It's obvious to those who follow professional football that Chris Canty and Travelle Wharton make a tremendous impact on the field. During the Claflin University Corporate, Community and Friends Breakfast on Thursday, April 28, the duo will be acknowledged for the selfless service they perform off the field.
The breakfast is part of the University's annual International Alumni Convention, which will take place April 28-May 1 at the Charlotte Marriott Executive Park.
“At Claflin University, we have an unbridled commitment to selfless service and valuing people,” said President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale. “During the Claflin International Alumni Convention, our University looks forward to honoring Mr. Canty and Mr. Wharton for their outstanding service contributions that strengthen lives and communities.”
Claflin University is an independent, four-year, co-educational, residential, career-orientated liberal arts University affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1869, it is the oldest historically black university in South Carolina and also the first institution of higher education to welcome all students regardless of race or gender.
With an enrollment exceeding 1,800 students, Claflin boosts four academic schools encompassing a wide array of academic disciplines ranging from biotechnology to mass communications to criminal justice.
Wharton is an anchor on the Carolina Panthers' offensive line as a guard. He has played with Panthers since being drafted by the organization in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Wharton played college football at the University of South Carolina, where he was team captain.
For the past four years, Wharton has sponsored a free football camp for children in the Upstate region of South Carolina. He also is the founder of Key Block, an organization designed to serve as a host for selected area charities. With the help of the community, he works to create partnerships that generate support for local charitable entities.
Canty currently attacks the quarterback as a defensive linemen for the New York Giants. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Prior to that, he played football for the University of Virginia.
With the Cowboys, he participated in the team's Rookie Club, which introduces first-year players to community service in the area with organizations like the Salvation Army and Meals on Wheels. A philanthropist, Canty is the founder of The Chris Canty Foundation which uses sports to positively change the lives of young children through mentorship, educational programs and physical activity.
In 2010, he was the Giants' Walter L. Payton Man of the Year recipient. This year, he was recognized as the United Way Man of the Year.
The Claflin Corporate, Community and Friends Breakfast will start at 8 a.m. in the Charlotte Marriot Executive Park, located at 5700 Westpark Drive, on April 28.