Excitement fills the Claflin University campus and swells into the surrounding Orangeburg community when it’s time for the Panthers to play.
The Claflin University Panthers and Lady Panthers represent the university in a number of sports, including basketball, cross country, and track and field. There’s also men's baseball and women’s softball and volleyball.
The university also has a cheerleading team that serves as athletics support and ambassadors of the university.
The university previously participated in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It moved to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the NCAA (Division II) in July 2018.
The CIAA, which was founded in 1912, is the first African-American athletic conference and one of the most recognized conferences in Division II.
A plethora of championship trophies and banners adorn the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center, the university’s indoor athletic facility.
The basketball teams play their home games at Tullis Arena in the Kennedy Center.
Alumni Field, where Tullis Arena now stands, was once where Claflin played football. The last football game for the "Fighting Panthers" was held Nov. 21, 1964.
The decision to drop football was all about the financial drain it was putting on Claflin. It has never returned.
The Panthers teams have seen success in the past, passing along a tradition of excellence in its athletic program.
Here is sample of the Panthers’ success:
* The Claflin men's basketball team captured the 2018 SIAC championship. It was the first SIAC championship title in the history of the Panther program.
* The women's softball team captured the 2017 SIAC softball championship.
* The Panthers baseball team captured the 2016 SIAC championship.
* The women's volleyball team captured the 2014 SIAC championship.
Student-athletes have also won top individual honors, including an Olympic qualifier.