Confident, Diverse, and Talented Describes Claflin University’s Class of 2025

Aug 13, 2021
Pictured from left: Morgan Lee, Kendell Simmons, Larry Martin III, and Roderick Rolland
The Class of 2025 arrived at Claflin University's historic campus last weekend eager to become immersed in the “Elevation and Transformation” that will prepare them to become the next generation of globally-engaged visionary leaders.
For many students, it was Claflin’s nationally accredited academic programs, the University’s emergence as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities, and its increasing prominence in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) that influenced their decision. For others, it was Claflin’s reputation as a leading historically black college/university (HBCU) and its proud legacy of providing access to its exceptional academic programs to all students without regard to gender, race, religion, or ethnic origin.
“I chose Claflin because of its outstanding biology program,” said Morgan Lee, a freshman biology major from Augusta, Ga. “I plan on becoming a biomedical engineer after I graduate. I like science and medicine and it’s a field that leads to high-salary positions. I am confident Claflin’s program can help me achieve my career goals.”
Morgan graduated from Augusta’s Lucy C. Laney High School.
“Our family is very connected to Claflin,” said Isaac Lee, Morgan’s father. “My mother (Betty) attended Claflin. My uncle - Dr. Willie Frazier and his wife Betty - are Claflin graduates. Dr. Frazier is a member of the Board of Trustees. Morgan came for a visit and fell in love with the campus. So, here we are!”
Kendell Simmons was attracted to Claflin because ofthe University’s impressive rankings among the nation’s top HBCUs. Simmons is a freshman from Moncks Corner, S.C.
“My mother – Aretha McFadden - attended Claflin,” she said. “Other people I know encouraged me to enroll at Claflin and several friends from my high school (Berkeley High School) are also here.I am majoring in political science. I want to attend law school after I graduate,” Simmons said. “My career aspiration is to work as a corporate attorney.”
Larry Martin III, a freshman from Goose Creek, S.C., begins his Claflin journey as a student in the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College.He hopes to join the growing number of Claflin STEM graduates who continue their studies at prestigious graduate and professional schools.
“I want to be an orthopedic surgeon like my father,” said Martin who graduated from Stratford High School. “Claflin was highly recommended by several family members. Both of my parents graduated from HBCUs, so I wanted to attend a HBCU, as well."
Roderick Rolland, a freshman from Saluda, S.C., had an epiphany during his junior year at Saluda High School.After editing and producing several videos that became very popular on social media, he realized that he wanted a career in the communications industry.
“I am majoring in mass communications, Rolland said. “I want to take my present skills to the next level. I chose Claflin because I was looking for a small HBCU that would prepare me for a career in a field that I really enjoy.” Rolland was a member of the Saluda High School football team that captured the state 2-A title in 2019. The championship was the football team’s first in more than 50 years.
About the Class of 2025
Students from 23 states, not including South Carolina, two international countries (Jamaica, Nigeria); and 40 of South Carolina’s 47 counties comprise the Class of 2025 (the top three are Orangeburg, Richland, and Charleston counties).Biology, business administration, psychology, and criminal justice are the top majors.The Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College welcomes 40 new high-achieving scholars, including three Presidential Scholars.The Honors College comprises exceptional academically talented students who participate in a uniquely rigorous and stimulating learning environment that emphasizes leadership development, community service, and global studies.
Presidential Scholars receive full-tuition, room and board, and a book stipend because of their outstanding academic accomplishments.
The Class of 2025 also includes four high school valedictorians; two salutatorians; 131 State of South Carolina Hope and Life Scholars; 215 Academic Incentive Award Scholars; and 39 James E. Clyburn/Rudolph Canzater Scholars.
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