Five distinguished individuals who have made their mark in community service, education, government and philanthropy were inducted into Claflin University’s Hall of Fame during the Sesquicentennial Presidential Scholarship Gala on Friday, November 15.
Rev. Minnie Anderson (Community Service); Dr. B. DaNine J. Fleming, ’96 (Community Service); Rosa Kennerly-Dance, ’71 (Education); Representative Jerry N. Govan Jr. (Community Service); and Lucile Stephens Richardson, ’69 (Education) comprised the impressive group of alumni and community supporters who were inducted this year for their noteworthy contributions to Claflin and beyond the walls of the University.
Reverend Minnie Anderson – Community Service
Throughout her personal life and her professional career, Reverend Minnie Anderson has always displayed her passion and a profound commitment for helping others. An unwavering supporter of Claflin University, the Williamsburg County native is a member of the Orangeburg County Chapter of the Claflin University International Alumni Association and a welcomed presence at events and activities that highlight the University’s mission and its contributions to the community.
Rev. Anderson and her husband, Spencer, a 1999 graduate of Claflin, established the Spencer and Reverend Minnie Anderson Endowed Scholarship. Funds from the endowment will help outstanding biology majors from the state of South Carolina attend medical school or participate in research that will contribute to finding a cure for terminal illnesses.
In addition to serving as senior pastor of Franklin United Methodist Church in Denmark, S.C., Rev. Anderson is an active volunteer for numerous organizations that seek to empower residents of Orangeburg and neighboring communities. She is a committee member of the First Lady’s Hats and Gloves Tea; Voorhees Scholar’s Program for Bamberg County; Inter-Denominational Youth Symposium for Bamberg County; and the Orangeburg Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry.
Among the noteworthy achievements and awards Rev. Anderson has received are honorary recognitions from Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company, The Hospice Society of Contra Costa California, American Cancer Society of Maryland, and the Orangeburg County Chapter of the CUIAA.
Rev. Anderson was also recognized for helping to establish the NAACP chapter at the University of Baltimore. Rev. Anderson was raised in Baltimore, Md., and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Baltimore. She received a master’s degree from Liberty University and also has a certificate in biblical studies. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Asbury Theological Seminary.
Rev. Anderson has one son, Mark Cutler, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Dr. B. DaNine J. Fleming – Community Service
Dr. B. DaNine J. Fleming is immersed in virtually every aspect of initiatives designed to improve the lives of residents throughout Greater Summerville, S.C. She is a founding member of the advisory council for “Taking Back OUR Village,” a youth anti-violence community program, and founder and first chairperson of the annual “Cops and Kids Back to School Bash.” Fleming started the Little Book Lending Library Program at Flowertown Elementary School in memory of her mother, the late Doretha W. Jenkins, and she launched the inaugural Little Book Lending Library at the Charles Ross Municipal Complex in historic Lincolnville, S.C. To honor the legacy of her grandparents, Lawrence and Oletha Jones Jenkins, Fleming’s family established an endowment at Claflin University. Fleming’s grandmother graduated from Claflin in 1942.
Fleming has served three terms with the Berkeley County School District Health and Physical Education Advisory Council. For the past 10 years, she has been the executive director of The McNeil Foundation for the Awareness of Domestic Violence and Abuse. Fleming started the Discover MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina) STEAM Pipeline Program. In 2017, she graduated from Leadership South Carolina, a statewide initiative that develops South Carolina’s emerging leaders with a focus on issues affecting the quality of life.
A native of Givhans, S.C., Fleming graduated magna cum laude in 1996 from Claflin University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Her scholarly pursuits led to Fleming earning a master’s in early childhood education from the College of Charleston and an educational specialist degree in educational leadership and administration from South Carolina State University. Fleming received a doctorate in educational leadership from Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio. She also earned a certificate of theology from the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Ga., and a certificate as a childbirth educator and Doula (a trained non-medical companion who supports another individual through a significant health-related experience such as childbirth) through the Somatic Arts and Science Institute.
Fleming is currently an associate professor in academic affairs, director of training and intercultural education in the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the inaugural Unconscious Bias Faculty Scholar at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is also the founding senior partner of The Nevaeh Group, a consulting group focused on assisting corporate and educational clients in achieving diversity and inclusion goals.
Fleming is a life member and a past chapter president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. She is married to Travis N. Fleming, the mother of Sydnei L. Fleming and a bonus nephew, Donte’ D. Reid.
Representative Jerry N. Govan, Jr. – Community Service
A native of Orangeburg, S.C., Representative Jerry N. Govan Jr. was first elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in November 1992. Govan is a member of the Democratic Party who represents the 95th District. He is the second ranking member of the South Carolina House, where he has served for the past 26 years. Govan is chairman of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus, and only the second person and first House member in the history of the Caucus to be elected twice as its chair. In addition, he is the senior ranking member of the House Education & Public Works Committee K-12, Public Safety Sub-committees, State House Committee (Vice Chair), House Operation and Management Committees (1st Vice Chair), and Ad Hoc Committee on School Climate and Safety.
