The Claflin University Freshman College inducted the Class of 2019 – one of the largest in University history – during the 2015 Confirmation Ceremony Sunday afternoon. The ceremony culminates a week-long orientation for new students.
“In the Class of 2019 you have cyber security scholars, Darla Moore scholars, honors college scholars, (Rudolph) Canzater scholars – I can go on and on about the scholars we have in this class, one of Claflin’s largest classes in more than a decade,” said Dr. Leroy Durant, vice president for student development and services.
The Freshman College is a comprehensive yearlong program designed to help entering freshmen build character, confidence, pride, memories and pathways to success. Students experience special seminars with small classes focusing on the needs of freshmen students and featuring close interaction with orientation leaders, faculty members and peer mentors.
Orientation week is full of activities to help the incoming class gain the tools and skills needed to succeed in their chosen fields of study and get acclimated to college life. During the Confirmation Ceremony, students are formally inducted into The Freshman College.
This year’s speaker was Dr. Isaiah McGee, chair of the Department of Music, associate professor of music and director of the Claflin University Concert Choir. McGee told the class to create their own opportunities and become visionary leaders.
“Go to class tomorrow, study hard, commit to excellence and get all the education you can,” McGee said. “It is not by haphazard that you are here. God doesn’t make mistakes.”
In an emotional and inspiring speech, McGee urged students to have desire, dedication and determination as they embark on their Claflin career.
“You must have a desire to want to learn all that you can, a dedication to seeking the knowledge that eludes us through the vast number of books and research, and the determination to finish the race no matter how hard it may be. You must never be a slave to circumstances, but the creator of your own destiny,” he said.
McGee told students to be change agents and to not be afraid of failure.
“Failure is the way you learn to do things right,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down. All that matters is how many times you keep getting up. Aim high; set your goals among the stars for if you fall, Class of 2019, fall on your back. If you can see up, you can reach up; if you can reach up, you can get up and keep striving for that goal of being the next visionary leaders. A Claflin education will produce visionary leaders.”
In addition to attending seminars and mentoring, students in The Freshman College participate in community service and service learning and freshman assemblies.
“We are here today not to confirm that you have finished your freshman week, but to confirm you made the right choice by choosing Claflin University,” McGee said.