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On-air Political Analyst and Cable Newsroom Veteran Tiffany D. Cross will be the Keynote Speaker at the 151st Commencement Convocation

Commencement Ceremony will be held 7:00 p.m., Saturday, May 8th at the Charlie W. Johnson Stadium

COLUMBIA, SC., April 28, 2021, Ms. Tiffany D. Cross will be the keynote speaker for the 151st Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 8th at the Charlie W. Johnson Stadium. Tiffany D. Cross is an on-air political analyst and cable newsroom veteran. She is the author of  Say It Louder: Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving Our Democracy (Amistad/HarperCollins). Cross is Resident Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics (Spring 2020). Her broad experience across media, politics, and policy includes more than two decades of navigating newsrooms and campaigns while engaging different constituencies on the ground. Currently, Cross hosts The Cross Connection on MSNBC, which airs on Saturdays.

“We are excited to welcome a fellow HBCU alumna who brings a broad experience across media and policy along with two decades of navigating the nation’s capital,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO of Benedict College. “Ms. Cross’ unique insight and ability to connect with her audience makes her the perfect speaker to address the Class of 2021.”

Cross previously served as the DC Bureau Chief of BET News and the Liaison to the Obama Administration for BET Networks where she covered Capitol Hill, produced political specials, and oversaw the daily operations of the news department. She cut her teeth in media at CNN where she worked as an Associate Producer covering Capitol Hill for the network’s weekend show unit. Cross also previously served as a Field Producer for America’s Most Wanted and Discovery Communications.

No stranger to the campaign trail, she not only covered campaigns but worked on them as well. She has lent her expertise to numerous local, state, and federal candidates as well as issue campaigns across the country. Serving as a senior advisor to one of the country’s largest labor organizations, one of Cross’ many tentacles was organizing all communities of color on both a local and national level. Using her media background, Cross has helped shape the narrative around issues, individuals, and ideologies.

Leaving the campaign stump, she transitioned from the control room to the green room when she co-founded The Beat DC, a national platform intersecting politics, policy, business, media, and people of color. With a readership comprising influencers across the country, Cross led a team that made the fast-moving current affairs in a busy legislative climate digestible for the political connoisseur and novice alike. She quickly became a sought-after voice in the progressive discourse and is a frequent guest on MSNBC, CNN, and SiriusXM.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Cross left at a young age and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. She attended Clark Atlanta University where she studied Mass Communications with an emphasis on radio, TV, and film. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Additional Information:  Each graduate may RSVP to have two guests attend the ceremony. RSVPs are required to attend the ceremony. Please visitwww.benedict.edu/commencement/ for rsvp information. Face masks are required, and Covid-19 safety measures will be observed and practiced during the ceremony.  Those who are unable to attend are invited to participate virtually on www.benedict.edu/livestream, Benedict College Official Facebook page, or the Benedict College YouTube channel.

The stadium gates will open at 5:00 p.m. for graduates and registered guests. Graduates and guests will be given temperature checks and assigned designated seats upon arrival to the stadium.  For health and safety reasons, all hooding and/or pinning elements of the ceremony will be contactless and involve graduates hooding and/or pinning themselves. Social distancing will be practiced throughout the ceremony.

About Benedict College

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution, offering 25 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. 

Benedict offers several high-demand fields of study in STEM, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, and Education. The College also has a diverse faculty and importantly, 80 percent of courses are taught by full-time faculty. 

There are over 18,000 proud Benedict Tigers throughout the nation. Benedict College has been a community leader for over 150-years and is a significant contributor to South Carolina and the region. Contributing $130 million and 1,218 jobs in total local and annual economic impact, a Benedict graduate working full-time throughout his or her working life can expect to earn $1.1 million in additional income because of their Benedict College degree. 

The College made front-page news in the spring of 2018 when it became the first South Carolina college to lower its tuition by 26 percent. Cutting tuition drew praise from the Commission on Higher Education, South Carolina’s education oversight body. The commissioner noted that the move Benedict College made should be applauded because it offers families affordability and students greater access to higher education. 

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

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