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Benedict College Selected as a Recipient of the Propel Impact Grant

Benedict is one of only 15 HBCUs to Receive Funding Through the $3 Million Impact Grants Made Possible as a part of Apple’s Nationwide Investment In Racial Equity and Justice and its Support of the Propel Center,  An Innovation and Learning HBCU Collaboration

Columbia, SC, January 21, 2021 – The Propel Center is committed to advancing equity in education by serving as a global leadership and innovation hub for HBCUs.  The Center recently announced the 15 institutions selected to receive $3 million collectively for their stellar Impact grant submissions centered around Agri-tech and Arts & Entertainment initiatives. Benedict plans to utilize the grant to build capacity for the diverse, vibrant and inclusive community it serves.   

“We are very appreciative of The Propel Center for the opportunity to share the Benedict story,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO of Benedict College. “We look forward to amplifying Propel’s Arts and Entertainment articulated goal of diversifying the entertainment industry by creating a pipeline for Black and other underrepresented students. We sincerely thank Propel for supporting our mission of developing superior cultural and professional competencies for our diverse student body.”

Benedict’s project centers around creation of a  groundbreaking Student Graphic Novel.  The novel will construct a world with strong fictional characters that build a narrative to support the College’s mission.  It will focus on the transformative learning experiences of HBCU students with career interests in music, video, and visual arts. The project will enhance and bring together the College’s academic areas of Music Industry, Mass Communication, and Studio Art.  The innovative project will provide students with opportunities to create channels for diversity and to assist Black students desiring to enter career pathways in Music Marketing, Film & TV Production, and Fine Arts.

“We were blown away by the innovation in the projects these institutions presented, and we are super excited about the tremendous expansion and exposure the students at these institutions will gain from their involvement in these groundbreaking initiatives,” revealed Dr. Cortney Harris, Vice President of Impact and Engagement at Propel.

Upon careful consideration of the 44 impressive proposals submitted, the Propel Center named in addition to Benedict College, Jackson State University, Prairie View A & M University, Wiley College, Bishop State Community College, Miles College, Bethune Cookman University, Simmons College of Kentucky, and Edward Waters University were chosen for funding focused on the Arts. Likewise, the University of the District of Columbia, Morehouse School of Medicine, Delaware State University Foundation, Alabama State University, Southern University Agricultural Research & Extension Center, and the Southern University Law Center as the five finalists to be awarded Agri-tech grants.

“We believe all students should have access to the tools, resources, and opportunities to change the world,” said Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple. “The HBCU community is full of creativity and vision, and we’re proud to support new programming and pathways to drive meaningful change through the Propel Impact Grants. ”

About Benedict College

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution, offering 25 competitive baccalaureate degree programs. The Midlands HBCU welcomes students from all 46 counties in South Carolina, 30 states across America, and 26 countries around the world. 

Benedict offers several high-demand fields of study in STEM, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, and Education. The College also has a diverse faculty and importantly, 80 percent of courses are taught by full-time faculty. 

There are over 18,000 proud Benedict Tigers throughout the nation. Benedict College has been a community leader for over 150-years and is a significant contributor to South Carolina and the region. Contributing $130 million and 1,218 jobs in total local and annual economic impact, a Benedict graduate working full-time throughout his or her working life can expect to earn $1.1 million in additional income because of their Benedict College degree. 

The College made front-page news in the spring of 2018 when it became the first South Carolina college to lower its tuition by 26 percent. Cutting tuition drew praise from the Commission on Higher Education, South Carolina’s education oversight body. The commissioner noted that the move Benedict College made should be applauded because it offers families affordability and students greater access to higher education. 

Benedict College has been highly regarded and exceptionally ranked for its programs by several academic and traditional publications.  For example, Benedict College was ranked as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine for creating social mobility and producing cutting-edge scholarship and research.  In 2019, Benedict College received the 2019 ACE/ Fidelity Investments Awards for Institutional Transformation and was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest

Benedict College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Five of the College’s degree programs hold national accreditation: The School of Education, Social Work Program, Environmental Health Science Program, Studio Art Program, and the Tyrone Adam Burroughs School of Business and Entrepreneurship. 

About the Propel Center

The Propel Center is a first-of-its-kind innovation and learning hub for the entire HBCU community that leverages technology to advance education equity and transform the nation’s talent pipeline and workforce. Through a robust virtual learning platform, on-campus activations at partner institutions and a physical campus to be located in Georgia’s Atlanta University Center, Propel represents education now, designed for the future. The state-of-the-art edifice, featuring floating classrooms, ideation labs and common areas promoting interactive collaboration is slated for completion in the Spring of 2023. To learn more, visit



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