The rain didn’t stop a steady stream of freshmen and their families from heading to campus Saturday for Move-In Day at Claflin University.
As of mid-morning, many of the incoming freshmen had already checked in to receive orientation schedules, room assignments, class of 2018 T-shirts and more at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center.
Incoming freshman Travis Martinez is coming to Claflin University on a baseball scholarship. The pitcher and designated hitter played for Greenbrier High School near his hometown of Augusta, Ga.
“I love playing baseball, and Claflin offered me a great scholarship I just couldn’t turn down. And I fit right in the first time I stepped on campus,” the 18-year-old business management major said. “I love it. It’s a nice, tight campus. Everybody knows everybody, and that’s what I like. I love family, I’m big on family, and this feels like my family already.”
Incoming criminal justice major Shirrel Jackson of Charleston said she can’t quite pinpoint why she chose to attend Claflin, but she’s glad she did.
“I love the campus,” the 18-year-old West Ashley High School graduate said. “It’s pretty.”
Mom Gail Jackson said she’s pleased with her daughter’s choice of school.
“It’s very family-oriented, which is what I like,” she said.
Seventeen-year-old Steilan Sumpter of Atlanta said she found out about the University from her counselor at Greene County High School.
She was impressed by what she saw during Early Registration Day. “It’s more personal,” the biology major said of the atmosphere at Claflin.
“I’m really comfortable with what I’ve seen at Claflin, and I feel like she’ll do well here,” mom Rhonda Sumpter said. Dad Steven Sumpter said he’s at peace with his daughter’s decision to come to Claflin. “There’s just a personal feel, a genuine feel here from the staff and faculty,” he continued. “I have a good feeling about it. It just fits.”
“We feel comfortable and will rest well knowing she’s at Claflin,” Rhonda Sumpter added.
Saturday’s orientation schedule focused on getting the University’s newest students settled and ready to begin their matriculation at Claflin. After moving into their home for the school year, the students and their families are invited to enjoy an old-fashioned family picnic sponsored by President Henry N. Tisdale.
On Sunday, students will pass under the “Arch of Confidence” following the Freshman Parting Ceremony in W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. The ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m., and the public is invited.
Also on Sunday, the freshman class will participate in a pep rally in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center.
The week is full of activities to help the incoming class gain the tools and skills needed to succeed in their chosen fields of study and get acclimated to college life. The highlight of the week is the Freshman Retreat, which will take place Thursday and Friday, Aug. 14-15, at White Oak Conference Center in Winnsboro, S.C.
Next weekend, the students will join upperclassmen at a Campus Cookout, followed by the Freshman Talent Show for any incoming freshmen who want to display their gifts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, in the Fine Arts Center.
The final event before classes begin on Monday, Aug. 18, is the Freshman Confirmation Ceremony at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, in the Fine Arts Center.
Beginning on Saturday and taking place all week at the University is the “Stuff the Claflin Van” service project, which encourages faculty, staff and students to donate school supplies that will be given to local K-12 schools and Claflin students in need. The items will be distributed in collaboration with the Claflin University Student Athletic Advisory Committee’s Back to School Giveaway on Aug. 23.
To learn more about New Student Orientation and for a full schedule of events, visit www.claflin.edu/new-student-orientation-week.