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.
Brigadier General Twanda E. Young to Speak for Visionary Leader-in-Residence Program
Brigadier General Twanda E. Young, '89, will speak for Claflin University's Leader-in-Residence program on Thursday, January 31, from 9 a.m. until 12 noon, in Ministers' Hall. The event is free and open to the public. 
The Leader-in-Residence program allows persons who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their field and career to assist Claflin students and faculty - and the University itself - in any number of ways.
The Leader-in-Residence can lend their expertise to specific projects (either "in residence" at Claflin University or from a remote location), provide advice and suggest improvements to the Claflin curriculum, help with establishing project partnerships, and so on. The Leader-in-Residence position is, by nature, designed to be very flexible in order to allow the Leader-in-Residence to participate in a variety of ways of his or her own choosing.
Young graduated from Claflin in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English. She participated in the Army ROTC program at Claflin University 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 earned a master's degree in adult education at South Carolina State and a master's in executive development from Ball State University. She also holds a master's degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
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. 
Young was the recipient of the 2010 Order of the Saint Maurice presented by the 197th Infantry Brigade and the 2011 Horatio Gates Bronze medal by the Adjutant General Regiment. Her military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service. She was also inducted into the Claflin University Hall of Fame on November 16, 2018.

Claflin Hosts 27th Annual Granville Hicks Leadership Academy for Laity and Clergy
On January 31 and February 1, 2019, Claflin University will host the 27th Annual Granville Hicks Leadership Academy for Laity and Clergy. Themed "Where Do We Go From Here?" this event equips laity and clergy for ministry and leadership within the church. The Academy will take place in the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel.
The Granville Hicks Leadership Academy honors the Rev. Dr. Granville A. Hicks, a 1957 Claflin graduate who has been recognized for his leadership as a pastor and district superintendent in the South Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Hicks was instrumental in creating programs to improve race relations, education and leadership development at the conference. It began as a lecture series before evolving into a leadership academy that emphasizes connections between the academy, Claflin University, and The United Methodist Church. The event empowers attendees with biblical knowledge, intellectual growth and theological reflection.
Click here for the complete schedule. 

Claflin University Celebrates Black History Month

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

Event schedule includes:
  • Monday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. - Poetry Jam with JaySoJay, Grace T. Kennedy Business and Communication Building Auditorium
  • Monday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. - Man Up Forum, Orange and Maroon Room
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. - Lyceum featuring NY Times best-selling author, Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes, W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center
  • 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
    "Tell Them We Are Rising" documentary Grace T. Kennedy Business and Communication Building 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.
Dwayne Bryant's Message to Visionary, Transformative Leaders and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Highlight Claflin's 2019 Spring Convocation

"Don't take your time here at Claflin University for granted," said internationally renowned author and media personality Dwayne Bryant on Thursday, January 24, in his keynote message during Claflin's Spring Convocation in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. "What you do right now will either set you up or set you back. Be serious about yourself and your time." 
Bryant, founder and CEO of Inner Vision International, Inc., spoke to a capacity audience that included students, faculty, administrators, alumni and corporate and community supporters. The annual assembly signals the official start of the Spring Semester. 
Bryant's remarks were followed by the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. 
"I did my homework on Claflin," said Bryant before reciting a list of the University's recent accomplishments. "I know that HBCU Digest selected Claflin HBCU of the Year and the University was ranked 7th among all of the nation's HBCUs by U.S. News and World Report. I also know that Claflin welcomed its largest freshman class this year which means the students and parents trust you and your leadership Dr. Tisdale. Although you are concluding your outstanding service to Claflin for more than 25 years, your impact and contributions will be appreciated for another 150 years."
The topic of Bryant's speech "Keys to Visionary and Transformational Leadership," provided students a roadmap to achieving success while attending college and after they graduate and begin pursuing their career goals.
"Numerous universities, scholars and institutions have conducted research and discovered that grit - defined as courage, determination, perseverance and passion to attain long-term goals - is the one characteristic that determines success," Bryant said. "That's what your ancestors had. They had an indomitable spirit. They persevered so that you could be here today."
A graduate of Florida International University, Bryant earned dual degrees in finance and international business. He emphasized the importance of creating value and asked the students to think about how they are spending their time.  
"If you want to be successful, don't pursue success," he said. "Focus instead on creating value and realize that time is your greatest asset. Look at where you were four years ago and where you are now - seniors, freshmen.  Look how quickly the time passed."
"The greatest indicator for 20 years ago is today," Bryant added. "If you excel here at Claflin as a visionary leader, you will excel and be a visionary leader in the real world. Success leaves clues and so does failure. If you are a leader here at Claflin, you will be a leader in the real world."
Dr. Tisdale was joined by members of the Board of Trustees, executive cabinet, alumni, and students during the ribbon cutting ceremony. The newly constructed structure is an expansion of the former Jonas T. Kennedy Gym. It includes a modern weight room, community kitchen, indoor walking track, auxiliary gym and classrooms.

