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Claflin Selects Volvo Executive as Commencement Speaker
Claflin University will hold its first Fall Commencement Convocation on Friday, December 14, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. The speaker for the commencement ceremony is Katarina Fjording, head of Volvo Car University Americas in Ridgeville, S.C.

"Claflin's 2018 Fall Commencement Ceremony aligns with the University's focus on being student centered," President Henry N. Tisdale said. "The numbers in our graduating classes have tripled since I arrived at Claflin in 1994. We are serving students better and offering majors that allow students to finish earlier. This is also consistent with the goals of the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation initiative, which is to help students graduate in four years or less," he said.

You can watch the Commencement Convocation live by clicking here.

Katarina Fjording is a senior Volvo Car executive and an automotive veteran with 30 years of global industrial operations experience from Europe, Asia and America. 
Katarina's international experience spans product and tooling development, procurement and manufacturing as well as being an automotive supplier to European premium brands.  A mechanical engineer, she began her professional career in Volvo as a design engineer. 

She has held several senior positions within Volvo Car including Director New Model Programs, Executive Director Manufacturing Engineering Asia and Vice President Manufacturing Asia, overseeing the build-up of three plants and leading the manufacturing operations in China. 
Her most recent assignment, as Vice President Purchasing & Manufacturing Americas, brought her to South Carolina where she has established Volvo Car's first industrial footprint in America and oversaw the build-up of Volvo Car's production facility in Ridgeville. 

Katarina is now heading up Volvo Car's latest endeavour in the US, establishing a Volvo University with headquarters in South Carolina.

She is an Honorary Commander at the Joint Military Base Charleston and was named "20 to Know" by Post and Courier's NOLO Magazine in 2017, and "50 Most Influential People of 2017" by Charleston Business Magazine.

2018 Fall Commencement By the Numbers
Congratulations to the newest members of the Claflin University International Alumni Association. Listed below is a profile of this graduating class:
  • Total number of candidates for graduate and undergraduate degrees: 101
  • Top Majors
    • Nursing - 21
    • Criminal Justice - 11
    • Sociology - 6
  • Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College graduates - 2
  • International Students - 2 (Korea and Nepal)
  • Degrees
    • Bachelor of Science - 47
    • Bachelor of Arts - 37
    • Master of Education - 11
    • Master of Business Administration - 6
  • Graduates by Schools
    • School of Humanities and Social Sciences - 36
    • School of Nat. Sciences and Mathematics - 27
    • School of Business - 21
    • School of Education - 17
  • Online degrees conferred - 9
Claflin University and University of South Carolina Sign Partnership to Offer Dual Degree Program in Chemistry and Engineering

Claflin University has earned an impressive reputation for establishing innovative collaborations that contribute to student success - a key tenet of the University's Strategic Plan, Claflin LEADS: A Shared Vision for the 21st Century. LEADS is an acronym for Leadership and Professional Development, Experiential Learning, Academic Excellence, Diversity, and Inclusion and Student Success.
Claflin recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of South Carolina to establish a 3+2 program where students can spend three years at Claflin and two years at USC to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at Claflin and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering at USC.
"Graduates of this dual degree program will have expanded career opportunities for higher paying jobs at the management level," said Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale. "These programs will diversify the students' portfolio and make them more attractive to employers."  
Claflin's School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics will accept for transfer certain Claflin-approved courses taught at USC and the College of Engineering and Computing at USC will accept for transfer certain USC-approved courses taught at Claflin. The MOU is retroactive from August 21, 2018.
The Dual Degree Program is consistent with Claflin's role as the lead institution in the UNCF's Career Pathway Initiative (CPI) funded by the Lilly Foundation. The Carolina Cluster (Claflin University, Benedict College and Voorhees College)  received $6 million to design and implement programs to improve employment outcomes for graduates.  
"The MOU provides Claflin an opportunity to expand our partnerships with USC and recruit students interested in pursuing careers in these areas,"  said Dr. Angela Peters, vice provost for academic programs. "Claflin has an outstanding ACS-approved (American Chemical Society) chemistry program and USC has an excellent ABET-approved ( Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology)  engineering and computing program. The degrees offered through the program prepares students for the increasing number of manufacturing and technology jobs that are coming to the state of South Carolina."

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.
For more information, contact Rev. Dr. Ernest C. Etheredge at (803) 531-5150 or

Claflin President Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the Orangeburg County Economic Development 
Congratulations to Claflin University President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, '65, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Orangeburg County Economic Development Partnership on Thursday, December 13, at the Orangeburg Country Club. The presentation will take place at the 4th Annual Orangeburg County Economic Development Partnership's Business Hall of Fame Induction and Reception Dinner. 

Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are "civic, educational institutional, and political leaders who dedicate his or her life to a worthy cause or impact society or the lives of others."

CIAA Tickets Now On Sale

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!

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.
Ticket packages available for the tournament as of Wednesday, December 12, are as follows:
  • Courtside Tickets - $485.00 each (only 1 ticket available)
  • Center Court - $250.00 each (only 10 tickets available)
  • General Admission - $200.00 each (only 125 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 (803-535-5665/ or Zelda M. Lee (803-535-5348/ if you need additional assistance.

Alumni News
Hayward R. Jean, '04, is hosting a book signing and youth summit for his new book titled " Weapons of Mass Distraction: Dismantling the Negative Influence of Hip Hop Music on Our Youth." The event will take place on Sunday, December 16 at 4 p.m. at  The Feast of the Lord Church in Orangeburg, S.C. Jean is an  award- winning  principal of Mellichamp Elementary School in Orangeburg and serves as the assistant pastor of The Feast of the Lord Church. He is also a songwriter with a featured song on  award- winning gospel projects of which he tells his story of growing up without his biological father in the song, "Still, My Father," co-written by his twin brother Howard Jean, '04, and friend, gospel recording artist, Bryan Andrew Wilson, '04. As a motivational speaker,  Hayward is the founder of Speak Life Enterprises. He is married to Starlette Foreman Jean, '05; and they have three children,  Hayward, Malachi, and Imani. Click here to register for the free event.

Panther Pride
Chris Canty Foundation Donates $10,000 To Claflin University Athletics

Amid the celebration of Claflin University's recent homecoming, the Chris Canty Foundation donated $10,000 to the Panther Total Package (PTP) Leadership and Development on November 17, 2018. The check presentation was held during halftime of the men's basketball game against Tuskegee University.
Presenting the check on behalf of his son, former NFL player Chris Canty, was Claflin University Athletics Hall of Famer Joseph Canty, '73.   
"I'm thankful to the people that chose to invest in me," said Chris Canty, CEO of the Chris Canty Foundation. "Their belief in me is what led to having the opportunity to realize my dreams. And I can never repay them for what they've done. So rather than try, I've chosen to pay it forward to student-athletes of Claflin University."
The goal of the Chris Canty Foundation is to utilize the platform of sports to affect positive change in the lives of children through mentoring, educational programs, health and fitness activities, thus promoting health and well-being. The Foundation seeks to inspire our youth to be in service to their communities and their communities to be in service to youth by providing support to these initiatives.
The donation will help enhance the overall student-athlete experience at Claflin University.


Claflin University Double Header Against Virginia State University  Postponed

Due to the weather conditions along the I-95 North corridor, the Claflin University Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) doubleheader with Virginia State University scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, was postponed. An alternate date has not been set.

The Claflin-Francis Marion women's basketball game set for Friday, December 14, at 5:30 p.m., in Tullis Arena will be played as scheduled.
Admission for Friday's game with Francis Marion is $5 general admission and $7 for reserved seating.

December 13, 2018
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