The World Needs Visionaries
The Regional Medical Center Supports Students Scholarships at Claflin University

As Claflin University prepares to celebrate the culmination of its 150th Anniversary, shortly after The Regional Medical Center celebrated its 100th Anniversary, officials announced today that Regional Medical Center (RMC) has become a Sesquicentennial Regional Leadership Partner of the University with a commitment of $15,000 for student scholarships.

"The shared history of our two institutions is a proud one," said RMC President and CEO Charles Williams, "and we recognize that high-quality education is a critically important factor in creating healthy communities. We are honored to underpin our longstanding relationship with Claflin by making a gift to support much-needed scholarships. In addition, we are working with Claflin to develop new initiatives including working with the athletics program to help keep our athletes healthy through innovative health and nutrition programs that can improve the health of the region's residents."

"Through this special gift, RMC is funding scholarships to help deserving students achieve their dream of earning a degree from Claflin University. This opens the door to additional collaborations to ensure that Claflin can continue to attract and retain top scholars who contribute much to the vibrant educational experience we offer," said Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton, vice president for Institutional Advancement.

First established as a private hospital in 1919, the Regional Medical Center has grown into a full-service regional healthcare system with a 286-bed acute care hospital and 24 primary care and specialty care practices. Owned by Orangeburg and Calhoun counties, the non-profit hospital has more than 100 physicians on staff, over 1,200 employees and 150 volunteers. 

The system includes primary care practices in Orangeburg, Calhoun and Bamberg counties; urgent care practices with physician, lab and X-Ray; specialty practices in cardiology, orthopedics, general surgery, urology, pathways to behavioral health, obstetrics and gynecology, as well as internal medicine and gastroenterology; and five HEALTHPLEX Wellness and Fitness Centers. RMC's Home Care delivers a variety of home health care in Orangeburg, Calhoun, and Bamberg counties.

Founded in 1869, Claflin is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The University is South Carolina's oldest HBCU and the state's first institution of higher education to provide educational opportunities to all students regardless of gender, race, religion, or ethnic origin. A comprehensive institution affiliated with the United Methodist church, Claflin is dedicated to providing a student-centered, liberal arts education grounded in cutting edge research, experiential learning, state-of-the art technology, community service and life-long personal and professional fulfillment.
Tyniah Sheree' James to be Crowned Miss Homecoming 2019

The crowning of Tyniah Sheree' James, Miss Homecoming 2019, will take place on Sunday, November 10, at 3 p.m. at the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public. Click here for a full schedule of events for Homecoming Week and ReUnion Weekend. 
James, a senior psychology and criminal justice major, is a native of Norway, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Blackville-Hilda High School, where she was named "Senior of the Year." 
During her time at Claflin, she has been consistently on the Dean's List. She has been a member of the Panther Dolls Dance Team, and is a member of the Gammu Nu Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and serves as team manager for the women's basketball team. James is a member of Bushy Pond Baptist Church where she enjoys singing and praise dancing.
Upon graduating from Claflin, James plans to attend graduate school and pursue a master's degree in clinical psychology. She also plans to earn a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and start a non-profit organization to assist children with special needs.
Claflin University Set to Honor Donors at Annual Homecoming Leadership Luncheon

Claflin University will honor more than 200 donors who have made gifts to the University at the leadership level of $1,000 and above at the annual Leadership Giving Luncheon on Friday, November 15, at Noon in Ministers' Hall. The program has been a tradition at Claflin University since 1996. Each year at the luncheon, donors are given thank-you gifts and recognized by their categories of giving. In 2019, Claflin received support from 244 leadership-level donors, a figure that represents an increase of 11.4 percent over 2018's report. Leadership-level donations totaled $874,518 this year; $3,335 more than last year's total.

During the luncheon, Claflin University will honor the late Dr. Robert C. Gordon and the late Mrs. Catherine M. Gordon for their philanthropic support to Claflin University.

Dr. Robert C. Gordon and Mrs. Catherine M. Gordon moved to Orangeburg in 1972. They were married for 46 years. Mrs. Gordon passed away on June 8, 2014 and Dr. Gordon passed away on March 8, 2018. Through an estate gift, they bequeathed more than $35,000 to Claflin University, which will be used to provide critically important need-based scholarships to deserving students.
A dentist by training, Dr. Gordon was also a scientist, a family man, a member of Kiwanis, a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Gordon taught science for two years in Greenwood, S.C., before going to dental school. He was commissioned into the United States Army as a first lieutenant in April 1969, where he practiced on active duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, until 1972. He served in the United States Army Reserve for 24 years as a dentist, retiring as a colonel in 1996. Dr. Gordon and his family moved to Orangeburg in 1972; where he worked in a mobile dental unit for the health department and, later, in private practice. Dr. Gordon was the longest practicing dentist in Orangeburg, having practiced for 45 years. 
In addition to making a home for her husband and their three daughters,  Donna, Audrey and Helen, Mrs. Gordon was extraordinarily active in the Orangeburg community. She was a member of numerous organizations including the Sunlight Club; National Federation of Women's Club; Auxiliary to the Palmetto Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Association; Church Women United; and the Alpha Wives Club. Mrs. Gordon was recognized in 2006 by the Orangeburg County Community of Character Committee "for exemplifying caring in her day-to-day life."
Both Dr. and Mrs. Gordon were active in the church and were tireless advocates for education.  Mrs. Gordon put personal action behind her commitment by  helping students that needed tutoring in math.  Dr. Gordon joined the Claflin University Board of Visitors in 2010 and generously supported the Board's special campaign to raise funds for FOCUS100 Scholarships. In addition, he and his family established the Robert and Catherine Gordon Endowed Scholarship Fund and, over the past 20 years, supported numerous other projects and scholarships at the University. 

