Students and graduates of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College were on hand Saturday, Nov. 16, to present Claflin University with a check for $7,560 during a brief ceremony during this year’s Homecoming festivities.
“College is becoming very, very expensive. In order for some of our kids to remain in college and graduate, they just need a little more money – $400, $500, $600,” said Alice Carson Tisdale, director of the Honors College. “That is why we started the ‘Honored to Lead’ Campaign. If 700 students gave $100, that’s $70,000 a year. We can put this money into an endowed scholarship” and set up need-based guidelines for its distribution.
“We want to stretch it as far as we can, so that our students can stay in school and graduate,” she continued.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College. Tisdale said the theme of the college’s fundraising campaign is “Each One, Give One,” with that “one” being $100 every year.
“We want every student to commit to that,” she said of the Honors College’s more than 800 alumni. “We will continue to connect with our graduates, as well as hopefully let the students who are here on campus in the Honors College see how important it is that everybody gives something.”
The check was presented to Claflin’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton by Marcus Burgess, a graduate of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College.
“We were given so much,” Burgess said. “We had the opportunity to have a free education, many of us, and we went on to do great things. We felt it was the least that we could do to start giving back to those who are in such need.”
Middleton said the Honors College’s fundraising campaign will help increase alumni giving to Claflin University.
“When we go out to raise money from foundations and corporations and individuals, one of the first questions that they always ask us is, ‘What are the people closest to the University doing to give back to the University?’” he said. “We are very proud of the fact that we have the highest alumni giving rate of 43 percent among HBCUs. What the Honors College is doing will enhance the effort to increase the percentage of alumni giving, and also increase the amount that’s given.
“You don’t have to do anything. You could have done nothing, but the fact that the Honors College has led with this effort says so much about the spirit, the commitment and the dedication that its graduates have for Claflin University. We just want to say thank you.”