South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will be honored during the 10th anniversary of The First Lady’s Hats and Gloves Scholarship Tea at Claflin University on March 22.
The program will be held at Tullis Arena in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Building.
The theme of this year’s event, “Dreamweavers Shaping the Future,” will pay tribute to South Carolina’s Lowcountry, which is known for its historic cities and communities, natural beauty, cultural heritage and tourism.
Tickets are available for $55 per person and $550 for a table.
Haley will be presented the First Lady’s Visionary Award for her accomplishments as South Carolina’s first female governor and for her exemplary and transformational leadership. The award was established to recognize outstanding women in leadership positions who are making an influential and significant impact throughout the state.
The tea aligns with the observance of National Women’s History Month in March and its theme, “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service.”
“We see Gov. Haley as a Dreamweaver — a very special person who is shaping the future of South Carolina, Claflin First Lady Alice Carson Tisdale said. “She showed exceptional courage and leadership last year when she faced some tremendous challenges. Gov. Haley had to make some difficult choices, and she placed the welfare of the people of this state ahead of partisan politics. She showed why she is a visionary leader.”
In July 2015, Haley signed into law a measure to remove the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse, the culmination of a years-long movement that was reignited by the murders of nine members of The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
In November, Haley helped launch The One SC Flood Relief Fund to support nonprofit organizations providing relief and recovery assistance in the 24 FEMA-designated emergency counties devastated by unprecedented flooding. The role of the fund is to help bridge the funding gap in an effort to rebuild the state and help victims of the floods resume their lives.
Under Haley’s leadership, South Carolina’s jobless rate hit record lows. The state announced more than 70,000 jobs in 45 of 46 counties, more than 25,000 South Carolinians moved from welfare to work, and the state made its largest infrastructure investment in a generation without raising taxes.
Other highlights at the tea include performances by Ron and Natalie Daise, creators and former hosts of “Gullah Gullah Island,” the musical children’s television series that aired in 1994-1998 on the Nickelodeon network. The show was a four-time winner of the NAACP Image Award.
“This event brings women from the community and from across the state together for hats, gloves, tea, conversation and entertainment,” Tisdale said. “It’s a time to get dressed up, have fun and support a great cause — providing scholarships for female students at Claflin who will be tomorrow’s visionaries.”
Three $1,500 scholarships will be awarded at the tea to Claflin students based on need and academic success. Moses Harvin, ’75, a Claflin Board of Trustees member, and his wife Emma donated three laptop computers that will be presented to the top three finalists. Harvin is the president and CEO of American Services Technology Inc., a Rockledge, Florida-based government contracting firm that operates in seven locations. Harvin serves as the vice president of ASTI and also is president and founder of One Source Office Products, an office and technology supply company in Rockledge.
“The Harvins are long-time supporters of Claflin, and we greatly appreciate their contributions to making the tea a successful fundraising event,” said Marilyn Gibbs Drayton, chair of The First Lady’s Hats and Gloves Scholarship Tea Planning Committee. “We recently established an endowment and we’ve set a goal to increase our fundraising so that we can help more students.”
Tisdale said that although the tea has a women’s focus, men are also invited. Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale was among the male guests at last year’s event.
“Several men who attended the tea last year had a great time, First Lady Tisdale said. “Our primary purpose is to raise funds for deserving students, but we also place an emphasis on having fun. We will have a ladies’ boutique as vendors will be present selling hats, gloves, jewelry and other fashionable accessories. We are expecting more men to join us this year. We’ve planned a few surprises I think everyone will enjoy.”