This year's Leadership Giving Luncheon is sponsored in part by The Regional Medical Center, a Sesquicentennial Regional Leadership Partner.
Dr. Belle S. Wheelan to Serve as Speaker for Founders' Day Convocation

Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), will deliver the keynote message at the University's Founders' Day Convocation at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, at the Jones T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. Founders' Day is an annual celebration of Claflin University's legacy as the first historically black college/university in South Carolina.
Claflin University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Every 10 years, all accredited colleges in the southern states must be reaffirmed to demonstrate that they continue to meet the accreditation standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Claflin University was first accredited by SACS in 1948. The next reaffirmation is 2021.

Dr. Wheelan is the first African American and the first woman to serve as president of SACSCOC Her career spans over 40 years and includes the roles of faculty member, chief student services officer, campus provost, college president and Secretary of Education.  In several of those roles she was the first African American and/or woman to serve in those capacities.
Dr. Wheelan received a bachelor's degree from Trinity University in Texas (1972) with a double major in psychology and sociology, her a master's degree from Louisiana State University (1974) in developmental educational psychology, and a doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin (1984) in educational administration with a special concentration in community college leadership.  
She has received numerous awards and recognitions including six honorary degrees; the Distinguished Graduate Award from Trinity University (2002), and from the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin (1992); Washingtonian Magazine's 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, DC (2001); the AAUW Woman of Distinction Award (2002); the Suanne Davis Roueche National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development's Distinguished Lecturer Award (2007); the John E. Roueche National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development's International Leadership Award (2010); the AACC Leadership Award (2011); the John Hope Franklin Award from Diverse Issues in Higher Education for outstanding leadership in higher education; the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Terry O'Banion Prize in Education from the League for Innovation in Community Colleges; and in 2017, Central Virginia Community College named her President Emerita.  
She holds and has held membership in numerous local, state and national organizations including Rotary International; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the American College Testing, Inc., Board of Directors; American Association of Community Colleges, Board of Directors; the Lumina Foundation for Education, Board of Directors; the President's Round Table of the National Council on Black American Affairs; the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame, Board of Directors; Excelencia in Education, Board of Directors; National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Community College Honorary Board; Next Generation Learning Challenges, Advisory Panel; Project GOALS (Gaining Online Accessible Learning Through Self-Study); and the National Student Clearinghouse, Board of Directors.  
Dr. Wheelan attributes her success to hard work, endurance, tenacity, and being  in the right place at the right time.  She recognizes that prayer and support from family and friends make anything possible.
Dr. Wheelan is the mother of an adult son named Reginald.
Columbia World Affairs Presents Global Vision Award to Dr. Henry N. Tisdale

The Columbia World Affairs Council presented President Emeritus Dr. Henry N. Tisdale the esteemed 2019 Global Vision Award on Wednesday, October 23. This is the 26th year the Columbia World Affairs Council has presented the award to a leader whose contributions have made a significant impact on projecting South Carolina globally.

"Dr. Tisdale has fostered generations of leaders instilled with a global vision. During his presidency at Claflin he not only doubled enrollment and achieved historic capital campaign success, he put South Carolina on the map in 2008 when Forbes named Claflin as the number one HBCU and in the top 4% of colleges and universities nationally," said Bob Coble, former Columbia Mayor and chair of Columbia World Affairs Council Board of Directors. "With students from 26 states and 15 countries, Dr. Tisdale has elevated the status of our state for generations to come."

"I am humbled and honored by this recognition," said Dr. Tisdale. "I also accept the award on behalf of Team Claflin as we have worked hard and tirelessly to keep Claflin University a relevant and leading institution of higher education that offers a high-quality education for its students.
I would like to thank the Columbia World Affairs Council for its outstanding track-record of global advocacy on behalf of the Midlands and South Carolina. Finally, I express my appreciation to the Council for its long-standing support of Claflin's global education agenda."

