The Columbia World Affairs Council announced that Claflin University President Henry N. Tisdale will receive the esteemed 2019 Global Vision Award. Tisdale will be honored at a black-tie gala at the Columbia Marriott on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. This is the 26th year the Columbia World Affairs Council has presented the award to a leader whose contributions have made a significant impact on projecting South Carolina globally.
Under Dr. Tisdale’s leadership, Claflin has advanced a curriculum anticipating the technological and social demands of the 21st century. He has left an indelible high-water mark on the University as a diverse and inclusive community that works to cultivate the wisdom and character needed for globally engaged citizenship.
“Dr. Tisdale has fostered generations of leaders instilled with a global vision. During his presidency he not only doubled enrollment and achieved historic capital campaign success, he put South Carolina on the map in 2008 when Forbes named Claflin as the number one HBCU and in the top 4% of colleges and universities nationally,” said Bob Coble, former Columbia Mayor and Chair of Columbia World Affairs Council Board of Directors. “With students from 26 states and 15 countries, Dr. Tisdale has elevated the status of our state for generations to come.”
An Order of the Palmetto recipient, South Carolina’s highest civilian award, Dr. Tisdale has served on numerous committees, councils, and executive boards on both local and national levels. He has championed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) policy within Claflin and publically with integrated collaborations at South Carolina Research Authority, Orangeburg County Economic Development, The Association of Governing Boards and Universities and College Council of Presidents, and Former Governor Nikki Haley’s Transition Team.
“Through 25 years of transformational leadership, Dr. Tisdale defines what it means to be a visionary leader,” said James Lehman, chair of Claflin University’s Board of Trustees and managing partner at Nelson Mullins. “He is an example to industry and higher education of why leadership matters. He has made a difference in our community, our state, our nation and our world.”
In 1994, only four months into his presidency, Dr. Tisdale established the Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics with a strategic vision to reverse the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM industries. Claflin has received several national fiscal awards and partnerships, including the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, contributing to a successful $30 million, five-year capital campaign project in 1997. The University’s Molecular Research Center was designated a core research facility by the South Carolina Research Authority. In 2016, the University capped a capital campaign of $105 million, exceeding its original goal of $96.4 million. Dr. Tisdale’s fundraising and administrative leadership resulted in the launch of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, a state-of-the-art television production studio, the Professional and Continuing Studies Center, and the Leadership Development Center, as well as many other educational initiatives and campus revitalization projects.
“I am humbled and honored by this recognition,” said Dr. Tisdale, who significantly enhanced Claflin’s national profile. “I also accept the award on behalf of Team Claflin as we have worked hard and tirelessly to keep Claflin University a relevant and leading institution of higher education that offers a high-quality education for its students.
“I would like to thank the Columbia World Affairs Council for its outstanding track-record of global advocacy on behalf of the Midlands and South Carolina. Finally, I express my appreciation to the Council for its long-standing support of Claflin’s global education agenda.”
The Columbia World Affairs Council was established in 1993 to raise awareness of international activities in the Midlands, help people connect across the region, bring distinguished speakers and foreign diplomats to Columbia to address international issues, and create a bridge to build new international relationships. The Council administers the sister-city program for the City of Columbia and is a member of the Washington-based World Affairs Councils of America and Sister Cities International.
The Global Vision Award was established in 1994, and the first recipient was Governor Carroll A. Campbell. Last year, the honor went to Senator Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr. For more information about the Global Vision Award, visit columbiaworldaffairs.org.