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Benedict commencement speaker champions the college’s civil rights role

(Published in The State  – May 21, 2019)

Bobby Donaldson was the keynote speaker for the Benedict College graduation ceremony on Saturday at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.

Donaldson is the head of the Center for Civil Rights History, housed in the Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina, and the lead scholar and director of the Columbia SC63.

The civil rights historian and his research team have chronicled Benedict College’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.

“I’m humbled by being recognized by Benedict College,” says Donaldson, who will be conferred the Doctor of Letters during the 149th commencement ceremony.

Preparing for his keynote speech, Donaldson reflected on the significant role Benedict College played in the civil rights struggle in Columbia, and in forging African America life and culture in the community.

“Benedict College has been an integral part of the city and South Carolina,” Donaldson says. His address focused on “the legacy of Benedict College, the phenomenal people there and the impact they have made on the City of Columbia.”

Benedict College awarded more than 190 degrees on Saturday.

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