|Motto||"The World Needs Visionaries"|
|United Methodist Church|
|President||Dwaun J. Warmack|
|Campus||Urban, 40 acres (16 ha)|
|Colors||Orange & Maroon|
|Nickname||Panthers and Lady Panthers|
|NCAA Division II, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association|
Claflin University is a private historically black university in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Founded in 1869 after the American Civil War by northern missionaries for the education of freedmen and their children, it offers bachelor's and master's degrees.
It was originally named Claflin College, and was founded in 1869 by Alonzo Webster (1818–1887), a minister for the Methodist Episcopal Church (today the United Methodist Church). Claflin College opened its doors on October 27, 1869.
Webster came from Vermont to South Carolina as a missionary to teach at the Baker Bible Institute in Charleston, a training school for African American ministers. The Baker Biblical Institute in Charleston, was an institution established by the South Carolina Mission Conference of 1866 of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the education of African American ministers. In 1870, the Baker Biblical Institute merged with Claflin University.
Webster had received a charter from the state of South Carolina to establish a college freed slaves to take their rightful places as full American citizens. Claflin University is the oldest historically black college or university in South Carolina and touts itself as the first college in the state to welcome all students regardless of race or gender. It was the first Black college to offer architectural drawing courses.
The university was named after two Methodist churchmen: Massachusetts Governor William Claflin and his father, Boston philanthropist Lee Claflin, who provided a large part of the funds to purchase the 43-acre (17 ha) campus. Claflin's first president was Alonzo Webster, who had previously spent time as a member of Claflin's board of trustees. Since the administration of Webster, Claflin has been served by eight presidents.
An act by the South Carolina General Assembly on March 12, 1872, designated the South Carolina State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute as a part of Claflin University. In 1896 the S.C. General Assembly passed an act of separation which severed the State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute from Claflin University and established a separate institution which eventually became South Carolina State University.
In 2020, American novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated US $20 million to Claflin University. Her donation is the largest single gift in Claflin's history.
Claflin offers degrees through four schools:
Claflin athletic teams are the Panthers. The university is a member of the Division II level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), primarily competing in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) since the 2018–19 academic year. The Panthers previously competed in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) from 2008–09 to 2017–18; as well as in the defunct Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (EIAC) from 1983–84 to 2004–05.
Claflin competes in ten intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include basketball, baseball, cross country and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, softball, track & field and volleyball.
Claflin has an All-Girl cheerleading team that serves as athletics support and ambassadors of the university as well as their pep-band.
There are over 50 student organizations on campus.
Claflin graduates who complete the R.O.T.C. program (a cross-enrollment agreement with South Carolina State University) may be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.
The university currently has chapters for eight of the nine National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations.
|Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority||ΑΚΑ||Gamma Nu||ΓΝ|
|Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity||ΑΦΑ||Delta Alpha||ΔΑ|
|Delta Sigma Theta sorority||ΔΣΘ||Gamma Chi||ΓΧ|
|Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity||ΚΑΨ||Gamma Nu||ΓΝ|
|Omega Psi Phi fraternity||ΩΨΦ||Lambda Sigma||ΛΣ|
|Phi Beta Sigma fraternity||ΦΒΣ||Omicron||Ο|
|Sigma Gamma Rho sorority||ΣΓΡ||Theta||Θ|
|Zeta Phi Beta sorority||ΖΦΒ||Mu||Μ|
|Cynthia V. Anderson||1980||Chief Operations Officer at the U.S. Department of Energy.|||
|Robert Charles Bates||did not graduate||He taught at Claflin University from 1890 to 1897, and designed Fisk Hall (destroyed), T. Willard Lewis Chapel, and other campus buildings.|||
|Uhriel E. Bedoya||1999||Country Manager - Caribbean, Mastercard.|||
|Cassandra Maxwell Birney||1928||First black female attorney admitted to the South Carolina Bar.|||
|Gloria Rackley Blackwell||1953||Civil rights activist, professor at Clark Atlanta University.|||
|William Bulkley||1882||One of the first African-Americans in America to receive the degree of doctor of philosophy (PhD. from Syracuse University in 1893). He was one of two members of the first graduating college class.|||
|William Wilson Cooke||1893,
|Architect, designed Lee Library (1898) and Tingley Memorial Hall. He went to Washington, D.C., to become the first black architect in the Office of the Supervising Architect for the U.S. Treasury, and planned and administered federal buildings.|||
|James K. Davis||1962||Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Georgia Power Company.|||
|Florella Fordham||1900||First "trained" African-American nurse in Orangeburg County.|||
|Nathaniel Frederick||2002||Professor of communication at Claflin University|||
|James Hodges||1966||First African American to earn a pharmaceutical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina.|||
|Joseph H. Jefferson||1970||Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing the 102nd District.|||
|Lola Kelly-Smalls||2000||Research scientist.|||
|Gloria A. Lee||1982||Chief Transportation Branch, United States Army.|||
|James Martin||First African American to receive a PhD in biology from the University of South Carolina.|||
|E. Roger Mitchell||1993||Actor in The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.|||
|Kebra Moore||1997||Gospel recording artist with MOKEB Entertainment.|||
|Alice Jackson Moorer||1884||One of the first two black women in the world to receive a college degree, along with Annie Thortne, her classmate.|||
|Ernest Newman||1948||First African-American bishop of the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church.|||
|Leonard Pressley||2002||Professor of biology at Claflin University.|||
|Arthur Rose Sr.||1950||Chair of Art Department (1952-1973) at Claflin University; the Arthur Rose Museum at the university was named for him|||
|James S. Thomas||1939||First African-American bishop of the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church|||
|Annie Thortne||1884||One of the first two black women in the world to receive a college degree, along with classmate Alice Jackson Moorer.|||
|Henry N. Tisdale||B.S. 1965||Eighth president of Claflin University. First African-American to earn a PhD. In mathematics at Dartmouth College.|||
|Leo Twiggs||1956||Artist and educator at South Carolina State University; the first African American to receive a doctorate of Arts from the University of Georgia.|||
|Cecil J. Williams||1960||American photographer, founder of the Cecil Williams Civil Rights Museum, publisher, author and inventor best known for his photography documenting the civil rights movement in South Carolina.|||
|Roger Kenton Williams||1936||Educator who taught in the psychology departments at North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Morgan State University, and the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore|
|Bryan Andrew Wilson||2004||Gospel artist|||