The JTK Health and Wellness Complex is 33,000 square-foot, two-story structure which Tisdale described as a "New Gateway to South Carolina's oldest HBCU." The first floor features the weight room, which includes free weights and several workout machines, classrooms, and a community kitchen. The first floor also includes an auxiliary gym with a walking track above, and a space that could be used for a farmers' market.

Treadmills and other workout equipment, meeting rooms and a room that will house a kinesiology lab are located on the second floor.

"This is a dynamic, multi-purpose facility that will provide benefits for the campus community and area residents beyond the walls of the University," Tisdale said. "The mission of the health and wellness center is to provide a means for the Claflin community and the Orangeburg community to gain healthier lives."

Claflin Hosts Become a Visionary Leader Event

Seventy-nine high-achieving, high school students made their way to Claflin University for the seventh annual "Become a Visionary Leader" event on Saturday, January 26. These potential students, and their families, spent the day learning about South Carolina's first HBCU. Special presentations were conducted by the university deans, the Honors College and the Career Pathways Initiative CPI). 

"The Become a Visionary Leader event was a huge success," said Antonio McFarland, assistant director of admissions.  "The overall objective was to bring these students on campus and showcase all of the great benefits of Claflin University. The Office of Admissions designed this event specifically for high achieving scholars. We wanted to provide a stellar event with stellar faculty, staff, and students to the prospective scholars on why Claflin University continues to remain a nationally-ranked institutions with stellar academic programs," McFarland said.

Thirty-three of the students attending the event came from outside of South Carolina, including some from New York, New Jersey and Florida. One student (and his father) traveled more than 900 miles from Michigan to visit Claflin. "I learned about Claflin during a college fair in Michigan, so when I got the invitation to come, I knew I wanted to visit," said Jacob Thomas. "I didn't know what to expect when I got here, but after today, I'm really impressed. The campus is great, and it was just a very good experience."

During the closing of the program, President Henry N. Tisdale presented the students with one of his favorite books, The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness
"We have everything you need for you to become a leader at Claflin," President Tisdale told the attendees. "We look forward to welcoming you in the fall to begin your journey at Claflin and helping you to become visionary leaders."

Claflin University Mourns Death of Visiting Assistant Professor
Claflin University continues to mourn the loss of Dr. Ali Chambers, who passed away on Saturday, January 26. Dr. Chambers was a visiting assistant professor of African American Studies & History in the Department of Humanities.  The University held a Memorial Service on  Wednesday, January 30.

"As we celebrate the life of Dr. Chambers - a scholar gone too soon - I'm confident we will remember him for his commitment to student success," said President Henry N. Tisdale at the Memorial Service.  "Dr. Chambers leaves behind the greatest gifts a faculty member can give - inspiring a thirst for knowledge, stimulating a desire to understand, and motivating students to make a difference in our communities and in our world."

"Dr. Chambers was a wonderful colleague and professor," said Dr. Kathryn Silva, interim chair of the Department of Humanities. "He brought his sense of humor and his inquiring mind to campus each day. His students loved him. He was a talented teacher and they appreciated how he challenged them to grow as intellectuals each day. He is deeply missed."

