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Honors College

Alice Carson Tisdale

Claflin University First Lady Alice Carson Tisdale is director of the University's Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College. She first arrived at Claflin in 1994 when her husband was named the eighth president of the University. Mrs. Tisdale quickly led an effort to elevate the University's Honors College to a premier academic program that transformed young scholars into visionary leaders. In 1996, the Claflin Board of Trustees officially named the Honors College after Mrs. Tisdale in recognition of her considerable contributions to the University. Her work with the Honor’s College gained international exposure when she and some of her students were featured on the Fox News Channel’s “America’s News Headquarters” weekend newscast, viewed by more than 300 million viewers worldwide.

Mrs. Tisdale is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina and a Master of Education degree in reading diagnosis from Salisbury State University in Maryland. Mrs. Tisdale taught in the Smyrna School District in Delaware for 21 years, receiving that district's teacher of the year award in 1986. In addition, she was the 1991 recipient of the Superstars! In Education Award from the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and later won the NAACP Educator of the Year Award from the Dover, Delaware, Central Branch of the NAACP. In 2004, she was honored as the Outstanding Director of the Year by the National Association of African-American Honors Programs for her work at Claflin.

In 2011, Mrs. Tisdale was selected to serve on the Governor's Mansion Commission by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. The Commission is the custodian of the Mansion and the ground's other houses, The Lace House and The Caldwell-Boylston House. The seven-member Commission is led by South Carolina's First Gentleman Michael Haley. They approve all alterations, additions and renovations to the nine-acre complex, in addition to maintaining historical archives and records of the Governor's Mansion.

Aside from her role of shaping students into leaders at the Honors College, Mrs. Tisdale is also very active in the community. She is currently the president of the Orangeburg County Salvation Army Board of Directors; national secretary and treasurer of the National Association of African-American Honors Program; board member of the Orangeburg Community of Character initiative; co-founder and director of Praise Kids, the children's Christian theater at Trinity United Methodist Church in Orangeburg; a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and The Links Inc.