Friday, April 25, 2008

To Deliver Commencement Address

Columbia, SC--April 25, 2008-The Benedict College's Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2008 will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, 2008, at the Charlie W. Johnson Stadium located at Read Street and Two Notch Road in Columbia, South Carolina. Benedict College will confer more than 200 baccalaureate degrees during the Commencement Convocation.

Representative Joseph H. Neal, Representative of District 70, will deliver the Commencement Address. Rep. Neal is a graduate of Benedict College. He studied at the Colgate School of Divinity, Rochester, NY, and continued his studies at the Pittsburgh Theology School, Pittsburgh, PA. He has done further study at the University of South Carolina.

Presently, Representative Neal is employed as a Senior Consultant for New Horizons Systems of Columbia, a multi-service consortium for personnel management training and development of customized software applications. He has worked as an instructor in Richland School District I, Counselor for the Department of Juvenile Justice; Personnel Recruiter for Fluor-Daniel Engineering Co.; and as a Recruitment Program Manager for the State Budget and Control Board, Division of Human Resource Management.

Representative Neal is in his eighth term as the Representative from District 70, in the South Carolina House of Representatives. In the House, he served as First Vice Chairman of the Medical, Military and Municipal Affairs committee, which is responsible for legislation affecting the Department of Social Services, Department of Corrections, Mental Health and Mental Retardation. He is past Vice Chairman of the House Task Force for Consumer Finance Reform and the past Vice Chairman of the House Task Force for Welfare Reform.

Representative Neal serves on the Ways and Means Committee, the Education Over Sight Committee and Rules Committee. Rep. Neal is a past chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. He also serves as the assistant Democratic Leader for the South Carolina House of Representatives. Throughout his career, Rep. Neal has sponsored numerous pieces of legislation for improving the quality of life for all people. Rep. Neal presently continues his battle to end racial profiling in SC. Rep. Neal was responsible for the introduction and passage of South Carolina's first anti-racial profiling legislation that became law in the 2005 session.

His numerous affiliations include membership in the following: Member, NAACP; Member, Moving Forward Community Group, Lower Richland Water Authority, and Lower Richland Community Council, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is serving as Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Chester, SC. He is the founder of the Area Communities in Economic Development, a community development organization and the Rural Sumter Communities for Economic Development also a non-profit corporation.



Kymm Hunter, Communications and Marketing Director; 803.705.4519
Carolyn Wigfall, Communications and Marketing Manager; 803.705.4366