Claflin To Hold 2016 Spring Board of Trustees Meeting on Friday

Mar 18, 2016

Claflin University will hold its 2016 Spring meeting on Friday, March 18 in Tingley Memorial Hall. The board is chaired by Mr. James Bennett, area executive vice president at First Citizens Bank.

Five recently elected trustees will be making their first meeting. They are
Dr. Belinda F. Gergel, John O. HerringRev. Albert ShulerJoan Steward Stevens and William L. Thompson.

Dr. Belinda F. Gergel

Claflin's Belinda Gergel

Gergel is a native of Rock Hill, S.C. and holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia College. She also earned a masters and a doctorate degree from Duke University.  Gergel was elected to the Columbia City Council in 2008 and in 2009 she was the recipient of the Palmetto Trust/Governor's Elected Official Honor Award.

Gergel was a high school history professor prior to becoming a faculty member and Chair of the History and Political Science Department at Columbia College. She was selected twice as Columbia College's Outstanding Faculty Member and was the recipient in 2006 of the Columbia College Medallion, the College's most prestigious service award.

In 2012, she relocated to Charleston to join her husband, United States District Judge Richard Mark Gergel.  

Gergel is a noted author and she conducted research on Claflin University's distinguished faculty member and the nation's first African-American State Judge, Jonathan Jasper Wright.  She and her husband helped spearhead new recognition of Judge Wright's historic role in South Carolina at a ceremony at the South Carolina Supreme Court.

John O. Herring

John O. Herring

Herring is a 1977 graduate of Claflin University who held several key command and staff positions during his 25-year military career. He has served at Fort Bragg (NC), Fort Hood (TX), Fort Gordon (GA), Fort McPherson (GA) and Fort Drum (NY).

His awards and decorations include Meritorious Medal Five Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, among others. Herring also serves on the Claflin University’s School of Business Advisory Board.

Rev. Albert Shuler

Albert Shuler

Rev. Shuler is senior pastor at New Creation United Methodist of Durham, N. C. 

A native of Calhoun County, S.C., Shuler graduated from Claflin University in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in French and a minor in Religion and Philosophy. He also attended the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia.  Shuler received his Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School.

He has been elected as a delegate to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church six times and as a delegate to the Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference seven times. He was selected to attend two World Methodist Conferences (Nairobi, Kenya and Brighton, England). Shuler was on the conference staff for two years and served eight years as district superintendent in the Durham District.

Joan Steward Stevens

Joan Steward Stevens

Stevens was born in Charleston, South Carolina and graduated magna cum laude from Claflin College in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology.

Her career in federal service spanned more than 38 years.  She was assistant associate commissioner for the Social Security Administration’s Office of Central Operations, where she directed employee recruitment.  During her tenure, Stevens established several Social Security Administration job recruitment initiatives for Claflin students.  She won the Secretarial Award for exceptional management achievement with the Department of Health and Human Services. Stevens was also selected for the Senior Executive Service, the highest rank any government employee can achieve.  Stevens is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter of Claflin University International Alumni Association.

William L. Thompson

William Thompson

Thompson is president and CEO of the Association of Graduates of the United States Air Force Academy. He is a native of Orangeburg, S. C. and was one of the first African American students who in 1965 helped integrate previously all-white Orangeburg High School. In 1969, Thompson became the first African American from South Carolina to receive an appointment to the U. S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

He had a 25-year career with Delta Air Lines and served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission.   Thompson was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Award and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.

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