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New Video Featuring Leading HBCU Claflin University Debuts for Black History Month


United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information
810 12th Avenue S.
Nashville, TN 37203

February 26, 2015

Nashville, Tenn.:  In conjunction with Black History Month, a new video features the accomplishments of Claflin University, one of the oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the U.S. The video, which highlights the 20-year tenure of the university’s president, Dr. Henry N. Tisdale and Alice Carson Tisdale, the first lady, also gives evidence to the continued relevancy of HBCUs in the ever-changing higher education landscape.

“We are humbled and thankful for the decision by United Methodist Communications and the Black College Fund at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry to produce a video focusing on Claflin University’s accomplishments,” Tisdale said. “We are excited that others will have an opportunity to see what can happen when a community of dedicated and devoted people work together as a team to realize a vision.

“The Claflin trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends have played key roles in our path to excellence and their contributions will be equally important as we seek to achieve transformative change in higher education.”

Under Tisdale’s leadership, Claflin has emerged as a leader among the nation’s liberal arts institutions. US News and World Report, in its 2014 listing, ranked Claflin in its Top 10 of best HBCUs, and, also, No. 1 in alumni giving with more than 52 percent making contributions. In May 2014, Claflin awarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees to the largest class in the institution’s history.

Claflin, located in Orangeburg, S.C., is one of 11 Black colleges and universities supported by the Black College Fund of The United Methodist Church, which supports the largest number of Black colleges and universities of any church body in the United States.

The 11 Black colleges are located in the Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions and are diverse in every way. There are approximately 16,000 students enrolled, and 90 percent of them qualify for financial aid. The colleges are and have always been open to all.


About The Black College Fund:

The Black College Fund (BCF), a ministry of The United Methodist Church, is the largest supporter of Black colleges and universities of any church body in the United States. The 11 BCF-supported colleges enroll approximately 16,000 students, with 90 percent of them qualifying for financial aid. BCF funding to the 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which is administered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, comes from Black College Fund apportionments paid by local UMC churches.

About Claflin University:

Founded in 1869, Claflin University is recognized by national publications such as U.S. News and World Report, and Washington Monthly as one of America’s best liberal arts colleges. The University proudly serves the state of South Carolina, the nation and the world. Its beautiful historic campus is home for approximately 2,000 students from every region of the United States and more than 20 international countries. Claflin students demonstrate extraordinary achievement, distinctive confidence and a lifelong desire to transform society through visionary leadership. Its academic programs prepare students to compete and succeed in a global and technological society.

Outstanding alumni include Chief Justice of South Carolina Supreme Court (Ret) Ernest A. Finney, Jr.; renowned photographer, author and publisher Cecil Williams; internationally recognized artist Leo Twiggs; Vela McClam-Mitchell, president/CEO and owner, Georgia International Travel; and the eighth president of Claflin University, Dr. Henry N. Tisdale. For more information, visit or

Contact: Crystal Caviness
615.742.5138 (office)
615.306.3401 (cell)