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Benedict College is one of eight HBCUs in the great state of South Carolina. On November 2, 1894, the school was officially chartered as a liberal arts college after originally serving as a learning institution for recently emancipated Black people.

With the help of the American Baptist Home Mission Society and philanthropist Bathsheba A. Benedict, the Benedict Institute opened its doors on December 12, 1870 in Columbia. The school’s initial aim was to train teachers and preachers, with the state legislature moving to the charter the school in 1894 as a college.

From 1870 to 1930, Benedict College was led primarily by White Baptist ministers from the north. On April 10, 1930, Rev. John J. Starks was named the school’s first Black president. Today, the school boasts over 2,200 students and is led by Dr. Roslyn Clark Artist.

Benedict College faculty and alumni are in mourning after the passing of longtime administrator and former Zeta Phi Beta president Barbara C. Moore. Ms. Moore worked for over four decades at her alma mater, and served as the president for ZPB from 2002 to 2008. In a piece published by local outlet The State, it was said that Moore’s top mission was to empower students at Benedict, especially young women who attended the school.

PHOTO: Benedict College


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Little Known Black History Fact: Benedict College  was originally published on