Benedict College was founded in 1870 and began as a teacher’s college. The American Baptist Home Mission Society along with a $13,000 donation from Mrs. Bathsheba Benedict, founded Benedict College. Mrs. Bathsheba Benedict and the American Baptist Home Mission Society’s goal was to educate emancipated African Americans and produce citizens who were to be “powers for good in society”. Using the mansion of a former slaveholder as Benedict College’s first campus, students were able to learn about the Bible, grammar and theology. They soon began to train Teachers and Preachers. In 1930, John J. Starks, a graduate of Benedict College became the first African American President president. Benedict College now has over 17,000 alumni around the world and offers 33 baccalaureate degree programs. The Benedict College football team made a return in 1995 after a 30 year hiatus. The campus has continued to excel in the arts, sports and academically.
Notable Alumni Include: Politician, Alma W. Byrd; leader of African American public health reform, social reform and the civil rights movement in South Carolina, Modjeska Monteith Simkins; and the first black president of the United States Olympic Committee, LeRoy T. Walker