October 13, 2023

The World Needs Visionaries

Claflin Students Fill Residence Halls for First Time Since COVID-19 Disruption

Claflin's pastoral landscape - which includes its impeccably manicured lawns and lush green spaces - earned the University a place among the most "heavenly HBCU campuses" in Black Southern Belle Magazine several years ago. Together, with its reputation as a nurturing family environment, the University's residence halls reached 100 percent capacity for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak in Spring 2020.

According to Dr. Leroy Durant, vice president of Student Development and Services, more than 1,200 students occupy eight residence halls for women, three men's residential halls, and several off-campus apartments within the campus community. Durant added that Claflin also owns off-campus properties.

"Most of our students have indicated they need a face-to-face education, and their grades are better when they live on campus and have an opportunity to sit down and talk to their professors," Durant said. "That's one reason I believe the students prefer living on campus. Another reason is that living on campus allows them to build and maintain friendships. Developing camaraderie with other students is an important aspect of the college experience."

Claflin's much-anticipated new Student Center is the centerpiece of the University's projected growth and expansion. The state-of-the-art facility will provide students with a central on-campus location for student services, academic programs, entertainment, and numerous social and cultural events. However, Durant said that increasing student housing is another priority. 

Claflin's commitment to upgrading student housing was evident when High Rise Residence Hall was transformed from a men's to a women's dormitory. The change was necessary to accommodate the growing number of women enrolling at Claflin. The 53-year-old building served as a "home away from home” for generations of young men who slept, studied, played, and built lasting relationships at Claflin.

“We made major interior improvements to High Rise and Kleist Hall, including energy-efficient lighting and fixtures, new flooring, and paint,” said Bill Kropff, Claflin’s director of auxiliary services. “Corson Hall also received new flooring and each residence hall received new furniture. The off-campus properties were upgraded, as well.”

Claflin was one of the first Historically Black Colleges/Universities to offer online degree completion programs when it launched Claflin Online during the summer of 2014. Since then, students have accessed Claflin's exceptional and transformative academic programs online and in the classroom.

In Spring 2020, Claflin students had to evacuate the campus due to COVID-19, and all classes were taught remotely. Campus residence halls reopened with occupancy restrictions during the Fall 2021 semester when on-campus classes resumed. However, students could also learn remotely. The University lifted COVID-19 policies in Spring 2021, and the students eagerly returned to campus.

"Despite the students being able to connect using various communication technologies and social media, they missed the face-to-face conversations and campus connections," said Durant. "Most students still prefer living and attending classes on campus. Most of the people you meet at Claflin are genuinely friendly. It's not forced."


Kendall White, a sophomore studio art major from Decatur, Ga., said living on campus has immersed her into the Claflin culture. 

"I feel more a part of the University," she said. "You can tell that the administration is investing in the appearance of the campus and our academic programs. If I lived off campus, I'd have to go back and forth from home to the campus. I live in the Commons and like the convenience of staying on campus and spending time with my friends." 

Isaiah Means, a sophomore political science major from Washington, D.C., said he enjoys living on camps because he is surrounded by his peers. 

"We push each other to study and make good grades so that we can graduate," he said. Means is a student in the prestigious Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College. "It would be difficult for me to build the connections and the sense of community I have if I did not live on campus. I'm unsure if students living off campus get the total Claflin experience."

Countdown to Homecoming 2023

It is indeed my pleasure to preview for you our 2023 Homecoming Week and Weekend activities and events that will happen November 11-19. This year, we celebrate 154 years of producing graduates who represent Claflin in leadership positions in business and industry, education, government, performing and visual arts, science and technology, and other professions. 

Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, Claflin’s ninth president, has displayed an unwavering commitment to continuing the University's proud legacy of academic excellence by promoting a culture of "Elevation and Transformation."

U.S. News and World Report has ranked Claflin a Top 10 Best HBCU for 13 consecutive years The University’s annual alumni giving percentage of more than 40 percent is the highest for HBCUs and ranks among the leaders at all colleges and universities.  We are extremely proud of the University’s accomplishments, and our Leal and Loyal Alumni have helped make it possible. 

The Office of Alumni Relations triumphantly concluded the $1,000,000.00 campaign, from our Leal and Loyal Alumni. As we embark on a new year, our goal is to secure $1,000,000.00 in contributions by June 30, 2024. We kindly ask each alumnus to consider making a minimum gift of $154 or more —a symbolic gesture of $1 for each year of Claflin's illustrious history—to provide crucial support for scholarships during the fiscal year. Please remember no donation is too small or too large, and all gifts are greatly appreciated. Click here to support The Claflin Fund.

