The World Needs Visionaries

Correction: The story titled "Claflin University Announces Riland Changing the Face of Lupus Scholarship" in the December 21, 2016, issue of @Claflin incorrectly stated the name of the donor of the scholarship. The correct name is Barbara Andrews.
Claflin Welcomes New Freshmen During Spring Orientation

Claflin University welcomed 25 new freshmen during its 2017 Spring Orientation held January 4-6.  The series of events included informational sessions, cultural events and the Freshman Confirmation Ceremony. 

The Confirmation Ceremony, a Claflin tradition, culminates the orientation process and inducts students into the Freshman College, a comprehensive year-long program designed to help entering freshmen build character, confidence, pride, memories and pathways to success.  Dr. Angela Peters, vice provost for academic programs inspired students during the convocation address. Peters encouraged students to believe in their abilities and to take advantage of the resources that the University has to offer.

Students like Columbia, S.C., native Michael Gibson are ready to begin their college journey at Claflin and to engage in community service projects.  "Claflin partners with various agencies and organizations across the Orangeburg community and I am excited to work alongside my peers on projects," stated Gibson who is  majoring in biology and is an ROTC scholarship recipient.

Jessica Williams of Anderson, S.C., looks to impact the Claflin community with her vocal abilities while participating in the choir.  "Claflin feels like home, it's a place where I know that I will grow spiritually," stated Williams. She  was encouraged to apply to Claflin because of the University's strong academic reputation and ability to produce quality graduates.
Claflin's Lyceum Series Presents Musical: 
"Ray Charles on My Mind"
Claflin University's Rev. Alonzo Webster Wright Lyceum Series will host a musical titled "Ray Charles On My Mind," a performance by Kenny Brawner and the Raelettes. The musical will be held on Thursday, January 12 at 7 p.m. in the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. The show is free and open to the public.

The musical will feature performances of Ray Charles' most popular hits including: "What'd I Say?", "I Got A Woman", "Georgia On My Mind", "Baby It's Cold Outside", and more. The music is interwoven with monologues depicting how gospel, blues, jazz and country music influenced Charles' style. The musical will also reflect on America's social history, Charles' epic battle with drugs, and his triumphant return home to Georgia.
The Rev. Alonzo Webster Wright Lyceum Series comprises guest lecturers, performers and events that stimulate and reinforce the cultural and intellectual environment of the campus and community. The Lyceum Series is funded in part by a grant from Rev. Vergil G. Wright.
Claflin University to Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Claflin University will celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his impact in the civil rights movement during MLK Week.  The celebration kicks off with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Program at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 12 in the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel. The program will feature student leaders, members of the Student Government Association and a speech by Dr. Anthony Broughton, assistant professor of education.

The celebration will continue during a series of week-long events beginning on January 17-20.  Events include an "All Lives Matter" panel discussion, a blood drive, a spoken word contest, and various community service projects. Click here to see a list of the events. 
President Tisdale to Speak at MLK Celebration Event
President Henry N. Tisdale will be the keynote speaker for the City of Columbia's 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. The event will be held on Monday, January 16, 4 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Community Center,  2300 Greene Street. Claflin University's Concert Choir will be a featured performer at the celebration.
A wreath-laying ceremony will be held prior to the celebration at 3:06 p.m. to commemorate a historical marker at the corner of Harden and Greene streets.  The celebration will also include performances by the Lower Richland High School Choir.

For more information about the 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, call the Parks & Recreation Department at ( 803) 545-3100 .
Claflin Senior Creates Speaking Tour To Share His Passion and Support for HBCUs

Claflin University senior Dennis Richmond (center in gray shirt) takes tremendous pride in where he is currently enrolled as well as other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Richmond's passionate support for HBCUs was the catalyst for a project he started two years ago - The New York City HBCU Initiative. The project includes a speaking tour which provides Richmond an opportunity to express why HBCUs are important and relevant on the landscape of higher education.