Dr. Chambers earned a PhD. in African American Studies from Temple University in Philadelphia PA. He also earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Fisk University (2001), and a M.A. in African American Studies from Temple University (2003). Dr. Chambers worked as a high school teacher in the school district of Philadelphia (2001-2004), taught courses in European History at the University of Iowa (2004-2005), and taught classes in cultural diversity at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Iowa City, IA (2005-2006). He also instructed students in American History at Bucks and Montgomery County Community colleges, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Temple University, and South Carolina State University.

In his spare time, Dr. Chambers enjoyed playing basketball, watching the University of Miami Hurricanes (football), the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Heat, and the Philadelphia Eagles on TV or in person. He also enjoyed traveling around the world. In the past four years he traveled extensively to the countries of South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya, India, Spain, France, Italy, and studied as a graduate student at the University of Ghana. His favorite place to visit was the city of Florence.
Claflin Student Crowned Miss Summerville 2019

Claflin University junior Janelle Green (second from left), a religion & philosophy and African-American studies major, was recently crowned Miss Summerville 2019. Green competed against 18 other contestants on January 12, to earn the title. As the winner, she received a $1,000 scholarship and will serve the area for the remainder of the year. 

Green's platform as Miss Summerville is "Write Your Heart Out: Literacy is Freedom," which focuses on encouraging children to use writing as a way to express themselves creatively. Green hopes that her platform can help children in the Charleston area become writers that are more articulate in the future and eventually help influence educational policies.

"I competed for the title of Miss Summerville because I have a passion for the area where I grew up, and I knew this would be the best way to ensure I could carry out my mission," said Green. "As a young black woman, I'm excited about my role as Miss Summerville. I come from a low-income family; I'm a first generation college student; and I'm representing the Gullah culture. I'm glad I can help change the perception of women who compete in pageants."

In June 2019, Green will go on to compete in the Miss South Carolina pageant in Columbia, S.C. The winner of Miss South Carolina will receive a $60,000 college scholarship and will then compete for Miss America later in the year.

A member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, Green was recently named a Luard Morse Scholar and  will receive $25,000 toward a semester of study at any university of her choosing in the United Kingdom during the 2019-2020 academic year. Green has selected the University of Oxford.
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 will take place Monday, February 4 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.

Shantavia is a junior biochemistry major and a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College. As a student at Claflin University, Shantavia has lived by the Claflin motto, "The World Needs Visionaries," by being an active leader on and off campus. She is a member of the honors council and serves as the secretary of Claflin's Young Democrats of America. She also served as the sophomore class chaplain (2017-2018) and Miss University Honors (2017-2018). As an active member in the community, she was a tutor for Jerusalem Baptist Church and was Miss Garden City Teen (2015-2016).  
During her matriculation, Shantavia received a pharmacy technician position at CVS pharmacy in Orangeburg. She also  conducted research at the University of Virginia and the University of South Carolina College of Nursing. 

After graduating from Claflin University, she plans to attend pharmacy school to earn a doctor of pharmacy degree and a master's degree in business administration. She believes the impossible is possible; therefore, she plans to continue to strive for excellence and exemplify the "Claflin Confidence."

Claflin University is Tom Joyner Foundation┬« January 2019 School of the Month
Claflin University is the January 2019 "School of the Month" by the Tom Joyner Foundation®. The Foundation, formed by the nationally-syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner, chose Claflin as part of its on-going effort to provide scholarships for students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
All funds raised through this initiative at Claflin will support FOCUS100 Scholarships. Gifts of $2,500 or more to the campaign in January, whether made by individuals or given by alumni chapters, affinity groups, or organizations may be highlighted that month on the Tom Joyner Morning Show with a 1-2 minute taped segment that will be broadcasted and shared online.

