Claflin University welcomed 65 students into the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College during an induction ceremony earlier this month at the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel. Included were 52 freshmen and 13 other matriculating students who were accepted into the program for the 2018-19 academic year. The annual event officially introduces the new Honors College inductees to the campus community and serves as their first official meeting of the academic year.
This year’s theme for the Honors College, “Act on Purpose,” was developed by sophomore biology major, Eden Wiggins. In her keynote address, Wiggins stated why she came up with the theme. “When I came up with the theme, it was my intention to inspire myself and my peers to be conscious of the actions and the steps we take as they affect the route to our destiny. ‘Act on Purpose’ has many meanings. One meaning is to be conscious of one’s daily actions and to ensure that every action is planned, calculated or premeditated. Additionally, the phrase refers to the fact that every decision, action, or step we make is directly related to our purpose in that it shapes our ability to successfully chart, walk, live and eventually thrive in it,” she said.
This year’s freshman class includes six Presidential Scholars, three students who were class valedictorians as high school seniors and two who were salutatorians of their senior class. The freshmen inductees hail from Illinois, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, New Jersey, Ohio and Alabama. Eleven are from international countries including Ghana, Nepal, India, Nigeria, Jamaica and Greece.
Mrs. Alice Carson Tisdale, director of the Honors College and First Lady of Claflin University, addressed the audience with a heartfelt message. “As the program started, I looked around at all of the students and the work they had done. The students put this whole program together. I had very little to do with this. I stood on the sidelines and watched, because this is my last year,” she said. Last spring, her husband, President Henry N. Tisdale, announced that he will retire on June 30, 2019, after 25 years as Claflin’s eighth president.
In 1996, the Claflin University Board of Trustees renamed the University’s honors program – The Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College. The Honors College has provided a platform for Mrs. Tisdale to make a difference in the lives of hundred of students selected for the Honors College. Under her direction, the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College has been strengthened and expanded to reflect Claflin’s commitment to cultivating academically outstanding students. Admissions standards were raised and initiatives were implemented to enhance the experience of honors college students at every level. The goal was to prepare these high-achieving students for prestigious graduate and professional schools, and become globally engaged visionary leaders in their chosen careers.
The Honors College provides a full academic and college experience that includes high-level learning, ongoing academic advising, cultural enrichment opportunities, community service experiences, and other programs designed to enhance and develop the student’s academic and leadership potential. Honors students take special honors courses in their core curriculum and within their specific areas of study. Honors courses are accelerated and academically challenging, highlighted by active engagement, collaborative problem solving, and a greater amount of reflective thinking.