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Benedict College: Wikis


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Benedict College
Motto A Power for Good in Society
Established 1870
Type Private, HBCU
Religious affiliation American Baptist Churches USA
President David Swinton
Students 2,500
Location Columbia, South Carolina,
United States
Campus 110-acre (0.45 km2)
Former names Benedict Institute
Sports football
track and field
cross country
Colors Purple and Gold
Nickname Tigers-"Go Tigers"
Athletics NCAA Division II
Affiliations Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Benedict College is an historically black, liberal arts college located in Columbia, South Carolina. Founded in 1870 by northern Baptists, it was originally a teacher's college. It has since expanded into a four-year college.



Benedict College was founded in 1870 on an 110-acre (0.45 km2) plantation in Columbia, South Carolina. Under the auspices of the American Baptist Home Mission Society, Mrs. Bathsheba A. Benedict of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, provided the amount of $13,000.00 to purchase the land to open Benedict Institute on December 12, 1870. This new school was established for the recently emancipated people of African descent.

Benedict's first class consisted of ten recently emancipated people of African descent and one teacher, the Reverend Timothy L. Dodge, D.D. He was a college-trained preacher from the North, who became president of the Institute. Benedict Institute set out from humble beginnings in a dilapidated former slave master's mansion to prepare men and women to be "powers for good in society." The dilapadated mansion, built in 1839, served as the first schoolhouse where grammar school subjects, along with Bible and theology, were taught. Eventually other subjects were added to the curriculum to address the original objective of the school: to train teachers and preachers.

On November 2, 1894, the institution was chartered as a liberal arts college by the South Carolina Legislature and the name Benedict Institute was changed to Benedict College.

From 1870 to 1930, Benedict College was led by seven northern white Baptist ministers, all college trained. On April 10, 1930, the Reverend John J. Starks, who earned his bachelor's degree from the college in 1891, became the first African American president of the college. Five African-American presidents have succeeded him.

In 1994 with a strategic planning process in place, Benedict College set an enrollment goal of "2000 by the year 2000". The goal was achieved in 1996 with an enrollment of 2,138 students. The fall 2002 enrollment was 3,005. Benedict College is engaged in an on-going strategic planning process, which will guide the College in the twenty-first century.

The college is currently implementing a $50 million campus improvement plan, which includes land acquisition and the completion of a comprehensive athletics complex. Campus facilities improvements over the past nine years have included installation of air-conditioning, fire sprinkler systems, and security systems in residence halls; completion of an activities field and community park; renovation of historic Antisdel Chapel, Bacoats and Alumni Halls, and restoration of historic Morgan, Pratt, and Starks Halls, including the Student Leadership Development Center. During this period, new construction has included three residence halls, a parking garage, a campus center/dining hall, an Administration Building, and a Business Development Center. Additionally buildings were acquired to house a fitness center, and the Division of Community Development/Center for Excellence. Three apartment complexes have been purchased for student housing. As a part of the college's community development thrust, more than 50 dilapidated properties in the adjacent community have been renovated.


Maintaining a liberal arts tradition, Benedict College now offers bachelor degree programs in twenty-nine major areas of study to meet the needs of a complex and technological society at home and worldwide as the twenty-first century sets new parameters for peoples across the universe.

Benedict College, a fully accredited institution, is located in Columbia, SC (adjacent to Allen University). Benedict offers 29 degrees from 12 departments.[1][2]

Benedict College is ranked as one of the top producers of African American Physics majors in the United States.[3]

In addition to offering traditional education, the college also offers continuing education for those "non traditional students".

Benedict graduates 6 percent of its students in four years and 24 percent in six years, the most recent figures from the Education Department show.[4]



Benedict College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate degrees.

The Teacher Education Program is fully approved by the South Carolina Department of Education and the Program in Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The Environmental Health Science Program is fully accredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC).

Student activities


The Benedict College athletics department offers football, men and women's basketball, baseball, softball, track and field, cross country, golf, handball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, cheerleading, and marching band. The college has come under criticism for building a new stadium in the midst of its financial crisis.[citation needed]

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference
Jack B. Johnson County Executive for Prince George's County, MD
William Clay former Missouri U.S. Congressman
Leroy Walker former U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman
Howie Bell Comedian
Waliyy Dixon Professional streetball player
Kris Bruton Basketball player who currently plays with the Harlem Globetrotters


External links

Coordinates: 34°00′47″N 81°01′13″W / 34.012947°N 81.020345°W / 34.012947; -81.020345


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