Wednesday, September 2, 2015

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Columbia, SC -- September 2, 2015 -- Benedict College will official begin its academic year the traditional Fall Convocation, Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 11 a.m. in the Benejamin E. Mays Arena. The College will introduce over 700 new students to the Benedict Family. The members of the Class of 2019 hail from 30 states and 14 countries. Administrators credit the College’s outstanding recruitment efforts of the faculty and staff, and stellar academic offerings as some of the primary reasons for the large number of freshmen and transfer students.

A total of 707 first-time and full-time freshmen are enrolled this fall compared to 597 in the fall 2014, which represents an 18.2 percent increase. Overall enrollment (excluding College Credit Plus students) has risen by 2.4 percent, to 2510 students enrolled this year compared to 2450 one year ago.

“We are delighted to welcome a record number of exceptional students to our campus,” said Dr. David H. Swinton, President and CEO of Benedict College. “I am appreciative for the careful attention our faculty and staff provide day in and day out. That diligent attention attracts and retains great students. Our outstanding academic programs and our purposeful recruiting and retention strategies are clearly continuing to have an impact. Also, important is the fact that Benedict College sincerely cares about those it serves, and our enrollment increases are continuing to reflect that.”

Lanikan Edwards is among the new freshmen. The Reno, NV native and early childhood education major says, “I choose Benedict because I wanted to experience what it was like to live away from home. Benedict offered me a full scholarship and I like the services they offer to students.”

Edwards has been best friends with Zhane’ Williams since 7th grade and together they decided to attend Benedict College. Williams is a criminal justice major said she choose to come to Benedict because she felt like it was a great opportunity to reach her goals.

Donovan Summers, a business administration major from Brooklyn, NY, is a transfer student who said he chose Benedict, “for the simple fact in that his family there was no one who pursued and graduated from college.” He will be the first. He went on to say, “I have dedicated my life to finishing my college degree and Benedict has given me the opportunity to do so.”

Benedict College:

Founded in 1870, Benedict College is a private, co-educational liberal arts institution and currently has over 2,500 students enrolled in baccalaureate degree programs. Benedict College was recently ranked for the fifth consecutive year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015) as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly for creating social mobility among low-income students, producing cutting edge scholarship and research. Benedict has been recognized by the National Civic Engagement Award from The Washington Center for encouraging students to give back to the community which is the heart of the College’s vision and mission. In 2014, Benedict College earned four President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Awards from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency charged with improving lives, strengthening communities, and fostering civic engagement through service and volunteering. CNCS is responsible for leading President Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative. President Obama personally thanked Benedict College for its commitment to volunteerism during a nationally televised White House Town Hall Meeting held on Benedict’s campus on March 6, 2015.

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Contacts:
Kymm Hunter, Communications and Marketing Director; 803.705.4519 hunterk@benedict.edu
Carolyn Wigfall, Communications and Marketing Manager; 803.705.4366 wigfallc@benedict.edu

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