To view the Homecoming schedule and to purchase tickets for activities, please click here.

We look forward to seeing you soon at the place where it all began – Claflin University.


Zelda M. Lee, 77

Director of the Annual Fund/Alumni Relations

Claflin Senior Wins 2023 National Association of HBCU Title III Administrators Scholarship

Anaiya Whaley, a senior mass communications and psychology major at Claflin University, received a $1,000 scholarship as a First-Place Winner of the 2023 National Association of Historically Black Colleges and Universities Title III Administrators Scholarship.

Whaley, a member of Claflin’s prestigious Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, was the top finisher in Region V, which includes HBCU students in Florida and South Carolina.

"This scholarship is truly an honor and testament that hard work and determination can lead to successful outcomes,” Whaley said. “I am grateful to Claflin University's Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College for supporting me during my scholarship application.”

“I am thankful to the National Association HBCU Title III Administrators Scholarship, Inc. for creating scholarship opportunities for young, promising scholars,” said Whaley, who plans to attend graduate school to study strategic communications. “I am committed to making the most of this opportunity and continue to make a positive impact in my community. This scholarship will help me cover graduate school fees.”

Whaley is a native of Orangeburg, S.C., and a 2020 High School for Health Professionals graduate. Last summer, she was a Golin Fellow in the PRep School program that chose 14 rising college seniors from HBCUs and members of Divine Nine fraternities and sororities for fellowship positions in brand marketing and public relations. 

“I am thankful to the National Association HBCU Title III Administrators Scholarship, Inc. for creating scholarship opportunities for young, promising scholars,” said Whaley, who plans to attend graduate school to study strategic communications. “I am committed to making the most of this opportunity and continue to impact my community positively. This scholarship will help me cover graduate school fees.”

PRep School is an eight-week paid training and development opportunity that offers students professional experience working for a global public relations agency and some of the world’s most well-known brands and mentorship from top industry executives. 

Whaley also interned with NBCUniversal’s Universal Studio Group in Los Angeles, Calif. She has received numerous scholarships and awards, including The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) Scholarship and the Betsy Plank Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Scholarship. Whaley was also selected as a PRSA National Gold Key Award Winner and a ColorComm NextGen HBCU Ambassador. ColorComm, Inc. is the nation’s leading women’s platform addressing diversity and inclusion across communications, marketing, advertising, and media industries.

The National Association of HBCU Title III Administrators, Inc. (NAHBCUT3A) is a nonprofit association that represents the general concerns of Administrators of Title III, Part B Projects. The purpose of the Association is to provide professional development, information, and technical assistance and serve as an advocate to help advance/strengthen HBCUs, CARES ACT (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security; and Historically Black Graduate Institutions (HBGI) programs authorized under the Higher Education Act.

Panther Pantry Re-opens for the 2023 Fall Semester

The Panther Pantry held its grand re-opening for the fall semester on Thursday, September 14, 2023. The Office of Career Development, in collaboration with the Educational Credit Management Organization (ECMC), will provide nutritional, non-perishable, and perishable food items free of charge to all Claflin students. 

Located on the campus of Claflin University, the pantry distributed 12,113 perishable and non-perishable food items to more than 175 students who attended the grand opening.

Ashe Singleton, a senior early childhood administration major from Charleston, S.C., is excited about working in the pantry this semester. 

"I am happy to work in the pantry and to serve my community. It is truly a blessing to give back to my peers," Singleton said.

Tonyetta McDaniel, program coordinator for service learning and community service, said the Office of Career Development is grateful for the continued support of our community. 

"We strive to make a significant difference in the fight against hunger and food insecurity," McDaniel said. "By working with our corporate sponsor, ECMC, we can focus on lessening the burden for Claflin students so they can focus on their academics."

The Panther Pantry is open to all students on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the SRC East residential hall. For more information, please contact the Office of Career Development at (803) 535-5335. 

Claflin University’s Outstanding Leaders Under 40 presents an evening with R&B group, 112, with an opening performance by Marcus Allen. Click here to purchase tickets while supplies last.

