Students, parents help Claflin exceed Phase One campaign goal

By: Princess B. Williams
Mar 19, 2015

President Tisdale Speaking at Capital Campaign
Claflin University has made history by raising the largest amount in the history of the university.
President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale announced at the Phase One Celebration on Thursday in the Jonas T. Kennedy Center that almost $90 million has been raised in the university’s capital campaign.
“When we launched the campaign, we were focused on making a strong university even stronger. We wanted to bolster Claflin’s capacity to serve as a resource for the state of South Carolina,” Tisdale said.
    The funds have been used to strengthen academic programs, enhance facilities and build the endowment.
The overall goal for this campaign is $96.4 million. The goal for the first phase was $80 million.
The university exceeded the goal and is at $89.6 million.
“I think we were successful because we had 10 or more seven-figured gifts,” Tisdale said.
“This campaign was about hopes and dreams,” Capital Campaign Chair James A. Bennett said.
Claflin parents played a major role in the campaign by surpassing their original goal of $50,000.
The student body also had an original goal of $100,000 but skyrocketed to raise $162,438. It has a new goal of giving $200,000 to the capital campaign.
Student Government Association President Dillon Isaac highlighted the impact of the campaign from a student’s perspective.
“When I was a freshman in 2011, the Wi-Fi connection was very limited,” he said. “Now 100 percent of the campus is Wi-Fi-accessible.”
More than 98 percent of faculty and staff donated to the campaign.
“This campaign has indeed enhanced Claflin’s learning and teaching environment,” Board of Trustees Faculty Representative Dr. Caroletta Ivey said.
Some of the university’s biggest supporters were:

  • Sodexo Nutrition - $4.3 million
  • Westbrook Family Foundation - $2.5 million
  • The late Jonas T. Kennedy - $1.3 million

“This evening, we envision moving Claflin to new levels of excellence. Yes, we’ve set the bar high, but we know we can. We must reach even higher. We believe the world needs visionaries,” Tisdale said. “There no stopping us now.”
The campaign has also provided the university with:

  • 100% SMART classrooms
  • A Molecular Science Research Center
  • The Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel

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