Atlanta Journal Constitution – Chris Brathwaite

Every time I speak to one of my co-workers about my HBCU experience, they always ask one question.

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“Would you do it again if you could?”

HBCU of the Week: Claflin College photo

My answer is always an immediate “YES!”

The main reason I chose Claflin University (at the time Claflin College) was the size of the student body, as well as the close relationship that the students had with the professors.

It was invaluable!

Previously, I attended Upsala College, in East Orange, N.J., with 60 students to a classroom. The interaction was limited and I felt that some of the professors didn’t know who I was, even though I participated in the classes.

When I arrived in Orangeburg in the fall of 1992, the mass communications department was just getting off the ground.

One of the benefits of being a student on a small campus was that everyone pretty much knew each other. And as I mentioned earlier, there was a close relationship between the student body and professors, some relationships that I still carry with me almost 20 years after graduating.

Like most students who were away from home for the first time, the temptation of what was out there was great, especially for a 19-year-old young man.

I knew I wanted to be involved in mass communications, but I have to admit that my first semester was challenging. It got to the point where my advisor called me into her office and challenged me. I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. She asked if I wanted to get sent back to New York as a failure, and deal with my mother’s reaction knowing that she wasted money sending me 650 miles away to school in vain. read more