The day culminates weeks, months and sometimes years of letters, campus visits and other inducements program as coaches and administrators try to convince top recruits why they should choose their institutions.
Claflin University recently hosted a similar celebration of sorts. However, these recruits were not selected for their explosive times in the 40-yard dash or for leading their high schools to conference championships. Instead, the 78 high school seniors who attended to Claflin’s “Become a Visionary Leader” Open House on January 28 in Ministers’ Hall caught the attention of Claflin’s Office of Admissions for their impressive performances in the classroom.
“We designed this event for students with strong academic records who also aspire to become visionary leaders,” said Antonio McFarland, Claflin’s assistant director of admissions. “The selections were largely based on grade point averages and test scores.”
The event included brief presentations which provided the students and their parents a general overview of Claflin’s campus admissions, financial aid, scholarships and campus services. Students also had an opportunity to talk with current Claflin students and members of University’s world-class faculty and tour the campus.
“The sessions with the faculty focused on leadership theories and strategies, Claflin’s transformative environment and our nationally –accredited programs,” said McFarland. “The students and their parents were very impressed with the University’s state-of-the-art instructional technology.”
Among the guests attending the program was Dr. Hector Flores, president of the South Carolina Governors School for Science and Mathematics. “I am extremely impressed with the quality of students, staff, faculty and facilities at Claflin,” said Flores. “We look forward to further conversation and a path to send more GSSM graduates to Claflin in the coming years.” Claflin enrolled its first student from GSSM last fall and a second student has been accepted for the Fall 2017 semester.
“This speaks to the growing reputation Claflin has earned for producing graduates from STEM programs,” said Tisdale. “We are one of the region’s leading liberal arts universities but our emphasis on STEM aligns with career opportunities in today’s workplace.”
Of the 78 students that attended the Become a Visionary Leader program, 17 were out of state students who hailed from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, New Jersey and North Carolina.
Keyona Willingham and Jalyn Long were among the group of outstanding high school students who plan to enroll at Claflin next fall. Willingham made the more than five-hour drive from Anniston, Ala. with her mother, Crystal Maddux. Although Willingham was impressed by the campus’s appearance and several faculty members she spoke with, she and her mother were even more excited about being named a Presidential Scholar.