Citing international partnerships, study abroad programs and a host of opportunities to address critical issues, President Henry N. Tisdale told members of the Columbia World Affairs Council Tuesday that Claflin University is preparing its students to be visionary leaders and global citizens.
“We are engaged in strategic positioning and want to develop students who are committed to improving the human condition throughout the world,” Tisdale said
Tisdale was invited to speak during the Council’s Distinguished Speaker Luncheon. The Columbia World Affairs Council is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in the Midlands of South Carolina that serves as the bridge between the local community and its global counterparts. It exists to enhance citizens’ opportunities to engage in projects that are beneficial to the international community. Its Distinguished Speakers Series luncheons and dinners feature local, national and international experts and policymakers discussing timely international issues.
Tisdale said Claflin is committed to embracing a global perspective as evidenced by a growing international student population, thriving study abroad initiatives, international faculty exchange and enhanced academic offerings that provide students with a global experience. Claflin University students are studying abroad in Australia, Spain, Japan and Costa Rica. Claflin has expanded its foreign language offerings this semester to include Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Hindi and has established partnerships in universities in Africa and India. Additionally, Claflin faculty members are taking their expertise abroad, participating in international faculty exchanges.
“We want our students to see the world and have global experiences,” Tisdale said. “We want our partnerships to address global issues.”
Claflin’s Visionary Leadership Institute is one way Claflin is forging those partnerships, Tisdale said. The University will be bringing Visionary Leaders in Residence to campus with global connections. He explained that former Ambassador James Irvin Gadsden, a retired career U.S. Foreign Service officer and current senior counselor for International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, will visit the campus in November.
“We will bring these Visionary Leaders-in-Residence to campus to give our students exposure to global leaders,” Tisdale said. “These experiences will help them become visionary leaders on a world stage.”
Fred Monk, chairman emeritus of the Columbia World Affairs Council, said, “I am so very proud to have Claflin in our state.”