ORANGEBURG, S.C. — After notifying the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) of its decision to exit, Claflin University is pleased to announce that it is joining the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), commencing July, 1, 2018. President Henry N. Tisdale said the decision to move to the conference headquartered in Charlotte, N. C. was made after careful consideration of potential benefits.

“We believe this is a win-win situation for the University and our student-athletes,” Tisdale said. “The CIAA aligns with our institutional profile and the proximity of its members to Orangeburg is very attractive for our alumni and supporters.”

Claflin raised its athletic program profile when it became an NCAA Division II member in 2008 and concurrently joined the SIAC. Claflin sponsors men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, and men’s and women’s cross-country. A tradition of excellence describes Claflin’s athletic history.

A plethora of championship trophies and banners adorn the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center, the University’s indoor athletic facility. Since joining the SIAC, Claflin has won volleyball, baseball, softball and men’s basketball championships. An impressive number of student-athletes have won top individual honors, including an Olympic qualifier.

“It is my pleasure to welcome Claflin University’s administration, student-athletes, staff, alumni, and fans to the CIAA,” said Jacqie McWilliams, CIAA Commissioner. “The institution is a fit for our conference based on their location within our demographic region and commitment to sponsoring sports programs that bring competitive and championship growth in the CIAA. They will expand our footprint into the South Carolina market and reinforce our commitment to the student-athlete experience and employ strategies that engage alumni and fans within the region to support our mission and vision.

“The CIAA is committed to sponsoring a range of male and female sports programs that bring competitive and championship growth within the conference and to the regions that all our participating schools represent,” said CIAA board of directors Chair and Fayetteville State University Chancellor Dr. James A. Anderson. “The CIAA will seek to sponsor additional men’s sports like baseball and tennis to maintain a healthy number of automatic qualifications. The addition of Claflin University allows the conference to facilitate this goal while expanding our geographical footprint.”
“This is a new day for Claflin University,” President Tisdale said. “We look forward to continuing our success in athletics with all the administrative support we can provide. Our student-athletes deserve nothing less.”

Claflin University is a comprehensive institution of higher education affiliated with The United Methodist Church. A historically black University founded in 1869, Claflin is committed to providing students with access to exemplary educational opportunities in its undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs. With a record enrollment of 2,100 students, Claflin is a diverse and inclusive community of students, faculty, staff and administrators who work to cultivate practical wisdom, judgment, knowledge, skills and character needed for globally engaged citizenship and effective leadership. For more information on Claflin, visit

Founded in 1912, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is the first African American athletic conference and one of the most recognized conferences in Division II. The CIAA conducts 14 championships attended by more than 150,000 fans from around the country. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the CIAA is governed by the Presidents and Chancellors of its 12 member-institutions: Bowie State University, Chowan University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Livingstone College, Saint Augustine’s University, Shaw University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University and Winston-Salem State University.

Courtesy: Claflin Athletics


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