A great speech -- and ‘I should’ve gotten a water bottle’

Sep 16, 2018

Claflin Provost Dr. Karl Wright, left, and the crowd at Matriculation Day honor President Henry N. Tisdale and First Lady Alice Carson Tisdale. (Panther photo by Olanma Hazel Mang)


Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale spoke at the 150th Matriculation Day convocation and students have feelings about what the retiring university leader had to say.

Matriculation Day was Sept. 6, 2018, at Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center in the Tullis Arena. Tisdale, a 1965 Claflin graduate who retires in May 2019 after 25 years as president, spoke of traditions, celebrations and transitions before ending with, “Let the bells sound and classes begin!”

Students rushed to the hallway to leave the ceremony but were slowed by an overflow of Claflinites.

Amid the crowd was senior Courtney Taylor.

“That was a great welcoming being that it’s the 150th year,” she said. “I’m sad to see him leave my senior year.”

As she walked toward the exit, she was handed a complimentary Claflin 150th anniversary water bottle.

“I’m a human performance health major and athlete, so I’m really excited for this new year of athletics,” Taylor said.

Once out the door, she walked toward her dorm leaving other students congregating on the newly paved parking lot. There stood sophomore Jada Ulmer.

Ulmer, who has only experienced the Tisdale presidency for one academic year, said, “Convocation was good and informational but way too long. I don’t think he should leave.”

Gabrielle Vogt, a junior business major, said, “I didn’t plan on coming to convocation, but I thought that maybe I should considering that he’s retiring. It was a great speech. He’s done a lot for us.”

Of the ceremony, Vogt said, “Our choir was amazing though! I’ve even considered the choir once. Maybe I’ll look into joining.”

And, “I should’ve gotten a water bottle!”

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