Accomplished educator, leader to speak at Livingstone winter commencement

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 11, 2014

By Laurie D. Willis

Livingstone College News Service

SALISBURY – Benedict College President Dr. David H. Swinton will deliver the keynote address at Livingstone College’s Winter Commencement, which begins at 10 a.m. Friday in Varick Auditorium.

Friday’s Conferring of Degrees ceremony will mark the second time Livingstone College has held commencement in December. About 45 students are expected to graduate.

Swinton became Benedict College president in 1994 and has overseen the accreditation of seven schools and programs. Additionally, he has renovated and refurbished all existing campus facilities and acquired more than 120 acres for campus use. He oversaw construction or acquisition of new campus facilities, including Benedict’s athletic complexes, six residence halls and a dozen other new buildings. He also led redevelopment of the neighborhood immediately surrounding the college, located in Columbia, S.C.

Born in New Haven, Conn., Swinton received a bachelor’s degree in economics from New York University in 1968, a master’s degree in economics in 1971 and a Ph.D. in economics in 1975, both from Harvard University. He has been director of the Southern Center of Studies in Public Policy at the former Clark College in Atlanta, and dean of the School of Business at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.

Swinton has published articles in the National Urban League’s “The State of Black America” and in journals including “American Economics Review,” “Journal of Urban Analysis” and “The Review of Black Political Economy.” He has provided expert testimony on African-American economic issues on local and national levels, and in 1998 he became the first African-American chairman of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Swinton has served as an economic adviser to the National Urban League and as a member of the Board of Economists of “Black Enterprise” magazine. Additionally, he has served on and been chairman of many nonprofit boards.

Throughout his illustrious career, Swinton has received numerous awards and honors, including the National Education Association’s Samuel Z. Westerfield Award, the ΦВΣ Lifetime Achievement Award in Education, Order of the Palmetto and induction into the S.C. Black Hall of Fame.

Swinton served as the primary negotiator for Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the 2014 title IV Issues for the U.S. Department of Education and as Chairman of the United Negro College Fund member presidents.

Swinton is married to Patricia Lewis Swinton, an accomplished educator. The couple has six children and 16 grandchildren.

The public is invited.