Claflin News

Claflin University Experiences Record Giving from Leadership Giving Society

Dec 02, 2011


Congressman James E. Clyburn Receives Special Honor for Philanthropy

From left to right: Vice President for Institutional Advancement Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton, Dalton Tresvant, ’74, President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale and Janice Marshall, ’70.  Marshall and Tresvant accepted the Leadership Giving Special Honoree award on behalf of Congressman James E. Clyburn.

Congressman James E. Clyburn received recognition as the 2011 Claflin University Leadership Giving Special Honoree at the annual luncheon which acknowledges the institution's top donors.

“We are grateful for Congressman Clyburn's philanthropic graciousness, financial support and recognition that he gives to our school on a hilltop high,” said President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale.

Clyburn, the assistant Democratic leader who represents the state's Sixth Congressional District, was unable to attend the luncheon due to his work on the Joint Select Committee for Deficit Reduction.

Two Claflin alumni who play prominent roles in Clyburn's organization, Dalton Tresvant,'74, and Janice Marshall, '70, accepted the honor on his behalf. Tresvant is the director of Clyburn's Midlands office and Marshall is the executive director of the James E. Clyburn Scholarship Foundation. Both Tresvant and Marshall have endowed scholarships at the University.

Clyburn wrote a letter to the University expressing thanks for the honor. “I've watched this institution grow and flourish. It is a privilege to give back to this institution,” Clyburn wrote.

Clyburn was one of four Middleton Fellows, those who gave between $25,000 and $49,999.99 over the past year, recognized during the luncheon on Nov. 18.

The luncheon's most touching moment came when Vannette Warner Simmons, '96, donated $10,000 in memory of her late husband Dwayne Simmons, a 1996 Claflin graduate who passed away last fall. Barely able to hold back tears, Simmons said Claflin was the place where they had first met. She noted it was her husband's dream to give back to the institution. The donation will be used to establish an endowed scholarship in the couple's name.

Leadership giving, which is defined as a cash gift of $1,000 or more, was up 24 percent from the previous year. Overall, 203 donors gave more than $804,000 to the University between Oct. 15, 2010 and Oct.15, 2011.

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton thanked the alumni and friends for their loyalty and support.

“Because of our donors' outstanding generosity and support of our vision, Claflin University will be to continue forging a path to unparalleled excellence,” Middleton said.

At the luncheon, Tisdale expressed gratitude to the institution's many benefactors.

“At Claflin University, we are committed to being one of the top undergraduate teaching and research institutions in the world,” Tisdale said. “Without the members of Leadership Giving Society, this would not be possible. I applaud their selfless support of our institution and tomorrow's next generation of visionary leaders.”

During the luncheon, awards were given to Middleton Fellows ($25,000 to $49,999), Manning Fellows ($10,000 to $24,999), Walker Fellows ($5,000 to $9,999), the 1869 Society ($1,869 to $4,999) and Claflin Associates ($1,000 to $1,868).

Middleton Fellows

James E. Clyburn; Rachel B. French; Attorney and Mrs. William H. Johnson, '72; and Claflin University International Alumni Association

Manning Fellows

Victor L. Blue, '66; William F. Blue, '73; Bessie H. Byrd, '72; Willie L. and Betty Frazier, '75, '74; Moses L. and Emma Harvin, '75; Annie Jamison; Wilhelmenia J. Jefferson, '54; James Mack, '54; Larry D. and Gloria S. McCutcheon, '72; Walter and Laura Moore, '66, '64; and Henry N. and Alice C. Tisdale, ‘65

Walker Fellows

Timothy J. and Shirley Autry; William Barnet, III; James A. Bennett; Clyde and Sherry Bess, '70, '71; Edna L. Calhoun, '53; Glenda G. Davis, '63; Richard E. Fields; Barbara Halback; C. John and Sheryl Hipp; Betty J. Hooker; Johnny and Thelma Murdaugh, '69; Caesar R. Richburg, '72; Joan S. Steward-Stevens, '70; Leo F. and Rosa Twiggs, '56; and John and Gail Young, ‘60

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