The Columbia World Affairs Council was established in 1993 to raise awareness of international activities in the Midlands, help people connect across the region, bring distinguished speakers and foreign diplomats to Columbia to address international issues, and create a bridge to build new international relationships. The Council administers the sister-city program for the City of Columbia and is a member of the Washington-based World Affairs Councils of America and Sister Cities International.
The Global Vision Award was established in 1994, and the first recipient was Governor Carroll A. Campbell. Last year, the honor went to Senator Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr. For more information about the Global Vision Award, please visit
Claflin Students Compete at Inaugural HBCU Innovation Challenge

Two Claflin University students were among 32 college students who recently competed at the inaugural HBCU Innovation Challenge in Chattanooga, Tenn.  Mackenzie Brown, a junior management information systems major; and Caleb Green, a senior business administration/management major, represented Claflin University. They were joined by their advisor Dr. Belinda Wheeler, an associate professor of English.

The challenge was sponsored by Colonial Life, Unum and The Company Lab (Co.Lab). Unum is the top disability insurer in both the United States and United Kingdom. The company also offers other insurance products including accident, critical illness and life insurance. 

Colonial Life Insurance is based in Columbia, S.C. The company offers disability, accident life, cancer, critical illness and hospital confinement insurance plans in 49 states. Colonial Life was founded in 1939. It has been a subsidiary Unum since 1993.

The companies invited 32 juniors and seniors from HBCUs to work together in a two-day innovation case competition to solve real-world challenges facing the insurance industry. Participants competed to gain national recognition and to win cash prizes including $5,000 for the first-place team, $3,000 for the second-place team and $1,500 for third-place.

Each student was assigned to a team which was responsible for developing insurance benefits plans for "freelancers" or the self-employed. Their proposals were reviewed and evaluated by several company representatives who also offered feedback and evaluations.

"Our students did not win any awards or prizes but the judges were very impressed with their presentations," said Wheeler. "We met Tim Arnold, CEO for Colonial Life, who said he is looking forward to visiting the Claflin campus."
"The event was a great networking opportunity. We really enjoyed connecting with the corporate executives on a personal level," said Green who met with Arnold and Unum CEO Richard McKenney. Green received an offer to join Unum's Professional Development Team and he highly recommends that students interested in business, management, accounting or financing attend next year's HBCU Innovation Challenge.

"We want to be the most inclusive, diverse, and welcoming company in our industry and beyond. Colonial Life, Unum and CO.LAB recognize the business value in attracting and retaining diverse talent," said Wade Hinton, vice president of Inclusion and Diversity at Colonial Life/ Unum. "We believe this challenge will help us connect with and recruit diverse talent."
Student Spotlight

A group of about 30 students joined First Lady Lakisha Warmack for "Pearls and Wisdom" on Wednesday, October 30. Mrs. Warmack discussed the importance of taking care of your mind, body and soul. Miss Claflin Faith McKie also joined the discussion and thanked Mrs. Warmack for her support of Claflin's students. 
Alumni News

Claflin University is looking forward to welcoming you "home" for Homecoming 2019 on November 14-17. Click here for the complete schedule and registration.
A full schedule of events and activities are planned for your enjoyment and participation. We will also celebrate reunion for the classes of 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, and 2014. Celebrate your class with memories that last forever. 

Activities include a  5K Walk and Run, annual scholarship  golf classic, the Homecoming Parade, a men's and women's basketball doubleheader game, Greek step show and the Annual Founders' Day Convocation.

If you are a class officer/agent, please contact Zelda M. Lee, '77, director of the Annual Fund/Alumni Relations, at (803) 535-5348,
Panther Pride

Claflin Volleyball Falls to Johnson C. Smith in Home Conference Match

Johnson C. Smith University completed the regular-season sweep of Claflin University, defeating the Lady Panthers 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-23) in a CIAA Southern Division volleyball match on Saturday, November 2, at the Tullis Arena.
The loss dropped Claflin to 6-15 in the season and 5-9 in conference play with three matches remaining. The Lady Panthers will travel to Winston-Salem State University on Wednesday, November 6. Claflin will then close out the regular season the following week, hosting Fayetteville State University on November 12, before traveling to Saint Augustine's University on November 15.

Jones and Drayton Earn CIAA Volleyball Weekly Honors

Claflin University volleyball player Jada Jones was named the CIAA Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week while teammate Taylor Drayton has earned Rookie of the Week honors. The Weekly Honors were announced by the league office Tuesday, October 29. MORE

Claflin Finishes 7th at the 2019 CIAA Men's Cross-Country Championships

For the second season in a row, the Claflin University men's cross-country team finished seventh overall with 189 points at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Cross Country Championships. The Panthers seasonal leader, junior Domenic Samuel, placed sixth to earn All-CIAA honors. This is Samuel's second season earning All-CIAA Honors. The Championships were held at Green Hill Park in Salem, Va., on Thursday, October 25. MORE

Claflin Places 12th at the CIAA Cross-Country Championships

The Claflin University women's cross-country team finished 12th at the 2019 CIAA Cross-Country Championships on Thursday, October 24, at Green Hill Park in Salem, Virginia.  The Lady Panthers scored 287 points at the 5K course. MORE
November 6, 2019
In This Issue

Calendar of Events
Connect with Us
@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