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   Claflin University's origins began 1866, when the Baker Biblical Institute was founded in Charleston. In that year, leaders of the Methodist Church organized the South Carolina Mission Conference. With a Christian mission to educate newly emancipated slaves, Claflin University first opened its doors in 1869. As such, it is the oldest historically black college or university in South Carolina. Contributors to its opening include prominent northern white philanthropists, none more important than Lee Claflin and his son, Massachusetts Governor William Claflin, who provided the initial financing for the purchase of the Orangeburg Female Academy. Dr. Alonzo Webster, who became Claflin's first president, also played an important role.


   Reverend Edward Cooke served as Claflin's second president from 1872 to 1884, then Reverend Dr. Lewis M. Dunton (1884-1922), Dr. Joseph B. Randolph (1922- 1945), Dr. John J. Seabrook (1945-1955), Dr. Hubert V. Manning (1956-1984), and Reverend Dr. Oscar A. Rogers, Jr. (1984-1994) in succession. Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, a 1965 graduate of Claflin, became the University's eighth president in 1994.

   In 1871, during Dr. Webster's watch, Claflin University and the Baker Biblical Institute merged, as the latter moved to Orangeburg. Claflin was affiliated with the South Carolina State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute (later to become South Carolina State University) from 1875 to 1896. Since 1872, Claflin has offered instruction, arts, sciences, and pre-professional fields. The College Department awarded its first bachelor's degree in 1882.



   There are schools of Humanities/Social Sciences, Business Administration, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Education, Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, Leadership Development Office and a very active Student Exchange Program.


   Claflin has six residence halls; each hall contains at least one computer lab and all student rooms are equipped with an Internet connection. All Claflin freshmen are required to live on campus, unless living with a parent or other close relative within commuting distance of the University. Campus organizations include:

  • Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society
  • Alpha Rho Tau Art Club
  • English Club
  • Pi Gamma Mu Social Science Honor Society
  • Science Club
  • Social Science Club
  • Church School
  • Oxford Club
  • Student Christian Association
  • International Student Association
  • Cheerleaders
  • Panther Newspaper
  • Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Yearbook Staff
  • International Student Association
  • Library Club
  • National Pre-Alumni Council of the United Negro College Fund
  • Off-Campus Panthers
  • ROTC Club

PHONE: 800-922-1276
ADDRESS: 400 Magnolia Street, Orangeburg, SC

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