The evolution of Richmond's project began in December 2014 when he called several local high schools to ask if he could speak to seniors about the importance of college. After getting a positive response from students and administrators, one speech to a small group of high schoolers turned into a full-fledged volunteer organization.  During his 2016-17 tour, Richmond has spoken to more than 1,000 students from New York City and communities in Westchester, N.Y. about scholarships, internships and the HBCU culture.

"I think we do a disservice when we don't tell students about their college options," said Richmond in an interview with The Journal News. "The students I speak to respond to me because my message is genuine. There's no overhead, I don't have a boss, and I'm not backed up by a corporation."

Richmond, a native of Yonkers, N.Y., is majoring in African-American studies and education. He has received numerous scholarships as a result of his outstanding achievements in the classroom and in research since his arrival to Claflin.  Included is a $25,000 UNCF scholarship in 2015 as a Target Rising Star. Richmond was honored at the 36th annual " UNCF: An Evening of Stars," which aired on BET networks.
Claflin to Recruit and Prepare Minority Males as P-12 Educators through Project Pipeline Initiative
Claflin University has been selected to participate in Project Pipeline Repair: Restoring Minority Male Participation and Persistence in Educator Preparation Programs, an initiative of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO). The project is made possible by a generous three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to engage state policy leaders and educator preparation programs.

"The purpose of this initiative is to address the underrepresentation of minority males in Preschool through 12th grade education through partnerships with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) national and statewide governing agencies and local school districts," said Dr. Nicole Strange-Martin, professor and dean of the School of Education. "The program also provides participating HBCUs an opportunity to recruit and increase enrollment in their respective teacher education programs."

SHEEO is the national membership association of state higher education executive officers who serve as leaders for statewide coordinating and governing boards and other state policy agencies for higher education. 

Before the historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling outlawing school segregation, African American men and women constituted a significant measure of the teacher pipeline, particularly in predominantly Black communities. Following this historic court decision, 38,000 African American teachers lost their jobs; there were severe declines in the number of Black students enrolling in educator preparation programs (EPPs); and new teacher certification and admission program requirements all contributed to the loss of another 21,500 Black teachers, between 1984 and 1989.

Claflin is one of five HBCUs and the only HBCU from South Carolina participating in the project.  Each participating HBCU will select 10-12 high school juniors to participate in the program, which entails extensive academic enrichment and other activities including mentoring and advising throughout the project, including their first year in an educator preparation program. 
Former Board of Trustee Member Passes Away 

Photo courtesy of The Times and Democrat
Dr. Michael Cunningham Watson of Bamberg, S.C., passed away on Tuesday, December 20, 2016, following an extended illness. For more than a decade, Dr. Watson was a Trustee for Claflin University and in 1987 received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication. He also gave the 1991 Founders Day address. " Dr. Watson was a very loyal and generous Claflin trustee and friend with a unique sense of humor. He will be sorely missed by the Claflin University family," shared President Henry N. Tisdale.

Dr. Watson's career is an extensive one. Some highlights include:
  • Establishing the first comprehensive, rural hypertension clinic in the Southeast. 
  • Being South Carolina's first physician to bring certified nurse midwives into his practice. 
  • Serving as a founding member of the TriCounty Drug & Alcohol Abuse Commission, which started the region's only adolescent inpatient drug and alcohol treatment program.
  • Becoming the "AIDS doctor" in his community merely by the choice to treat patients at a time most would not. For his work with HIV/AIDS, in 2002, he was awarded The Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian award. 
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 15, 2017, at 2 p.m., on what would have been Dr. Watson's 91st birthday, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Bamberg.
Countdown: Check Out Our Brand New Face
Visitors to the Claflin University website ( ) will soon see a new look when the University launches its redesigned website on January 23. The new and improved website will feature modern designs, layouts and new photography.
Videos, imagery and facts will visually convey the Claflin brand and reinforce the university's commitment to being recognized as a leading 21st Century institution of higher education that develops a diverse and inclusive community of globally engaged visionary leaders.
The website will also feature user-friendly functionality and a responsive design optimized for any device including mobile devices and tablets.
The new web design is a response to extensive research collected from university administration, students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff. The design also implements current and future online trends.
Employee News

