Bishop George Battle was impressed.
Having heard a presentation from President Henry N. Tisdale during the Charlotte area Corporate, Community and Friends Breakfast Thursday, Battle said Claflin’s progress shouldn’t be a kept secret, but told to the world.
“What you have here is the best planning and vision process I have ever seen,” said Battle, Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Charlotte. “I have served on five boards of trustees at colleges and universities. This is by far eye-opening. I’m so glad I got up this morning to come and hear about Claflin.”
Members of Charlotte community attended the breakfast to learn about Claflin’s vision, mission and plans for future success. The goal of the breakfast was to build new partnerships and support.
The event is held each year in the city where the annual Claflin University International Alumni Convention is held. This year, the Charlotte chapter is hosting the event through May 1.
Tisdale spoke about Claflin’s history, academic programs, faculty and student excellence and plans for future growth and sustainability. Strategic planning, he said, has been the key to Claflin’s progress.
“We are always planning at Claflin, and it is an evolving plan and one that we constantly upgrade,” Tisdale said. “In order for us to be successful, there not only has to be a plan, but the plan has to be challenging. Our planning committee on campus is perhaps our most important committee.”
Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Travelle Wharton and New York Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty received Presidential Citations, not for their work on the field, but for their commitment and service to their communities off it.
Canty, whose parents are Claflin alumni, is founder of The Chris Canty Foundation. The Canty Foundation uses sports to positively change the lives of young children through mentorship, educational programs and physical activity. Wharton 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’s brother, Joseph, accepted the award on his behalf.
“Chris humbly thanks Claflin for this recognition,” he said. “Our mom and dad graduated from there, our dad played basketball there and our cousin (Matisse Lee) is the softball coach there. We are proud to say we are truly part of the Claflin Family.”
“Thank you for this honor,” said Wharton. “If I had a thousand tongues, I don’t know if I could express how much this means to me. I really, really thank everyone for this award.”
Carol Cummings from Rogers, Townsend and Thomas Law Firm was also on hand to present a check for $15,000 to the University. The company partners with Claflin by providing internships for students. They recently opened a Charlotte office and hope to give more opportunities to students in the future.
“For those of you in the corporate community, I have been down to Claflin and I’m a believer,” Cummings said. “We bring interns in over the summer and hope to have even more. The experience you will get with Claflin will be greater than you can imagine.”
The breakfast was sponsored by Prestige Insurance Agency where Gene Dennis is CEO.