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Benedict College has named its first woman president in the historically black college’s 147-year existence.

Roslyn Clark Artis becomes Benedict’s 14th president as of Sept. 1, the college in downtown Columbia has announced. She succeeds David H. Swinton, who was president for 23 years.

She has a doctoral degree in higher education leadership and policy as well as a law degree, Benedict said in its statement about her hiring.

“Doctor Artis brings to the Midlands college an impressive mix of higher education and corporate experience,” Benedict wrote.

During her tenure at Florida Memorial College, where she became president in 2013, Artis is credited with expansion of the school’s online courses, development of new majors in high-demand fields, and oversaw the completion of a science annex, athletic facility and wellness center, Benedict said.

Unrestricted gifts to Florida Memorial rose by 20 percent year over year and restricted gifts jumped 38 percent, according to the announcement. Sponsored research increased climbed 22 percent.

Artis earned her doctorate from Vanderbilt University and her law degree from West Virginia University College of Law, Benedict stated. Her bachelor’s degree is from West Virginia State University.

Swinton, the longest serving president in Benedict’s history, announced his retirement in 2016.

Benedict College, a privately owned co-ed institution affiliated with the Baptist Church, has a student body of about 2,280 students.

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