Claflin University 2019 graduate Marcus Hamilton has been named Collegiate Journalist of the Year for 2019 by the South Carolina Press Association.
The award annually goes to an outstanding student journalist as nominated by colleges and universities with under 5,000 enrollment. It is customarily presented in March at the SCPA annual meeting but the announcement was delayed in 2020 by the coronavirus emergency. Hamilton received the award in a virtual ceremony held Monday.
Hamilton’s reporting work was published by The Panther, Claflin’s student newspaper, and The Times and Democrat.
At spring convocation 2019, he reported on Claflin’s new president’s first major address. At Founders’ Day, he reported on an accreditation official’s view of the university. For homecoming, he answered the question: Just how did Claflin land Megan Thee Stallion for the student concert?
With Claflin, Orangeburg and South Carolina a hot spot in the 2020 Democratic presidential race, he put students in touch with the views of political experts from both sides of the spectrum via stories on the views of CNN analyst Bakari Sellers, longtime Democratic National Committee member Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter and GOP supporter and columnist Bill Connor.
All the while, Hamilton continued as game announcer for Claflin volleyball and basketball, a popular role he played from his sophomore through senior years at the university.
Hamilton became the fifth Claflin mass communications student to win the award in six years, an unprecedented achievement:
- 2018 – Olanma Hazel Mang
- 2017 – Bradley Harris
- 2015 – Andres Waters
- 2014 – Princess Williams
The Panther earned two other awards for 2019:
- Aliya Byrd was honored by the SCPA in the category of Arts and Entertainment Story with a second place for “Charlamagne Tha God says African-Americans can’t dismiss all negative emotions.”
- Angel S. Chedikah of The Panther won second place in Column Writing for "Peace with police -- a change starts within."
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