Warmack backs students on Megan concert
Mar 02, 2020
President Dwaun J. Warmack talks with Panther reporters.
Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack said serving Claflin University students is a top priority.
He got an early opportunity after being named Claflin’s president in June and taking office in August.
He supported students and student leaders in landing performer Megan Thee Stallion for the student homecoming concert in November.
He cited messages from some saying the entertainer was not in keeping with Claflin values as a Christian institution.
“If you saw my inbox with some of the older alums, I was the anti-Christ,” he told Panther reporters. “It was pretty interesting, but I would do it all over again.”
Warmack said he discussed the concert with the critics and showed how Megan was a college student and committed to public service. The criticism calmed.
“I think sometimes we have to get outside our comfort zone. ... I had to educate the alums a little and give background of the performer and explain that she is a college student with a 3.0 GPA,” Warmack said.
“Sometime a meaningful dialogue matters.”
Warmack has focused on building that dialogue with alumni as well as students.
“My focus was to do a Presidential Alumni Tour. In 365 days, I would go to every alumni chapter and we are almost done,” he said in January. “It’s been good to hear their perspective and the diverse opinions.”
One of the biggest complaints from the alumni chapters is that recent graduates aren’t joining in at Claflin. He has an idea on how to fix the problem.
“Were kicking off in the spring a ‘40 Celebration’ where we are going to celebrate 40 young alums under the age of 40 -- 40 outstanding leaders who have accomplished great things and that will be our way of bringing them back to celebrate. This will happen in April,” Warmack said.
The president said the ceremony will be like a gala complete with videos recognizing honorees and their successes. Each will be presented a plaque.
In addition, there will be a float in the homecoming parade in November dedicated to recognizing them. This is a way of bringing younger alums back to campus and celebrating them, Warmack said.
“They will be selected through a committee and they will have to meet certain criteria in order to be eligible, he said.