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'Claflin’s forever first lady': Tisdale Memorial Gardens honors the late Alice Carson Tisdale

Mrs. Alice Carson Tisdale served as Claflin's first lady for 25 years and was the founding director of the honors college named in her honor.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Claflin University on Friday honored the life and legacy of former First Lady Mrs. Alice Carson Tisdale, who died in July 2020.

Tisdale served as its first lady for 25 years and founding director of the honors college named in her honor.

“We say our last goodbyes to Alice Carson Tisdale, Claflin’s forever first lady," said former university president Dr. Henry Tisdale.

Dr. Monica Greene is the current honors college director and one of Tisdale's former students.

“To watch how she just focused on the holistic student, not just academics, but academics, community service, leadership development," Greene said. "So, she created that framework so we could be a whole student not just focused on our academics."

RELATED: Claflin University, students, alumni mourn the passing of former first lady Alice Carson Tisdale

Greene says she's keeping Tisdale's memory alive in her current role as honors college director by empowering her students to achieve greatness. 

Christoph McFadden was a student in the honors college toward the end of Tisdale's tenure.

“Before the academic excellence, she instituted a family within us so that we could hold each other accountable and that transformed my experience," said McFadden.

Now, her memory will live on through the newly dedicated Tisdale Memorial Gardens. The ceremony ended with a reading of "Oh the Places You'll Go,' by Dr. Seuss. According to McFadden, this was a story she used to read to graduating seniors every year.

“I have gone to study at Harvard and at Yale and those were things beyond my purview as a student in 2016 and now the places I’ve gone and continue to go, I think that’s her legacy.”

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