Historically Black Claflin University Aims to Become a Science Powerhouse

Recently a new $5 million, 14,000-square-foot molecular science research center opened its doors on the campus of Claflin University, a historically black educational institution in Orangeburg. The new center is being showcased to recruit black students and research faculty to the university. The center is currently conducting research for the Department of Defense to develop a procedure for decontaminating mustard gas.

Since 2000 the number of biology department faculty at the university has increased fourfold from five to 20. The university currently graduates more black students in the hard sciences than Clemson University.

Claflin offers a nurturing environment for its students majoring in science disciplines. Students intending to major in the sciences at Claflin are encouraged to attend a summer bridge program after they graduate from high school where they would study with mentors in courses such as calculus and chemistry. In the fall, students in the sciences who receive below a grade of C are required to attend supplemental education classes three nights a week.