Matriculation highlights Claflin’s global reach

By: Krystal E. George
Sep 10, 2015
President Andy Michael Speaking at Matriculation Day
Student Government Association President Andy Michel speaks at the 146th Matriculation Day Convocation; photo courtesy of The Times and Democrat

Claflin was host to the president of its new sister school, Methodist University, at the 146th Matriculation Day Convocation on Sept. 10.
The Jonas T. Kennedy’s Tullis Arena was filled with students and faculty as Dr. Marcio de Moraes introduced himself as president of the United Methodist-affiliated university in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Moraes and Claflin President Henry Tisdale spoke about Claflin’s new vision of global civilization.
“Thank you for bringing our universities closer,” Moraes said.
The convocation began with the posting of the colors. The new flags representing Claflin’s diverse population were on display. Greetings from Miss Claflin, Aria Dillard, were followed by the installation of the 2015-2016 Student Government Association officers.
Moraes used his segment to inform the audience of a brief history of Methodista University, the largest Methodist University in Brazil. Claflin students will be able to participate in an exchange program, attending classes at the Methodista Unversity, and the university’s Brazilian students will matriculate at Claflin.
Claflin will also offer Portuguese as a language. 
SGA President Andy Michele introduced Tisdale, comparing his tenure as president to an Olympic race.
“Because he never stopped running, Claflin University is financially sound,” Michele said, receiving thunderous applause. Michele then presented Tisdale with an Olympic gold medal for “running the great race.”
Tisdale began his address with a joke in reference to Michele’s introduction; “I suppose after running so long, maybe a little drink of water might be needed.” He then sipped from his water.
Tisdale talked about the direction Claflin is going in effort to become a global leader. “We want students to have mobility … we want to be affordable and productive,” Tisdale said.
He acknowledged the freshmen class, making note that they are one of the largest incoming classes, “450 strong.” Tisdale also confirmed the university’s capital campaign Phase ll goal of $100,000,000.    Tisdale redirected his focus to Methodista University.
Future leaders will need to hold global citizenship, he said.  He left students with an acronym: Claflin LEADS, Leadership development, Experimental Learning, Academic excellence, Diversity and inclusion.
Tisdale defined leadership and again encouraged students that, “we, too, can lead.”
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