The Asbury step team remembered Anise Nicole Portis in the Dorm Step Show on Nov. 11. Also, a memorial service for the freshman who was killed in a highway crash on Nov. 2 was held at Claflin on Nov. 22. (Panther photo by Kemet Alston)
By JERILYN GAMBLE
Claflin University mourns the tragic loss of a freshman.
Anise Nicole Portis, 19, of Bamberg, died Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, as the result of highway crash.
Portis entered her freshman year at Claflin in the fall of 2013 and immediately began to establish herself. She was accepted into the Minority Science Engineering Improvement Program at the university. She pursued majors in biology and chemistry. She was eager to become involved in the “full college experience.”
Anise thrust herself into the academic and community service aspects of her program by participating in classroom and community service projects such as the Angel of Hope and the Lowcountry Healthy Start Candlelight Vigil for Infant Mortality Awareness. She was also a member of the Claflin University Woodwind Ensemble and Clarinet Section leader with the Orange Pride Marching Band.
Perhaps the extra-curricular activity that she enjoyed the most was the step team. Claflin provides students residing on campus the chance to represent dorms in an annual step competition during the university’s Homecoming week.
Anise was a member of the Asbury Hall Step Team. Asbury houses female freshmen.
The preparation for the competition is a semester-long process that takes tedious work. Asbury was returning in 2013 as defending champs.
According to Fatimah Gadson, a senior business administration major and step master of the team, “Anise Portis was definitely one of my most hard-working steppers. She came in with experience ... so catching on was easy for her.”
Anise was rewarded much responsibility and was influential to the team. She made sure steppers were informed of practice times and locations. She also made sure they arrived on time.
“Upon starting, she always stood out, so when it was time for me to name my captains and co-captains, her name was the first I called to be captain,” Gadson said.
Friends describe Anise as a “caring and giving spirit who never hesitated to lend a helping hand.”
According to Rolanda Hamilton, a freshman English major, “Anise and I went to high school together, so being on the step team here increased our friendship. She was funny, everyone got along with her and I don’t know a person who didn’t like her.”
After Anise’s passing, the step team continued on in her memory.
“They selflessly came together and worked hard to put on a great show for their sister,” Gadson said.
“She pushed us and she really wanted us to win,” Hamilton said.
Asbury’s step team paid tribute to Anise in their Nov. 11 show with her picture included and a praying gesture.