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Published on April 4th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


President of Ray Charles Foundation to Speak at the Benedict College 2014 Annual Charter Day Scholarship Awards Dinner

Columbia, SC—Benedict College will host its 2014 Charter Day Scholarship Awards Dinner on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. The black tie optional event will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, SC and includes a reception, awards scholarship dinner, and musical entertainment. The reception starts at 6:30 p.m. with dinner following at 7:15 p.m.  The cost of the event is $150 per person.  The keynote speaker will be Ms. Valerie Ervin, President of the Ray Charles Foundation.


Valerie Ervin

Ms. Valerie Ervin has been at the command of the Ray Charles Foundation multi-million dollar organization since 1994. Prior to being the executive face of The Ray Charles Foundation, Valerie Ervin established her tenure with the organization by working closely alongside Ray Charles and being entrusted with every aspect of the organization prior to his death in 2004.

Ms. Ervin worked alongside Ray Charles for most of her adult professional career. She learned the value of hard work, determination, and perseverance from Ray Charles; she learned how to overcome challenges; she learned the value of integrity and persistence; learned the importance and value of reaching out to underprivileged communities and youth. She also learned the intricacies of the music business, personal relations, cultural diversity, and business integrity. Ray Charles taught her about the unlimited human potential and more specifically, how to tap the genius inherent in each person.

As the guardian of Ray Charles’ legacy, she has proven her commitment to carrying forward the vision and philanthropic mission set forth by Ray Charles. In addition, Ms. Ervin negotiates music contracts on behalf of the Foundation; she manages and oversees all commercial, business, marketing, and musical financial interest and revenues generated by and maintained by the foundation.

The Benedict College Charter Day Scholarship Awards Dinner is an annual event that commemorates the chartering of the institution by the South Carolina Legislature on November 2, 1894. Charter Day serves as a platform to provide financial assistance through scholarships to students who otherwise may not receive aid based on financial needs. The proceeds from this fund raising event will support scholarships for deserving students, and all contributions are tax deductible.

Tickets are available for purchase online at Please call (803) 705-4743 for additional information on the event. Many levels of sponsorship are available. If you are interested in being a sponsor, please contact Dr. Walletta Moore-Johnson (803) 705-4606.

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