The World Needs Visionaries

In observance of the Independence Day holiday, Claflin University will be closed on Friday, July 3, 2020. Normal business operations will resume on Monday, July 6, 2020, at 8 a.m. Have a safe holiday weekend!
Zoom and Claflin University Launch Five-Year Strategic Partnership

Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) and  Claflin University have announced a commitment to a five-year strategic partnership. The video communications provider and Historically Black University have developed a multifaceted foundational program that represents $1.2M in educational and financial investments. Program components include:
  • Internships: Paid internships during the school year, and paid internships as part of Zoom's summer internship program
  • Scholarships: Merit- and need-based scholarships for selected students
  • Curricula Partnership:
    • Zoom-led virtual engagements focused on technical skill, career path and interview development topics with students throughout the academic year
    • A member of Zoom's product and technology leadership team will join the Claflin Computer Science and Mathematics Professional Advisory Board
    • Inclusion of meaningful Zoom-focused projects within Claflin University's capstone project program
    • Co-authoring of case studies to be embedded into the classroom for teaching purposes
  • Board of Trustees: Aparna Bawa, Zoom COO, will join Claflin's Board of Trustees
  • Faculty & Student Advisory: Zoom will partner with Claflin University to identify tailored opportunities to obtain feedback and guidance from faculty and students towards making Zoom's product more accessible and inclusive to its customers
  • General Operating Fund & Alumni Engagement: Zoom will provide financial support to Claflin's general operating plans and will also engage its alumni community in career development- and hiring-related efforts
"I want to thank my colleague Congressman Ro Khanna, whose relationship with Silicon Valley tech companies in his district and interest in supporting minority serving institutions led to this exciting partnership between Zoom and Claflin University. In 2018, he joined me in South Carolina on a tour of HBCUs to learn more about their untapped talent and unmet financial needs. The resulting partnership between Claflin and Zoom will demonstrate the mutual benefits of corporate investments in minority serving institutions and the profound impacts it can have on the students and the companies that help empower them. My hope is that this will be the start of more successful partnerships," said Congressman James E. Clyburn, an HBCU graduate who represents Claflin University in Congress.

"I want to thank Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn for his leadership in helping bring tech opportunities across the country and to South Carolina. I saw his passion for this firsthand when he took me on a tour of his Congressional District. Together we toured Claflin University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). I'm so proud to see Zoom announce a $1.2 million dollar partnership over the next five years with Claflin. This is not just a one-time donation from Zoom; they will provide paid internships, scholarships, and real-world experience for students at Claflin. We need structural change and Zoom's partnership is the model of a substantive partnership that others should follow," said Congressman Ro Khanna.

"This partnership strengthens Claflin University's commitment to student success and our STEM agenda by providing scholarships, internships, and other career development initiatives," said Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, Claflin University's ninth president. "Zoom's innovative technology has revolutionized video communications in industries and organizations across the globe. We are extremely grateful that Zoom selected Claflin for its first-ever partnership with a college or university and we welcome Aparna Bawa, chief operating officer at Zoom, as the newest member of our Board of Trustees. We also express our highest appreciation to Congressman James Clyburn. His persistent support for Claflin and programs that enhance access to technology throughout South Carolina was critical in establishing this partnership."

"I am proud of this powerful new partnership between Zoom and Claflin University, and humbled to join the Claflin Board of Trustees," said Bawa. "Zoom understands the historical, present, and future importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions across the US. We are committed to supporting these institutions via innovative partnerships that are relevant, holistic, and sustainable. Claflin University is the perfect place to begin. The University's leadership has a broad and inspiring vision for how it should educate the leaders of tomorrow, is committed to embracing technology as a means to deliver and enhance education, and is dedicated to working with Zoom to help us build a service that addresses the needs of our diverse customer base."

Claflin University Receives Grant to Support Women Entrepreneurs  in the United States and India

Claflin University was awarded a grant of approximately $75,000 to conduct research and develop training to enhance women's entrepreneurship in family-owned businesses. The Partnership 2020: Leveraging US-India Cooperation in Higher Education to Harness Economic Opportunities and Innovation grant is a subaward from the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Center for Afghanistan Studies. The grant creates a partnership between Claflin and the Visva-Bharati University, a public research institution based in West Bengal, India. Faculty from both institutions will conduct collaborative research, provide training, and promote women's entrepreneurship during the one-year agreement.  
Claflin faculty participating in the project are Dr. Harpal Grewal, professor of economics; Dr. Abdullah Khan, associate professor for economics; Dr. Peggy Ratliff, associate professor of English; and Dr. Mitali Wong, chair and professor of English. Grewal and Wong are the grant's co-principal investigators.

The Visva-Bharati University team is led by Dr. Amit Hazra, professor  and head of the Department of Lifelong Learning and Extension, Institute of Rural Reconstruction. Visva-Bharati was founded in 1921 by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore who named it "Santiniketan, abode of peace." In 1951, it became a central university. Subsequently, the Indian Parliament declared it as an "Institution of National Importance."

