Located within walking distance of downtown Columbia, South Carolina,Benedict Collegeis a private four-year, co-educational, liberal arts college affiliated withthe American Baptist Churches, USA. BenedictCollege was founded in 1870 by Rhode Island native Mrs.Bathsheba Benedict and the Baptist Home Mission. Its long-term goal was to educate emancipatedAfrican Americans and produce citizens with "powers for good in society." Originally called Benedict Institute, onNovember 2, 1894, through a charter granted by the SouthCarolina legislature, the institution became a liberal artscollege and changed its name to BenedictCollege. From 1870 until 1930 Benedict was led bynorthern white Baptist ministers, but in April 1930 Reverend John J. Starksbecame the first African American president of the college. Starks was a Benedict alumnus, class of1891.
BenedictCollegeis currently one of the fastest growing of the 39 United Negro College Fundschools. Amongst the twenty independent colleges in the state of South Carolina, Benedictwith 2,770 students, has the largest undergraduate enrollment, and the secondlargest enrollment overall. On twooccasions Money magazine has namedBenedict among the top seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities(HBCU"s) nationally that offer the best value in American education. BenedictCollege has also beenrecognized by the Knight Foundation for its "commitment to high standards ofquality in education" and for its "distinguished record of providingeducational opportunities to African-American students."
Today, BenedictCollege offers courses inbusiness, government, social and health services, public and private schoolinstruction, and in the civic, cultural, religious, and scientific fields. According to a recentsurvey conducted by the American Institute of Physics, Benedictranks second in the nation in producing African American physics majors. Ofthe 2,700 students attending Benedict during the 2008-2009 academic year, 97%attended full time, 55% were from South Carolina,69% lived