The World Needs Visionaries
Claflin Alumnus to Serve as Guest Speaker
for Claflin's 2018 Baccalaureate Service
The Reverend Otis Scott Jr., ' 69, will be the guest speaker for Claflin University's 2018 Baccalaureate Service at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 11, in Tullis Arena at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center.
Baccalaureate is an interfaith service offering farewell to the graduates of Claflin University. The service is open to all graduating students and their families and live music will be performed by the Claflin University Concert Choir. Claflin's 148th Commencement Convocation will take place on Saturday, May 12, 11 a.m. at the South Atlantic Seventh-day Adventist Convention Center in Orangeburg.
Scott has been a pastor for 40 years while serving numerous parishes across South Carolina to include Anderson, Easley, Columbia, Charleston, Camden, Johns Island, and St. George. Scott also works with MORE Justice, a growing network of diverse faith-based congregations that promotesocial justice and equality for residents of the Central Midlands. MORE Justice works collaboratively to empower marginalized people and acts powerfully to address serious community wide problems through direct action.
Scott, a native of Sumter, S.C., is the son of Mrs. Wilhelmenia Dennis Scott and the late Rev. Dr. Otis Scott, Sr. He attended school in Kershaw County before earning a bachelor's degree in music education at Claflin College - now Claflin University.

Scott taught one year prior to being drafted into the military where he served during the Vietnam War. After his honorable discharge from the military, Scott returned to teaching and cultivated the interest and music skills of talented students throughout Sumter County. In 1977 Scott answered the call to the ministry and enrolled at Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Ga., where he earned the Master of Divinity degree.
Scott has received numerous awards and recognitions for community service. During his appointment in Camden, he was presented the keys to the City of Camden for his work with the Camden First Community Development Corporation. He helped to rehabilitate more than 50 homes in Kershaw and Sumter counties. The program provided affordable housing and improved living conditions for numerous families.
In 2008 Rev. Scott helped to organize a county-wide Youth Explosion on Johns Island which led to 45 youth accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Claflin Wins Grant in Home Depot Competition
Thanks to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends for all of your hard work! It really paid off. 
Team Claflin won a $30,000 grant in the Home Depot Retool Your School Campus Beautification Competition.
Stay tuned for the announcement about what our project will be.
Countdown to the 2018 Commencement Convocation

According to the calendar, there are 10 days remaining 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 White House correspondent and CNN political analyst April Ryan.
Student Profile - Bradley Harris
On Friday, April 20, Bradley Harris, editor of Claflin's student newspaper The Panther, was named the 2017 South Carolina Collegiate Journalist of the Year for colleges and universities with under 5,000 enrollment.

The Irmo native and Claflin senior received the award during the South Carolina Press Association's 2018 Collegiate Meeting held at Winthrop University in Rock Hill. The honor is the highest award given by SCPA to a collegiate journalist.

The honor marks the third time in four years that a Panther editor and Claflin Mass Communications Department student has received the award. Princess Williams Gadson was the honoree in 2014 and Andres Waters earned the award for 2015.

All three also served as correspondents for The Times and Democrat while matriculating at Claflin. Gadson became a staff writer for The T&D after graduation, Waters writes periodically for the newspaper to this day, and Harris has recently joined the newspaper as a staff writer. Readers already have seen a number of his bylines on a variety of stories.

As a T&D correspondent for two years, Harris has covered sports and news as well as on-campus events at Claflin.
While busy on two journalistic fronts, the Dutch Fork High School graduate has maintained a solid academic record. He has been on the dean's list since his freshman year and active on campus as a class senator in the Student Government Association. Harris is also a member of the Claflin Men 100 and public relations director for the Claflin chapter of the NAACP.  He has been active in the Orangeburg community as well, having been appointed to the foundation board of the BootStraps Mentoring Program in Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5 and serving as a member of the communications team. (Courtesy of The Panther  and The Times and Democrat)
Student Profile - Kyhree Gray
Claflin mass communications student Kyhree Gray earned a second-place award for best photograph for his image of junior Deanna Oliver riding the mechanical bull during Panther Fest in fall 2017.

The photo was published by The Panther, Claflin's student newspaper.

The award was announced during the South Carolina Press Association's annual collegiate conference on April 20 at Winthrop University.

Gray's photography competed in division for colleges and universities with under 5,000 enrollment. (Courtesy of The Panther)
Alumni Notes

Members of the Class of 1977 met recently at Claflin University to discuss financial commitments to the University and plans for the upcoming Homecoming. 
Panther Pride
Spring Hill Sweeps Claflin in SIAC Series

The Spring Hill College Badgers completed a three-game Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) sweep of Claflin University on Saturday, April 28, taking both games of a doubleheader at Stan Galle Field. MORE

Norman Invited to ASBA Inaugural Draft

Claflin University softball senior pitcher Tiaria Norman  has been invited to the Inaugural American Softball Association (ASBA) draft scheduled for Wednesday, June 6, in Mobile, Ala.
The ASBA is a newly developed league which offers an alternative for softball players looking to turn pro.  The ASBA, which will begin play in Mobile, Ala. this summer will initially consist of four teams that will compete in Mobile from June 15-July 31.
Softball players from every level will be invited to register for the draft.
Norman, the 2017 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Pitcher of the Year, currently has 596 career strikeouts.  She is a three-time SIAC Pitcher of the Week and was once named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Pitcher of the Week.
In 2018 Norman has recorded 215 strikeouts in 191 innings pitched with one no-hitter.  She is currently ranked 3rd in sacrifice flies, 4th in strikeouts and 21st in shutouts in the Nation.

Claflin University Honors Student-Athletes at Annual Athletics Banquet

2017-18 Co-Male and Female Athletes of the Year along with Claflin University President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale

The Claflin University department of athletics honored more than 75 athletes in 12 different sports at its Annual Athletics Awards Banquet on Tuesday, April 24, at the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. 
Students-athletes were honored and recognized for excelling in their respective sports and academics. In addition, two service awards were presented to individuals who provide special services to the department of athletics.  This year's recipients were Richard Wandover and Gene Breland. 
The department also presented the Karen C.B. Williams Courage Award in honor of former longtime staff member Karen C.B. Williams who lost her battle with cancer in December of 2015. This is the third year the award has been presented. This year's recipient was Dr. Timothy J. Autry, former athletics director at Claflin University. 
For the first time, the Panther Total Package (PTP) Award was presented to the student-athlete who gives selflessly of themselves, while still achieving in athletics and the classroom. The PTP Award recipient was Dickens. 
Receiving the top award as the Female Athlete of the Year was senior Tiaria Norman , a member of the softball team. For the first-time in school history, two athletes shared the Co-Male Athletes of the Year Award. The winners were junior Triston Thompson  and senior Jaleel Charles -  both members of the men's basketball team. 
Scholar Athletes of the Year Awards were presented to the male and female student-athlete who achieved the highest grade point average (GPA). The male recipient was Torriun Towers, a member of the  baseball team. The female recipient was LaKaylin Lee, a member of the  softball team. 
For the second straight year, the softball team was the academic team of the year. 
In addition, 68 student-athletes were awarded the Timothy J. Autry All-Academic Team gold, silver and bronze medals for achieving a 3.0 or better GPA.  
May 2, 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