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Published on February 9th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Dr. David Swinton: 20 Years President of Benedict College

In celebration of Dr. David H. Swinton 20 years of dedicated service to Benedict College, the College is hosting several events in his honor throughout the 2015 academic year.

David Holmes Swinton is a distinguished educator, well-respected economist and a community leader. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Swinton moved to Timmonsville, SC with his family as a young child. His stellar career in economics, community development, and education began with dedicated study and academic preparation. After graduating from New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, he was awarded a Master of Arts degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics from Harvard University.

His professional experience includes a seven year tenure as Dean of the School of Business at Jackson State University where he led successful efforts to gain AACSB national accreditation for the Business School. Prior to his Jackson State University appointment, he was Director of the Southern Center of Studies in Public Policy and Professor of Economics at Clark Atlanta University.

In 1994, Swinton was elected the 13th president of Benedict College. Enrollment at the 145-year Institution has more than doubled since his arrival. Under his tenure, the College has received seven national academic accreditations for its schools and programs. He led the successful movement to return the Tiger football program after a 29-year absence, revived the marching band, and spearheaded the reaffirmation of accreditation of the College by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools through 2021.

Swinton was recently appointed to be a primary negotiator for 2014 Title IV Integrity and Improvement Issues by the US Department of Education. He was the first African American Chairman of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce Board, is currently the Chairman of the Member Presidents of the UNCF, and helped organize investors to keep the only minority-owned bank in South Carolina from closing its doors.

His honors and awards include Phi Beta Kappa, Coat of Arms Society, Honors in Economics from New York University, Ford Foundation Fellow, Graduate Prize Fellowship from Harvard, and the Order of the Palmetto. He is a recipient of the Samuel Z. Westerfield Award from the National Economic Association of African American Economists, a 2013 recipient of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity distinguished President’s Award and was inducted into of the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame. Dr. Swinton is married to the former Patricia Lewis. They are proud parents of six adult children and grandparents of 15 grandchildren.

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