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Office of Communications and Marketing

Press Release

Benedict College to Hold Celebration
in Honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 10, 2008

Columbia, SC--January 10, 2008--Dr. Christopher Leevy Johnson, Managing Director of Leevy's Funeral Home in Columbia, South Carolina, will be the keynote speaker at Benedict College's 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration. The event will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 in the Antisdel Chapel on the College's campus with musical selections by Benedict College Concert Choir. The free program, which is open to the public, will be a time to remember the fight for freedom, equality, and dignity of all races and people.

The celebration, co-sponsored by the Religious Services Department and Office of Student Leadership Development, commemorates the life and legacy of a man whose dream continues to bring hope and healing to our nation. On this day, the College will pay tribute to the universal love, forgiveness and non-violence that embodied the peaceful spirit of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A native of Columbia, SC, Dr. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from University of North Carolina and a Master's Degree in American History as well as a Ph.D. in American History with a concentration in African-American Religion from the University of South Carolina. He also attended Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science, graduating with an Associate's Degree in Mortuary Science.

Currently, Dr. Johnson also serves as an Adjunct Professor of African-American History in the African-American Studies Program at the University of South Carolina.

A fourth generation funeral director, he is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. He provides continuing educational seminars on the national, regional, and state level for the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association. An ordained Baptist minister, Dr. Johnson was licensed to preach the gospel at the Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia, South Carolina, where Reverend Charles B. Jackson, Sr. is the pastor, and ordained by the Gethsemane Baptist Association of the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina.

Dr. Johnson is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. His community service activities include Board of Directors for the Brookland Foundation; Board of Directors for the Columbia Community Development Foundation; Board of Directors for the Central Carolina Community Advisors; and Board of Advisors for Junior League of Columbia.

He is married to the former Ms. Cynthia Richardson.

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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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