Homecoming Week and ReUnion Weekend 2019 Commences at Claflin University
Nov 14, 2019
Claflin University's 2019 Homecoming week began on Sunday, November 10, with the crowning of Tyniah Sheree' James as Miss Homecoming and the Gospel Explosion Concert with Demetrius West and Jesus Promoters. James is a senior psychology and criminal justice major from Norway, S.C.
The remaining calendar of events will provide Claflin alumni, students, staff and supporters a final opportunity to celebrate the University's sesquicentennial.
In addition to the culmination of Claflin's 150th Anniversary, this year's homecoming is the first for Dr. Dwaun Warmack, who on August 1, began his tenure as the University's ninth president.
Due to inclement weather, the 14th Annual Homecoming Golf Classic that was scheduled for Thursday, November 14, at the Orangeburg Country Club, has been canceled. More details will be provided at a later date.
Weekend activities will begin with the annual Homecoming Pep Rally from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Panther Plaza on Friday, November 15, hosted by the Claflin Athletic Department and Hot 93.9/103.9 FM.
The Sesquicentennial Leadership Giving Luncheon (invitation only) will be held at noon at Claflin's Ministers' Hall. The annual luncheon recognizes donors whose financial gifts of $1,000 or more have supported student success and other fundraising priorities.
Following the luncheon will be the unveiling and renaming ceremony
of the Molecular Science Research Center at 898 Goff Avenue. The Center will be named after President Emeritus Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, Claflin's eighth president.
The Sesquicentennial Presidential Scholarship Gala starts at 6 p.m. in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex. Legendary R&B group The Whispers, who have scored hit records since the late 1960s, will be the featured performers. The sold out dinner and concert is a fundraiser for Presidential Scholars, high-achieving visionary scholars and members of the prestigious Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College. The introduction of the Presidential Scholars and the induction ceremony for the 2019 Class of the Claflin University Hall of Fame will be held during the gala. The Class of 2019 comprises an impressive group of distinguished alumni and community supporters.
The Health and Wellness 5K run and 1-Mile Fun Run hosted by the Charlotte (NC) Chapter of the Claflin University International Alumni Association (CUIAA) begins Saturday's
(Nov. 16) slate of activities. Participants will assemble at 6 a.m. and the race/walk starts at 7 a.m. at Edisto Memorial Gardens. Registration for the 5K Run is $25 for adults ($20 for groups of 10 or more) and $15 for students. The fee for the 1-mile run/walk is $10 per person.
Elected officials, marching bands, community organizations, civic leaders and other area representatives will be part of the Homecoming Day Parade which begins at 9 a.m. at Edisto Gardens. The parade route includes downtown Orangeburg on Russell Street and it ends at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex on Magnolia Street.
Registration for Claflin alumni will continue after the parade at noon at the Panther Den which will be surrounded by the unmistakable aroma of barbeque, chicken, fish, hamburgers, hot dogs, and other savory delicacies being grilled to perfection in the tailgate areas outside the JTK Health and Wellness Complex. The combination of good food, tasty beverages and lively music have branded Claflin's basketball tailgate as one of the area's signature destinations.
While the tailgate festivities occupy center stage outdoors, Claflin's women's and men's basketball teams will be the main attraction inside the JTK Health and Wellness Complex, as they host a pair of Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) foes in non-conference matchups. The Claflin women play Stillman College at 1:30 p.m. and the men's team plays host to Fisk University at 3:30 p.m. Reserved seating is $20; and general admission is $15.
Other Saturday events include the Greek Step Show (7:30 p.m., JTK Health and Wellness Complex; $5 in advance/$10 at the door); and the Orange and Maroon Masquerade Ball
(9 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Sulit Luxe Affairs, 1005 Broughton Street in Orangeburg). Admission is $45 for the Mardi Gras themed event.
The Worship Service on Sunday, November 17, at 9:30 a.m. at the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel will feature Bishop Kenneth L. Gibson, (Class of 1979), as the featured speaker. Bishop Gibson is the pastor of the Savannah Grove and Jordan Chapel Free Will Baptist churches.
The Founders' Day Convocation at 4 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 17) in the JTK Health and Wellness Complex will conclude the 2019 Homecoming and Sesquicentennial celebrations. Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) will deliver the keynote message. During the event, a time capsule that was sealed in 1994 to commemorate the start of Dr. Henry N. Tisdale's tenure as Claflin's eighth president will be opened and the contents will be revealed.
Another special attraction of the evening will be a fireworks display that will light up the Orangeburg skyline, symbolizing Claflin's remarkable legacy of 150 years of visionary leadership and academic excellence, and the bright future that lies ahead for South Carolina's first and oldest historically black college/university (HBCU).