Claflin University was named as a finalist in four categories in the 2018 HBCU Awards. The categories are Best Choir, Best Student Newspaper, Female Athlete of the Year, and Male Student of the Year. The 2018 HBCU Awards will be held on June 22 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel beginning at 6 p.m.
The HBCU Awards is the first and only national awards ceremony honoring individual and institutional achievement at historically black colleges and universities throughout the country. Winners are selected by a panel of previous winners, journalist, HBCU executives, students and alumni for the merit of accomplishment and for generating positive coverage for HBCU campus communities. In 2015, Claflin University was named HBCU of the Year by the HBCU Awards panel.
More than 700 nominations were received for this year's nomination process, an event record.
Best Choir - Claflin University Concert Choir
The Claflin University Concert Choir is composed of approximately 50 members, and is under the direction of Dr. Isaiah R. McGee, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and associate professor of music. The Choir continues its legacy of excellence in its myriad of performances averaging between 75 to 100 concerts per year including on-campus activities, community events, and the annual Spring Tour. In 2008, the choir traveled to Beijing, China to join a Choral Tribute for the prelude of the Olympic Games. The choir has performed with greats such as Stephanie Mills and Denyce Graves. While the nucleus of the Choir is music majors, the Choir is open to all students with a variety of majors and they all serve as official ambassadors for the University.
Best Student Newspaper - The Panther
Claflin University's The Panther serves both as a student newspaper and a laboratory publication of the mass communications department. Its primary focus is covering the university through online stories, photos and video. Once each semester, a special print edition of The Panther is produced, with the publication devoted to a single topic.
The Panther has a solid link with The Times and Democrat
, Orangeburg's daily newspaper. Panther contributions appear on the newspaper's pages and at its website with frequency, expanding students' experiences from collegiate to professional media.
Female Athlete of the Year - Tiaria Norman
Tiaria Norman is a May 2018 graduate of Claflin University with a degree in education. She finished her three-year student-athlete career at Claflin with the most strikeouts in school history, 630. In 2018, she had 239 strikeouts and was ranked 6th in the nation in strikeouts and sacrifice flies.
Male Student of the Year - Brandon N. Brown
Brandon N. Brown is a sophomore political science and religion and philosophy major. He serves as a residential assistant in one of the male residence halls and will also serve as a 2018-2019 orientation leader. He is an active member of the National Honor Society for Leadership and Success and Claflin University's chapter of the NAACP. Brandon has earned numerous academic honors and awards such as the Academic Meritorious Award from the Department of Religion & Philosophy along with being on the Dean's List. After graduation, he plans to obtain dual-degree in Juris Doctor and Master of Divinity.