TheBESTofBC Staff Leads Leandra Hayes Burgess 3
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Leandra Hayes-Burgess Selected to be a part of the US Delegation for the Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE)

ACE is the Premier Economic Development, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Network of the Americas 

1516843525784Columbia, SCMay 9, 2023– Benedict College proudly announced today that Leandra Hayes-Burgess, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, has been selected to be part of the Delegation from the United States to attend the Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE) hosted by the United States in Seattle in May 2023.  ACE is the premier economic development, innovation, and entrepreneurial network of the Americas and is one of the leading high–level events of the Organization of American States that is coordinated with the Government of the United States via the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Commerce.  

“I congratulate Vice President Burgess on being selected as one of the top 50 senior-level leaders in America to participate in an extraordinary opportunity with other world leaders, said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO of Benedict College. “She is the perfect person to represent the College at a program that explores innovation hubs, public-private partnerships, and entrepreneurship ecosystems.” 

The ACE program brings together up to 50 senior-level government, business, policy, and economic decision-makers from across the Americas and beyond to experience a diverse range of projects first-hand. The week-long program features a tour of innovation hubs, advanced technology centers, leading firms, and educational and research institutions. They will also explore local, regional, urban, and rural economic development models and share their experiences. The purpose is to build networks among the local and visiting stakeholders to enhance innovation and competitiveness in the Americas.


About Benedict College (

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution, offering 26 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. The College also has a diverse faculty and importantly, 80 percent of courses are taught by full-time faculty. 

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 was listed among the top half of ranked HBCUs in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges by US News and World Report

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

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