Donations for this initiative can be made directly to Claflin University, via any of the University's existing means, or through the Tom Joyner Foundation by:
  • MOBILE PLEDGE: Text ClaflinPanther to 41444 to donate via credit card.
  • CROWDFUNDING: Text ClaflinPanther to 71777 to donate or become a Fundraiser for Claflin. Visit the Foundation's Crowdfunding Page to learn more.
    ONLINE: Visit (select Claflin University in the drop-down menu)
  • MAIL A DONATION: Send checks made payable to The Tom Joyner Foundation, Re: Claflin, P.O. Box 630495, Irving, Texas, 75063-0495
For more information or to volunteer to help with Claflin's 2019 School of the Month initiative, please contact Barbara Chappell, major gifts officer, at (803) 535-5349 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.
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 Tuesday, February 26, 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, January 30, 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.

Lowe's, CIAA to Recognize Fields and Thompson During Monday's Basketball Doubleheader Against Fayetteville State

The Lowe's Corporation and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) will recognize Claflin University basketball student-athletes Ashley Fields (Gr./Charleston, SC) and Triston Thompson (Gr./Washington, DC) during the basketball doubleheader against Fayetteville State on Monday, February 4, in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex
Both Fields and Thompson are Claflin nominees for the Lowe's CIAA Senior CLASS Award, given to a male and female basketball senior who excels 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.
On Monday, a local Lowe's representative will present both Claflin student-athletes with special souvenirs for being chosen as a nominee for the Lowe's CIAA Senior Class Award. The presentation will take place on the basketball court after the women's game and before the men's contest. The women's contest starts at 5:30 p.m. and the men's matchup begins at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Fields, a guard on the Lady Panthers team who is enrolled in the MBA program at Claflin, has been twice named the CIAA Player of the Week.  She is leading Claflin in scoring and rebounding at 15.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.  Fields is ranked ninth in the nation in free-throw percentage (11th in the CIAA) and 44th in the nation is steals (2nd in the CIAA).  She also ranks sixth in scoring, seventh in field-goal percentage, 12th in rebounding, 14th in block shots and 21st in assists in the CIAA.
Thompson is also enrolled in the MBA program at Claflin. He leads the team in scoring and assists averaging 13.5 points and 3.9 assists, respectively.  Thompson is shooting 82 percent from the charity stripe which ranks fifth in the CIAA and has knocked down 21 three-pointers on the season.  He is ranked sixth in assist/turnover, ninth in steals and 16th in scoring in the CIAA.

Jackson Earns Fourth CIAA Rookie of the Week Honor
Claflin University women's basketball freshman guard Dashia Jackson  was named the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Rookie of the Week. The weekly honors were announced by the league office Monday, January 28.
Jackson, who earned her fourth Rookie of the Week honor, scored a game-high of 22 points with 2 rebounds and 1 assist in the Lady Panthers lone game of the week. She connected on 5-of-7 three pointers and 5-of-7 free throws.
Claflin will close out its four-game road swing this Thursday, January 31, when they travel to Columbia, S.C. to face Benedict College.

Claflin Comes Up Short Against JCSU

Johnson C. Smith University edged Claflin University 64-63 in a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) men's basketball contest on Monday, January 28.  The tough loss dropped Claflin's season record to 7-12 overall and 6-8 in the CIAA, including 3-3 in the Southern Division.

Claflin will conclude its four-game road swing at rival Benedict College on Thursday, January 31. Tip-off for the non-conferences game is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Benjamin E. Mays HRC Arena on the Benedict Campus.

Claflin Lady Panthers Fall to Johnson C. Smith in CIAA Women's Basketball Action

Johnson C. Smith University outscored Claflin University 48-18 over a two-quarter span in defeating the Lady Panthers, 79-43, in a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division contest on Monday, January 28. The road loss dropped Claflin to 11-10 overall and 8-6 in the CIAA, including 4-4 in the division.
The Lady Panthers will wrap up their four-game road swing on Thursday, January 31, at rival Benedict College. The non-conference match gets underway at 5:30 p.m. inside the Benjamin E. Mays HRC Arena on the Benedict Campus.

January 30, 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