Three Claflin University alumni will be honored at the 5th Annual African-American Male IMAGE Awards Banquet sponsored by the Beta Chi Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. on Saturday, Feb. 25 in Columbia.
Former S.C. Supreme Court Justice Ernest A. Finney, Jr., '52, Trinity United Methodist Church Pastor Rev. Larry D. McCutcheon, '72, and Leon Love, '70, a retired state agency administrator and civic servant are this year's inductees with Claflin ties.
Finney was recently inducted into the S.C. Hall of Fame and was chief justice of the state Supreme Court for 15 years. He is a trustee emeritus at Claflin and formerly served as chairman of the institution's Board of Trustees. As a state Representative, he was the first African-American to serve on the House Judiciary Committee. In the S.C. House, he was a co-founder and the first chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. He was also interim president of South Carolina State University in 2002.
McCutcheon was inducted into the James T. Floyd Hall of Fame for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. in 2009. He is currently a member of Claflin's Board of Trustees. For the past eight years, McCutcheon has been the pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Orangeburg. He is the past chairman of the Bamberg County Council, S.C. United Methodist Advocate and Southeastern Jurisdictional District Superintendents Consultation of the UMC, among being affiliated with numerous other church and civic organizations.
Love is a founder of Connec and Associates, a consulting firm that works with developing faith- and community-based organizations. In the past, he was the director of community involvement with the state's First Steps program and deputy director of the S.C. Department of Social Services. He is an active and charter member of the Bluff Road United Methodist Church. Love has served in both district and state capacities with the UMC. The civic-minded Love is a member of the Lexington County Medical Center Board, chair of the Lexington County Extended Care Board and the state NAACP.
The banquet will take place on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Medallion Center, located at 7309 Garner Ferry Road in Columbia, at 7p.m. Tickets for the event are available for a $50 donation and can be purchased by contacting Dennis Gerald at (803) 254-6961.