Monday, October 3, 2016

bc_news_20161003_payton_benjamin_fColumbia, SC -- October 3, 2016 -- The Benedict College Family joins the Tuskegee University and the entire HBCU Family in mourning the passing of Dr. Benjamin F. Payton. He was the tenth president of Benedict College from 1967 to1972. Dr. Payton died Wednesday, September 28, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida at the age of 83.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, October 9, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. in the Tuskegee University Chapel. The family hour will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at Peoples Funeral Home in Tuskegee, Alabama.

In 1967, at the age of 34, Dr. Benjamin F. Payton became the youngest person to be elected President of Benedict College. He was recognized as one of America’s bright new leaders and traveled the country giving speeches on education. As the news of Dr. Payton’s election as President, many letters, telegrams, and wires flood the Benedict College Public Relations Office. One message from the Dr. Robert Evans Davis, Executive Director of the American Baptist Board of Education and Publication stated, “This is a great day for Benedict. We have as our president one of the most influential young men in America.” Four years ago, Dr. Payton returned to Benedict College to give the keynote address for the 142nd Spring Commencement Ceremony on May 5, 2012.

After nearly 30 years of exemplary service and extraordinary accomplishments, Dr. Benjamin F. Payton, the fifth President of Tuskegee University, retired June 30, 2010. Dr. Payton is credited with leading a makeover of the learning environment at Tuskegee University. During his tenure, the University added the General Daniel "Chappie" James Center for Aerospace Engineering and Health Education, the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care, and the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. More than $300 million has been invested in student scholarships and campus infrastructure. At the same time, the university's endowment grew from $15 million to more than $102 million.

Survivors include one son, Mark Steven (Christiane) Payton; one daughter, Deborah Elizabeth Payton; four grandchildren, Danielle Marie, Maya Elizabeth, William Isaac and Nicholas Warren Payton; and three brothers and three sisters. He was preceded in death by his wife, Thelma Plane Payton, in 2013, and by two of his brothers, Leroy Oscar Payton and James Israel Payton, in 1998 and 1999, respectively.

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

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