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Date: Nov 30, 2009
President Rabinowitz honored by Claflin University
Receives honorary degree at 140th Founders’ Day Convocation
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Three years after launching a faculty exchange with Claflin University in South Carolina, Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz received an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from the historically black institution as part of its 140th Founders’ Day Convocation.
President Rabinowitz was awarded the honorary degree by Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale during a ceremony at the Orangesburg, South Carolina school on Nov. 22, 2009. In June, Tisdale received an honorary doctorate from Hofstra during its Honors Convocation.
In his convocation address, Rabinowitz noted that while Hofstra and Claflin seem quite different, the institutions have much in common, and both presidents have followed a similar path.
Both presidents have established Honors colleges, built new facilities, added majors and graduate programs, and pursued additional national accreditations. Rabinowitz also pointed out that diversity and understanding have been founding principles at each institution. As a historically black university, Claflin from its inception in 1869 was the first higher education institution in South Carolina open to all students, regardless of race, class or gender. Hofstra, meanwhile, awarded Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. an honorary degree in 1965, and was among the first campuses in the nation to be fully accessible to the disabled.
“To those who don’t know either of our institutions well, the differences in our culture, in size and scope, and in location may seem vast and thus unlikely to result in a flourishing partnership,” Rabinowitz said. “Nothing could be further from the truth, for what those observers would have overlooked is that we both ascribe to the same core values and to the same mission – we are both guided by the same commitment to academic excellence, not academic competence.”
“I could not be more proud,” he said, “than to be an honorary alumnus of the great Claflin University.”
Hofstra and Claflin began a faculty exchange program in 2006. So far, three Claflin professors have taught at Hofstra, and three Hofstra faculty members have spent a semester teaching at Claflin. The two schools will begin a student exchange program in the spring of 2011, in which students from each school will spend a semester studying at the partner institution.
“You are witnessing the evolution of this relationship,” Tisdale said. “Imagine the possibilities. Claflin students and faculty will have a clear path to the tremendous opportunities at Hofstra, and their students will experience opportunities at Claflin as well. This is the beginning of what will be a great partnership and friendship.”
Claflin University, a co-educational, independent, liberal arts university affiliated with the United Methodist Church, is located in Orangesburg, South Carolina, about 75 miles west of Charleston. Founded in 1869, Claflin has a total student enrollment of about 1,800.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 150 undergraduate and more than 160 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business; engineering; communication; education, health and human services; and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 22 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. Hofstra offers a faculty whose highest priority is teaching excellence. The University also provides excellent facilities with state-of-the-art technology, extensive library resources and internship programs that match students’ interests and abilities with appropriate companies and organizations. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.
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