The World Needs Visionaries
Trinity United Methodist Church Hosts Back to School Worship Service

The sun broke through the clouds to a beautiful sunny day for the Back to School/Welcome to Trinity Worship Service on Sunday, August 19 at Trinity United Methodist Church. This annual event welcomes members of the freshman class to the church and introduces them to the congregation. Claflin University is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Trinity United Methodist Church is located across the street from the main entrance of Claflin's campus. Many Claflin students, faculty and staff worship with the members of this congregation and call it their "church home away from home." Trinity's pastor, Reverend Mack C. McClam, '73, counts it an honor to be located across the street from his alma mater. 
Throughout the years, the pastoral staff and members of Trinity have always welcomed Claflin students and assisted with their spiritual development. The church has also been in the forefront of many social justice activities including serving as the headquarters for the Orangeburg Movement during the 1960s. Trinity hosted many civil rights meetings and rallies attended by leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy Wilkins, and Thurgood Marshall.
Sunday's "Back to School Worship Service" included remarks by President Henry N. Tisdale, Student Government President Kayla Hodges, and Freshman College Director Cynthia Duncan-Joseph. The Trinity Church Choir also sang several musical selections. In his message titled "The Purpose of Pressure," Rev. McClam told the congregation "pressure is only a test. It's [in your life] to make you stronger," he said. 

At the conclusion of the message, McClam prayed over the congregation, asking for God's blessings as the University begins a new school year. 
Claflin University Officially Welcomes Class of 2022 with Confirmation Ceremony

Claflin University hosted its Freshman Confirmation Ceremony for the Class of 2022 on Sunday, August 19 for more than 550 students.  Hosted by the Freshman College, t he ceremony is an annual Claflin tradition that signifies the conclusion of the orientation activities for the incoming class. The ceremony included a confirmation message from President Tisdale, a keynote address, as well as a candle lighting service. 

This year's keynote address was delivered by Dr. Belinda Wheeler, associate professor of English. Dr. Wheeler gleaned from the knowledge of great African American leaders Langston Hughes, Barbara Jordan and Nikki Giovanni to share three points with the Class of 2022 to help them matriculate through Claflin University. The three points she shared with the audience included 1) Hold fast to your dreams, 2) Seize every moment to learn all you can so you can inspire others, and 3) How you respond to mistakes reflects who you are as a person. 

"You stand on the shoulders of giants," she said to the newest students of Claflin University. "You are the latest and greatest of visionary leaders. We are looking to you to acknowledge those who have come before you and to build upon that great Claflin legacy and lead us to even greater heights," she said.

The Freshman College is a comprehensive year-long program designed to help entering freshmen build character, confidence, pride, memories and pathways to success. Students experience special seminars with small classes focusing on the needs of freshmen students and featuring close interaction with orientation leaders, faculty members and peer mentors. 

Faculty News
Please join us in welcoming new faculty to Claflin University:
  • Mrs. Taylor Johnson Brown, visiting instructor of voice
  • Ms. Natasha Delahunt, instructor of computer science             
  • Dr. Jason Dungee, assistant professor of music and director of chorale studies
  • Dr. Sonya Ehrhardt, assistant professor of nursing
  • Mr. Robert Greene, visiting assistant professor of history
  • Dr. Reid Hardaway, visiting assistant professor of English
  • Mr. Joey Hilton, instructor of mass communications
  • Dr. Jeannice Louine, visiting assistant professor of sociology
  • Mr. John Lowery, instructor of management
  • Dr. Mihir Mandal, assistant professor of biology
  • Dr. Nora Martin, visiting assistant professor of marketing
  • Dr. Sharon Richards, assistant professor of psychology 
  • Dr. Jeremy Robins, assistant professor of music theory/composition
  • Dr. Dwight Varnum, visiting assistant professor of education
  • Dr. Napoleon Wells, assistant professor of clinical psychology
  • Mrs. Demica Williams, instructor of nursing 
  • Dr. Lillianne Wright, assistant professor of biology

Alumni News
Congratulations to Reverend Herbert W. Beard, '87, who was selected as the sixth pastor of Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Charleston, S.C., on July 30, 2018. The installation service for Reverend Beard will take place on Saturday, September 1, 2 p.m. at Royal Missionary Baptist Church, North Charleston, South Carolina, 4761 Luella Street, North Charleston, S.C.  29405.
While at Claflin University, he was affiliated with numerous organizations including Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. (Lambda Sigma Chapter, Spring 1985). He was inducted into the Claflin University Hall of Fame on February 7, 2014. He is a fervent supporter of Claflin University.
Upon graduation from Claflin, he was employed with Charleston County Police Department and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office where he retired as a captain in May 2013.

Dr. Travis P. Gleaton, '92, successfully defended his dissertation at Wingate University. He has been awarded a doctorate of education degree in Community College Executive Leadership.  Dr. Gleaton's research was specific to Greenville Technical College and the focus of his study was student success and required college skills courses in the automotive program.
Dr. Gleaton is also a contributing author to Facing An Exponential Future: Technology and the Community College by Dr. Darrel Staat, a professor at Wingate University.
Dr. Gleaton is the associate dean of students at  at Greenville Technical College.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Grate Humphrey, '05, who was named the 2018-2019 Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five Teacher of the Year. Humphrey is a teacher at Howard Middle School. Jimmy Jones Toyota donated the use of a brand-new Toyota Camry to Humphrey for her exclusive use during the year that she serves as Teacher of the Year. As Teacher of the Year, Humphrey will also serve as a member of the "Teacher Cabinet" to advise the Superintendent  on issues regarding students, teachers and schools.

Panther Pride
Claflin Volleyball Team Predicted to Finish 5th in the South and 7th Overall in CIAA Preseason Poll

The Claflin University volleyball team was predicted to finish seventh overall and fifth in the Southern Division of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) preseason poll.
The predicted order of finish was announced by the conference office in conjunction with the Volleyball Coaches Association on Wednesday, Aug. 15.
The Lady Panthers were picked in the southern division to finish behind the 2017 CIAA southern division champion Shaw University, Fayetteville State University, the 2017 CIAA Tournament Champion Winston-Salem State University, and Johnson C. Smith University.
This will be Claflin's first season competing in the CIAA.  Last season, the Lady Panthers, who competed in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) finished with an 8-21 record.
Claflin will open the 2018 season on Monday, Sept. 3 against Paine College in the Allen University Tournament.

August 22, 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
Web Communications Manager: Colin Myers, '07
Sports Information Director: Romanda Noble-Watson
Photographers: Cecil Williams, '60, Geoff Henderson and Colin Myers, '07