Govan has a well-deserved reputation as a strong supporter of education. He served as a school attendance supervisor for Orangeburg County’s three consolidated school districts prior to his retirement. The South Carolina Education Association Fund for Children and Public Education is listed among the groups that have acknowledged his efforts to improve the quality of public education throughout South Carolina. Govan’s support of Claflin includes serving as a member of the University’s Board of Visitors. In 2019, he helped present a resolution that renamed a portion of Goff Avenue for Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, Claflin’s eighth president, for his contributions to Orangeburg and his global impact in higher education.
Govan was educated in the public schools of Orangeburg and is a 1976 graduate of Orangeburg- Wilkinson High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in teaching at South Carolina State University. Govan is also a licensed minister.
His memberships include the State Board of Directors of South Carolina First Steps, South Carolina Financial Literacy Board, and the Epsilon Omega Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.
Govan is married to the former Wanda E. Gibson of Estill, S.C. They have four daughters, Shawntara, Jeri Nicole, Lawanda, Gabrielle and five precious grandchildren, Kamryn McKenzie, Tony Michael, Tyler Mason, Taylor Matthew and Jasmine Mya.
Rosa W. Kennerly-Dance – Education
Rosa W. Kennerly-Dance, a reserved yet effective and unassuming educator, graduated magna cum laude in 1971 from Claflin University with a bachelor’s degree in English. The Orangeburg County native earned a master’s degree in education from South Carolina State University.
Often described as an even-handed disciplinarian, she began her career as a high school English teacher at Williston High School. She later transferred to Carver Edisto Middle School, where she spent the next 30 years – nineteen as a teacher, nine as a middle level principal and three as assistant superintendent of instruction and educational programs.
Kennerly-Dance’s distinguished career includes her selection as Orangeburg School District 4 Teacher of the Year in 1983 and serving as a mentor for new principals for the State Department of Education. She assisted with staff development for several schools and made presentations at numerous conferences and forums. Kennerly-Dance introduced the Homework Hotline, which allowed parents to confirm and monitor their children’s homework assignments to Orangeburg and surrounding areas.
Her engagement in secondary education continued in retirement. Kennerly-Dance provided leadership for the restoration of the Rosenwald Teacher’s Home located in the Great Branch Community of Orangeburg County. The home was part of the Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald project that built or made improvements to schools, shops and teacher homes to educate African Americans in the segregated South during the early 20th Century. The home was restored and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Kennerly-Dance has been active in the Orangeburg County Chapter of the Claflin University International Alumni Association, serving as president from 2015-2019. Throughout her career, she has received numerous awards and accolades for her stellar work in education. She continues to mentor students, teach for the United Methodist Church, and support public education. Kennerly-Dance has been an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, for more than 50 years.
She is married to Joseph C. Dance, and they have two adult children. She appreciates all of the family support she has received over the years.
Lucile Stephens Richardson – Education
Lucile Stephens Richardson is a native of Smoaks, S.C. in Colleton County. She graduated valedictorian of the Class of 1965 at Ruffin High School. Richardson earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Claflin University in 1969.
After graduating from Claflin, Richardson launched a remarkable career, teaching mathematics in Maryland’s Prince George’s County Public Schools. She also taught for California’s Long Beach Unified School District, before transitioning into administrative positions as a mentor teacher, vice principal, and principal. She started her career in higher education with an unprecedented achievement as the first African American full-time professor in the education division at Biola University, a nationally-ranked Christian University in the heart of Southern California.
After one year, she was appointed head of the education division at Biola University. During her tenure, Richardson provided teacher training and advised school administrators in Papua, New Guinea; Sydney, Australia; and Tian Jian, China. She also taught a summer session at the Research Institute of Christian Education in Hong Kong.
Richardson completed a master’s degree program in earth sciences at American University and earned a master’s degree in education with emphasis in school administration from Loyola Marymount University. She received a doctorate in education with an emphasis on institutional management from Pepperdine University. She also earned a diploma in ministry at Cottonwood Christian Center School of Ministry.
Richardson has received numerous awards and accommodations for her outstanding achievements in education and in her ministry. She was recognized in Who’s Who Among America’s Professors in Universities and Colleges for the innovative classroom environment she developed for a Long Beach, Calif. middle school and she was featured in a National Education Magazine article. She also received the International Third World Leaders Association Award for Outstanding Christian Leadership Among Global Leaders. Richardson is the author of “Embracing Destiny’s Crossroads – Keys to Excel Beyond Your Wildest Dreams.” Through her book, Richardson provides practical strategies for how to embrace crossroads and move forward in the direction towards your destiny – which was predestined before you were born.
Richardson moved to Nassau, Bahamas, in 1998 to serve as provost of the late Dr. Myles Munroe’s International Leadership Training Institute and acting executive director of his International Third World Leaders Association. Richardson resides in Nassau, where she is an international educational consultant, curriculum developer, ghostwriter, clergywoman and motivational and inspirational speaker.
Richardson is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.