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Civil Rights Historian Dr. Bobby Donaldson To Give The Keynote Address for the 149th Commencement Ceremony at Benedict College

Graduation will take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 11th

at the Charlie W. Johnson Stadium

COLUMBIA, SC – May 3, 2019 – Benedict College President, Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis announced that Civil Rights Historian, Dr. Bobby Donaldson will give the keynote address during the 149th Commencement ceremony that will take place on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.

“The Benedict College family is delighted to welcome Dr. Donaldson to campus. His tireless efforts to preserve the African American Civil Rights experience in South Carolina is worthy of celebration,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO of Benedict College. “His body of work in a life dedicated to research, education, and preservation represents The BEST of BC!”

A native of Augusta, Georgia, Dr. Bobby Donaldson serves as an Associate Professor of History and is the Director of the Center for Civil Rights History and Research at the University of South Carolina-Columbia. He received his undergraduate degree in History and African American Studies from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and his Ph.D. in American History from Emory University.

Professor Donaldson’s teaching and scholarship examine southern history and African American life and culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Presently, he serves as the lead scholar and director for the Columbia SC 63, a documentary project that examines the struggle for civil rights and social justice in Columbia and around the state of South Carolina. Dr. Donaldson and his research team have chronicled Benedict College’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, they have showcased images and documents in a Ponder Gallery exhibition and during Benedict College’s longstanding African American history tele-conference.

During Dr. Donaldson’s academic career, he served as a Benjamin E. Mays-Andrew Mellon Fellow, as an editorial assistant for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Emory and Stanford universities, as a Thurgood Marshall Dissertation Fellow and visiting Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College, and as a Fellow of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University.

Hailed as a “Rising Star” by the University of South Carolina’s Office of Research, he received the campus’ distinguished Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2010, the John N. Gardner Inspirational Faculty Award in 2015, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Justice Award in 2016. In 2017, he was awarded the Stephen Morrison Visionary Award by the One Columbia for Arts & History Organization. In 2018, he received the South Carolina Governor’s Award in Historic Preservation and the South Carolina Governor’s Humanities Award. In 2019, Dr. Donaldson’s teaching, research, and community engagement were recognized by the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Dr. Donaldson’s memberships include the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, the South Carolina Archives and History Commission, the editorial board of the University of South Carolina Press, the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, the South Caroliniana Society, the NAACP, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees.

He and his wife Elise are the proud parents of Ruby (age twelve) and Joseph (age eight).

Benedict College

Benedict College will be a leader in providing transformative learning experiences for a diverse student body, defined by superior cultural, and professional competencies that are nurtured and developed by faculty, staff, and stakeholders who value innovation, customer service, community, and industry engagement.
Founded in 1870, Benedict College is approaching its 150 years of providing high quality academic programs to students who desire to pursue their program of study in a diverse academic environment.

Benedict College offers its students transformative academic programs, in an innovative, technology enhanced, student focused, culturally sensitive learning environment. The College is committed to preparing students to enter the global marketplace with exceptional cultural and professional competencies that will enable them to contribute to the sustainability and economic growth of their communities.

Benedict offers 25 high-demand academic programs, including, Computer Science, Engineering, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Biology and Education.

In addition to its academic programs, Benedict College is home to the standard-setting Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) program that is strategically designed to prepare Benedict College students for success in a rapidly changing, highly competitive and technology driven workplace. CPI’s mission is to transform student scholars into focused, highly skilled critical thinkers, who are experts in their field of study and, more importantly, are intellectually adept and resilient enough to assume jobs that do not yet exist!

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