The late Rachel B. French fell in love with Claflin University when she visited the campus and quickly became an ardent supporter of the institution.
During the 2012 Leadership Giving Luncheon, French received recognition as the special honoree at the annual ceremony which acknowledges the University’s top donors.
Her nephew, Claflin Athletics Director Dr. Jerome Fitch, accepted the honor. Because of her generosity, Fitch noted, the Athletics Department was able to establish an academic support program for student athletes, among other improvements.
“She wanted Claflin to have one of the finest athletics programs in the country,” said Fitch of his aunt.
French was recognized as a Kennedy Fellow, a category for donors who contribute $50,000 or more within a year.
Claflin acknowledged parents who established endowed scholarships in memory of two young alumni. First, the parents of the late Michael Maxwell, James and Elizabeth Maxwell, were acknowledged for starting a $30,000 scholarship fund. Michael Maxwell passed away in 2009 when he was a senior majoring in math. He received his degree posthumously in 2010.
The University then paid tribute to Robert and Janet Jackson, the parents of the late Casey Jackson, ’08. They established a $20,000 endowed scholarship in his memory.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton expressed gratitude to the Atlanta Alumni Area Campaign Committee for raising more than $181,000 since last December in support of the University’s historic $96.4 million capital campaign, Imagine the Possibilities.
Middleton noted overall Claflin alumni have raised $7 million toward their $10 million goal for the campaign.
Leadership giving was up 48 percent from the previous year. Overall, donors gave more than $1,186,000 to the University between October 15, 2011 and October 15, 2012.
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 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 premier undergraduate teaching and research institutions in the world,” Tisdale said. “Without the members of the 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).
Rachel B. French
Claflin University International Association; Michael R. and Julie C. Brenan; Willie L. and Betty Frazier, ’75, ’74; Moses L. and Emma Harvin, ’75, Robert and Janet Jackson; William H. and Annette Johnson, ’72; John F. Jones; Elizabeth Maxwell; James W. Maxwell; Vanette P. Simmons and Henry N. and Alice C. Tisdale, ‘65
Boylan Haven Mather Academcy; Spencer R. Anderson, ’99; William Barnet; James A. Bennett; Clyde A. and Sherry Bess, ’70,’71; William F. Blue, ’73; Horace and Bessie H. Byrd, ’72; Allen G. Britt, ’67; Edna L. Calhoun, ’53; James E. Clyburn; Richard E. Fields; Virginia M. Grose; Betty J. Hooker; Mark Jamison; Wilhelmenia J. Jefferson, ’54; Larry D. and Gloria McCutcheon, ’72; Georgette C. McKenzie,’ 65; Whittaker V. and Lillie Middleton, ’73, ’73; Walter H. and Laura Moore, ’66, ’64; Karen Scott; Leo F. and Rosa Twiggs, ’56, and John and Gail Young, ‘60