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Benedict College

Benedict College

Location: Columbia, South Carolina
School Size: 2,641 undergraduate students
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Bathsheba A. Benedict founded Benedict College in 1870. It is a private co-educational liberal arts college with over 1,700 students enrolled in 26 baccalaureate degree programs. Benedict College was founded 152 years ago by the American Baptist Home Mission Society. Mrs. Benedict of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was Benedict's first philanthropist, donating $13,000 to purchase an 80-acre plantation near Columbia, South Carolina, to establish a new school for newly freed African-Americans. The Benedict Institute, housed in a former enslaver's mansion, was found to prepare men and women to be "forces for good in society," as its founder put it. On November 2, 1894, the South Carolina Legislature chartered the institution as a liberal arts college, and the name "Benedict Institute" was officially changed to "Benedict College." Since its inception, Benedict College has been led by a succession of northern white Baptist ministers and educators. However, 1930 marked the start of a run of African-American male presidents that lasted until June 30, 2017, when Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis was unanimously elected as the 14th President of Benedict College by the Benedict College Board of Trustees. She is the fourteenth President of the college and the first female in its 152-year history.

 

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