Claflin University to Host Prayer Breakfast to Support Student Scholarships

Claflin University will host its annual United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Ecumenical Day of Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, October 28, 2023, at 9 a.m. in the Auxiliary Gym of the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. The prayer breakfast is a fundraiser to support scholarships for Claflin University students. Admission is $50 for individual tickets.

The Reverend Dr. J. Derrick Cattenhead, pastor of the North Orangeburg United Methodist Church, will be the keynote speaker.

To purchase tickets or sponsorships, click here or call (803) 535-5776.

Tickets On Sale Now for the CIAA Basketball Tournament

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA®), the nation’s oldest historically Black athletic conference, returns to Baltimore, Maryland for the Food Lion 2024 Men's and Women's Championship Basketball Tournament. The tournament will be held at the newly remodeled and renamed CFG Bank Arena from February 26 - March 3, 2024.

February is CIAA and fans are invited to “Meet Us in Baltimore” to enjoy 26 Basketball showdowns, Fan Fest, step shows, parties, Career Expo, Education Day, A-list performances and so much more.

All single session, packages and group tickets are available NOW, beginning October 10 through November 14. First come, first served tickets are available here.

This year, CIAA fan experience will include the following:

  • VIP: A limited number of RESERVED CENTER COURT seats for quarterfinal, semifinal and the championship games. Tickets include East Club access to purchase food, beverages, and spirits (Thurs-Sat) | $400.
  • DIE HARD FAN: GENERAL ADMISSION tickets that include 26 exciting games (Mon-Sat) | $275.
  • WEEKEND GETAWAY: A limited number of GENERAL ADMISSION weekend tickets for quarterfinal, semifinal and the championship games. (Thurs-Sat) | $250.


The 2024 Food Lion CIAA Tournament will feature the reigning Winston-Salem State University men and Elizabeth City State University women champions and all the action on the court as they look to repeat their championship win. Beginning in 2023-24, Bluefield State University will join the CIAA as its 13th full member. With the addition of Big Blue, the 2024 CIAA Tournament will start on Monday, February 26, featuring two bonus games for a total of 26 contests.

For more information about the 2024 CIAA Basketball Tournament in Baltimore, visit


Friday, November 17, 2023, 7 p.m.

Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex

Click here to purchase tickets or sponsorship.

Alumni News

Courtney Bradley, '05, is the new vice president for talent acquisition at Children's Health in Dallas, Tex. In this role, Bradley will oversee the development and execution of talent acquisition strategies that support our system strategy, priorities, culture, mission, and values. She will serve as a consultative partner, working closely with both system and Human Resources leadership, to manage both strategic elements and people resources to deliver timely, quality talent acquisition to achieve hiring demands throughout the enterprise. She previously served as the Health System Director, Talent Acquisition and Workforce at The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston.

Brittney Carter, '11, and Howard Jean, '04, were honored at the "Power 50 Under 40" event on October 6, at the Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck offices in Washington, DC. Presented by Walmart and organized by The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., The “Power 50 Under 40” is an annual initiative designed to shine a spotlight on the emerging cadre of Black leaders who are not only excelling in their specific domains but are also actively shaping their industries

The "Power 50 Under 40" presented by Walmart, organized by The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., is a prestigious recognition that honors the accomplishments of dynamic young Black professionals, innovators, leaders, disruptors, and business visionaries. 

Panther Pride - Athletics Headlines

Lady Panthers Struggle in Three-Set Loss to Fayetteville State

Claflin Cross Country Impresses at Royals Cross Country Challenge

Claflin Cross Country Impresses at Royals Cross Country Challenge

Claflin Cross Country Impresses at Royals Cross Country Challenge

Lady Panthers Rally for a Dramatic Five-Set Win at Johnson C. Smith

Sanders Named Food Lion CIAA Men's Runner of the Week

Kirkland Named CIAA Food Lion Defensive Player of the Week, Again

Lady Panthers Roll to a Three-Set Win Over Lincoln (Pa.)

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@Claflin is published by the Office of Communications & Marketing 
President: Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack
Vice President for Institutional Advancement: Dr. Marcus H. Burgess, '96
Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing: George Johnson Jr.
Public Relations Director: J. Craig Cotton
Web Communications Manager/Photographer: Colin Myers, '07
Multimedia Graphic Designer: Brittny Cokley
Director of Athletic Media Relations: Trevin Q. Goodwin
Photographers: Cecil Williams, '60 and Geoff Henderson