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Claflin beats goal of raising $100M

Claflin beats goal of raising $100M
Posted By: Elynor Moss on October 21, 2016

The goal: $100 million.


The achievement: over $105 million.


Claflin University publicly launched its Imagine the Possibilities Capital Campaign five years ago.





“When we launched the public phase of the campaign in 2011, it was designed to reposition Claflin as one of the top teaching and research institutions in the nation. It was the most ambitious fundraising effort in the university’s history,” Claflin President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale said.


“We overcame a lot of obstacles, including a struggling economy, but we did it,” he said.


On Thursday night, Claflin officials announced that the university exceeded the $100 million goal of the campaign, with a grand total of $105,153,431.19.


As a result of the campaign, Claflin supported numerous achievements and campus improvements such as:

•Doubling the number of endowed scholarships from 100 to more than 200.
•Endowing three professorships and one academic department chairmanship.
•Increased funding for scholarships for high-achieving high school seniors.
•Purchasing two nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers.
•Campus-wide Wi-Fi.
•Renovations of buildings.
•New chapel.
•Establishing the online program in 2014.


“I am very proud of this Board for its commitment and dedication,” said James A. Bennett, chairman of Claflin’s Board of Trustees and the campaign committee.


“We had 100 percent participation in this campaign by the Board of Trustees,” he said. “The campaign brought us all together to visualize what Claflin could be.”


The Board of Trustees donated $6 million to the campaign.


Claflin received 15 gifts of $1 million or greater for the drive. For instance:


•Sodexo gave $4.35 million.
•Philanthropist Darla Moore gave $1 million to the Department of Music.
•The Osher Foundation gave $1 million to support scholarships for adult learners.
•The United Methodist Church gave approximately $13 million through its General Board of Higher Education Ministry, the Black College Fund and the S.C. Annual Conference.


•The “inner family” – individuals, groups and organizations with close relationships with Claflin – gave $17 million.


Students, board members, alumni, donors and supporters gathered in Tullis Arena in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center on Thursday night to celebrate with heavy hors d'oeuvres catered by Sodexo.


Freshman Demetre Smith, who received an academic scholarship, said “I was accepted at the University of Georgia, Georgia Southern University and Georgia Tech, but I felt at home when I visited Claflin.”


Prior to visiting Claflin’s campus, the Georgia resident had never visited South Carolina.





“What I love most about Claflin is the people I’m meeting,” he said. “I have friends from all over the globe.”


“I love the diversity and talent here.”


Tisdale said, “My vision was for Claflin to be recognized globally as a leading institution of higher education in the 21st Century.”


Tisdale recognized the challenge of achieving the university’s Phase I fundraising goal of more than $80 million. After Claflin exceeded that goal in March 2015, he realized that the board of trustees, alumni and other stakeholders shared his vision for the future of Claflin.


“When we exceeded our Phase I goal, it confirmed my belief that we could do even better,” he said.


The board of trustees accepted Tisdale’s recommendation, which resulted in the establishment of a new campaign goal of $100 million.


“We now have resources that will expand learning and research opportunities for Claflin’s globally engaged visionary students and faculty,” Tisdale said.


“Our focus in STEM (science, technology,
engineering and mathematics) disciplines will help us attract talented faculty who are research driven and exceptional students who want to attend graduate school, medical school or enter the workforce in STEM-related careers,” he said.





Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD.


Source: http://thetandd.com/
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