Claflin researchers say they are looking forward to working with small business owners in India and South Carolina to enhance their business and management skills. According to Grewal, they are exploring the possibility of establishing training programs for small family-based businesses owned by women in Orangeburg, Bamberg, Calhoun, Barnwell, and Hampton counties.
"We are especially excited about the potential for local public and private economic development," said Grewal. "This project is an opportunity for community-based organizations to develop family-based capacity building and training programs for women-owned small and micro enterprises."

In South Carolina, the researchers will target women e ntrepreneurs  in food catering, bakeries, quilt and jewelry makers, seamstress,  residential cleaning and other small family-owned businesses for their program. Wong said that many of these women-owned businesses are home-based enterprises. They often rely on and employ family members.
"The pattern is very similar to the women who will receive support from this  project in India," she said. "The training offered through the grant is expected to provide tangible impacts on job creation and entrepreneurship. The project will also expand academic research on entrepreneurship among faculty and students in both institutions."

Consultants from the University of Calcutta, which partnered with Claflin from 2015-2019 on a project that was funded by the US-India 21st Century Knowledge Initiative Program, will lend their support to the program. That partnership provided training for women artisans and artists in eco-friendly microbusiness development in West Bengal, India.

"Having observed the success of Claflin's previous collaborative project with Calcutta University, I am hoping to bring our knowledge to provide similar training for our region's small family-based businesses," Wong said.

"Women who work in family-based businesses experience inequity in many countries. Training women in our local communities to become successful in business is consistent with Claflin's commitment to social justice in a rapidly changing America."

Help Claflin in the Juneteenth HBCU Challenge

As we continue in the celebration of 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth - recounting the heroism and tenacity of our ancestors before us - and ahead to the issues we face today - a global pandemic illuminating the persistent health disparities in our communities, political polarization, and valiant calls for justice against systemic oppression, Historically Black Colleges and Universities continue to be a beacon of light and a place of refuge - offering hope and incubating new generations of leaders, creators, and problem-solvers.

Our culturally rich academic institutions together with you - our generous family of supporters - have always been responsive to the needs of the communities we serve.
We believe, as you do, in the power of philanthropy, and in the incredible capacity of a collective and intentional response to our most critical and urgent needs.

We are calling on our alumni, friends and corporate partners to consider how they can support and ensure the sustainability and relevancy of our historic cultural institutions of higher learning. 

We are asking you to join us in accepting the challenge . You can do this by downloading the givly mobile app in the Apple or Google Play store. Sign up and search for us by name. Then, make a gift and share to social media with the hashtag #HBCUChallenge #Claflinxgivly. Your generous donation will benefit student scholarships.
Our goal for this fundraising challenge is $56,000.
In honor of Juneteenth (June 19), consider a gift today that ends in $0.19:
  • $25.19
  • $50.19
  • $75.19
  • $100.19
  • Or more 
The fundraising challenge ends Tuesday, July 7.
If you are unable to give online, you may mail your check to:

Claflin University
Attn: Institutional Advancement
400 Magnolia Street
Orangeburg, SC 29115
If you would like to speak to one of our Institutional Advancement personnel, please call (803) 535-5357.
In advance, we can't thank you enough for your generous support of our university. Thank you for your investment in the future of our Panther nation.

Student Spotlight - Makai Holloway

Makai Hollowaya senior sport management major from Lithonia, Ga., and a member of Claflin University's baseball team, is participating in a paid internship at Nicholas Financial, Inc. (NFI). He is first intern in the company's 35-year history. Headquartered in Clearwater, Fla., NFI is a consumer auto finance company that has more than 250 employees in more than 50 locations throughout the United States.
Holloway is working in the Snellville, Ga., location, performing a myriad of duties while working alongside service analysts and sales team members. During his internship, Holloway will shadow the company's leading account specialists, credit analysts, underwriters, and members of the senior leadership team. Ultimately, Holloway will gain relevant experience within the financial sales industry and develop an understanding of the company's business structure and operations.
Holloway was offered the internship after being chosen by Michael Dawson, '03, as the recipient of Dawson's namesake scholarship at Claflin. Dawson, who is a district manager at NFI, created the $10,000 scholarship in 2019 for a student on the baseball team. The scholarship is distributed over a four-year period.
"I'm really appreciative of Mr. Dawson for putting in the extra effort to help me out and give me this opportunity," Holloway said. "I'm just starting out, but I'm already learning a lot about how the auto industry works."
Dawson will serve as a mentor to Holloway during the internship.
"The new internship program is an awesome opportunity and a win-win situation for Makai and Nicholas Financial," said Dawson. "Makai and future interns will get real exposure and job-related experience and Nicholas Financial will be able to find and evaluate future employees and increase productivity. Personally, I feel a sense of pride to be able to reach back to my beloved university and help to build another bridge between corporate America and Claflin University."

Alumni News

Attention all Claflinites, we need your help. Please click  here  to take a brief survey to help us with plans for our upcoming Homecoming Weekend Celebration. Deadline to complete the survey is Friday, July 10, 2020.

July 2, 2020
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@Claflin is published by the Office of Communications & Marketing 
President: Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack
Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement: Marcus H. Burgess, '96
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