Morris College was founded in 1908 by the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina to provide educational opportunities for Negro students in response to the historical denial of access to the existing educational system. Today, under the continued ownership of its founding body, the College opens its doors to a culturally and geographically diverse student body, typically from the Southeast and Northeast regions.
A school for the newly emancipated people, founded in 1870 as the Benedict Institute by the American Baptist Home Mission Society and named for Bathsheba A. Benedict of Rhode Island, who provided $13,000 for its establishment. Established to train teachers and ministers, the school expanded its curriculum in 1894, chartered it as a liberal arts college, and changed its name to Benedict College. Not until 1930, however, did Benedict have an African-American president. The college continues to be affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Education and Missionary Convention and the American Baptist Churches, USA. The school offers 25 major areas of study to its approximately 3,000 students.
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