Dr. Nan Li, associate professor of Education, is president-elect for the South Carolina Association for Teacher Educators (SCATE). SCATE is a state professional organization affiliated with the Association of Teacher Education (ATE). Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for individual professional growth for all persons concerned with teacher education and promote high standards for the teaching profession through its policies and practices.
Alumni Notes

Rep. Joseph H. Jefferson Jr., (D-Pineville), a member of Claflin University's Class of 1970, has been announced as a part of the 2017-2019 leadership team for the Carolina Legislative Black Caucus. The creation of the Legislative Black Caucus in the South Carolina legislature was a direct result of the civil rights movement and the legislation that came out of the movement.

Dr. Leo Twiggs, '56, will be featured in an upcoming CBS Sunday Morning show (date and time to be announced) to discuss his work and his  powerful tribute to the Emanuel Nine, "Requiem for Mother Emanuel." Twiggs' collection of nine paintings reflect his artistic perspective of the horrific mass shooting that left nine people dead at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. The paintings are on display at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., until February 19, 2017.
Panther Pride
Claflin Tops LeMoyne-Owen in SIAC Women's Contest

Dominique Williams
Dominique Williams scored 15 points, 11 in the second half, to lead Claflin University past LeMoyne-Owen College, 58-50, in a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) women's basketball game on Monday, January 9, 2017, at the Tullis Arena.
With the hard-fought victory, Claflin improved to 5-1 in conference play and 10-6 overall.
NaBresha Hughes and Joclyn Ramos chipped in 11 points each for the Lady Panthers.  Jhontay Giles added six points and seven rebounds.  Dionna Marcus led Claflin in rebounding with nine.

The Lady Panthers will take to the road for three straight games, beginning with Spring Hill College (January 16) in Mobile, Ala.  Claflin will then face Albany State University (January 21) and conclude its road swing at Fort Valley State University (January 23) before returning home to face Paine College on (January 28).

Claflin Holds Off LeMoyne-Owen in SIAC Men's Basketball Contest

Kobie Williams scored a team-high 16 points as the Claflin University Panthers extended their win streak to six games on Monday, January 9, 2017, defeating LeMoyne-Owen, 73-63, in a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) men's basketball game at the Tullis Arena.
With the win, Claflin pushed its season record to 10-4, but more importantly, 5-1 in the conference.
Benjamin "Tre" William was the only other player in double-figures for the Panthers with 13 points.  Austin Lawton had an outstanding performance with nine points, a team-high eight rebounds and four blocked shots.  De'shon Nails and Trevor Dantzler added seven points each off the bench.

Claflin men will take to the road for three crucial games, starting with SIAC West Division foe Spring Hill College on January 16 in Mobile, Ala. The Panthers will then visit fellow SIAC East Division members Albany State University on January 21 and Fort Valley State University on January 23. The Claflin men will return home to face Paine College on January 28.
January 11, 2017
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Jan. 16, 2017
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. University closed.

Jan. 17, 2017
University open/Classes resume. 

Jan. 19, 2017
Spring Convocation 

Feb. 5-11, 2017
Religious Emphasis Week

Feb. 18, 2017

Feb. 27-March 3, 2017
Mid-Semester Examinations
Connect with Us

Claflin employees began the 2017 Spring semester with the Faculty and Staff Institute on Wednesday, January 4. During this meeting, President Tisdale presented the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan
@Claflin is published by the Office of Communications & Marketing 
President: Dr. Henry N. Tisdale
Vice President for Institutional Advancement: Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton
Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing: George Johnson Jr.
Public Relations Director: J. Craig Cotton
Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator: Bernita Cooper
Sports Information Director: Romanda Noble-Watson
Photographers: Cecil Williams and Geoff Henderson