tisdale. Tickets for the event are $25 and can be secured by calling (803) 290-4503 or (803) 533-1828.

Panther Pride
Claflin Travels to Clark Atlanta for Baseball Double Header

Claflin University Panthers will face Clark Atlanta University on Saturday, April 13, at 1 p.m. at Bill Evans Field in Atlanta. Claflin is 8-2 against teams from the SIAC this season with series wins over Miles College (2-1), Tuskegee University (2-1) and Morehouse College (3-0) and a win over Benedict College. After the three-game set with Clark Atlanta, which is 9-20 on the season, Claflin will wrap up competition within the SIAC, taking on Benedict twice, April 17 in Columbia and April 22 in Orangeburg.

Claflin University Women's Softball Game at Livingstone Rescheduled

Please be advised that the women's softball game between  Claflin  University and Livingstone scheduled for Sunday, April 14, in Salisbury, N.C., has been rescheduled due to impending inclement weather. The teams will now face each other in a CIAA double header on Wednesday, April 17, beginning at 1 p.m. with the second game starting at approximately 3 p.m. in Salisbury.
Additionally, the Lady Panthers double header at Benedict which was scheduled for April 17 has been postponed. A new date for the non-conference double header has not been set.
April 12, 2019
In This Issue
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@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