Henry and Alice Tisdale

Claflin University President Henry N. Tisdale is shown with his wife Alice Carson Tisdale. A gala will be held April 1, to celebrate the Tisdales' 25 years of leadership and service to the college and community.

In honor of 25 years of leadership by President Henry N. Tisdale and first lady Alice Carson Tisdale, Claflin University is hosting “A Legacy of Visionary Leadership" Gala at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 1, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St., Columbia. The black-tie event will feature multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated saxophonist and flautist Najee and dance music by the Friends Band.

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Najee has made a career following his heart and keen musical intuition by pushing musical boundaries, all of which have made him an international pioneer in the music industry. Having collaborated with everyone in the music business from Prince and Quincy Jones to Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Herbie Hancock, Najee’s technical agility, grace, compositional prowess, unbridled passion and fearless genre bending have made him one of the most sought-after musicians of his generation. With two Platinum and four Gold albums under his belt, Najee is an icon whose musical vision spawned an entire new genre by fusing the music close to his heart -- R&B and Jazz.

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“This event will provide the Claflin community and constituents an opportunity to express our appreciation for the Tisdales’ dedicated service and unwavering commitment to academic excellence during their 25-year tenure at the University,” said James K. Lehman, chairman of the Board of Trustees and managing partner of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP of Columbia.

“Together, the Tisdales have guided Claflin to new heights and helped secure the University’s status as a leading 21st-century institution of higher education. The proceeds from this event will support the endowed scholarship fund the Tisdales have established to support deserving Claflin students,” Lehman said.

A 1965 honors graduate of Claflin University, Henry Tisdale returned to his alma mater in 1994 and launched his tenure at the first historically black college and university in South Carolina. President Tisdale announced his retirement in April of 2018, effective June 30, 2019, after serving Claflin University as its eighth president for more than two decades.

To purchase tickets for the gala, call Tammy McCottry at 803-535-5665. To serve as a sponsor for this event, call 803-535-5238. For more information on tickets and sponsorship, please visit https://alumni.claflin.edu/tisdales-legacy-event-.

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