South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will deliver the keynote address at the 142nd Claflin University Founders’ Day Convocation at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20 in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center
Prior to being elected governor, Haley served in the Ge neral Assembly as the representative for the 87th district in Lexington County, a post she served in for six years. In 2005, she won the Legislator of the Year Award from the Centennial Foundation. Haley was served as chairperson of the S.C. House of Representatives’ Freshman Caucus from 2005-2006.
Haley earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Clemson University. Before entering public service, Haley worked as the accounting supervisor for the waste management firm FCR and was instrumental in growing her family’s clothing business, Exotica International, into a multi-million dollar enterprise. She has also served as assistant executive director of the Lexington Medical Center Foundation.
Her past civic positions include the board of directors for both the Orangeburg and Lexington Counties Chamber of Commerce. Also, she was a past president and treasurer for board of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2006 Strom Thurmond Excellence in Public Service and Government Award from the S.C. Federation of Republican Women; the Palmetto Leadership Award from the S.C. Policy Council (2006); the Indian American Friendship Council’s Indian American Pride Award (2005); and the Friend of the Taxpayer Award from the S.C. Association of Taxpayers (2005), among others.
Born in 1972 to Indian immigrant parents, Haley is the also first woman to ever serve as the state’s governor.
Haley is married to Michael, a technician with the S.C. National Guard, and they have two children, Rena and Nalin. The Haleys attend Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington.
The Founders’ Day Convocation is held each year to commemorate the establishment of the University. It is annually the culminating activities for Homecoming Week at Claflin.
For more information, please contact Sonja A. Bennett, Assistant Vice President of Communications and Marketing, by phone at (803) 535-5668 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.