Speaker: Bobby Donaldson

A native of Augusta, Georgia, Dr. Bobby Donaldson serves as an Associate Professor of History and the Executive Director of the Center for Civil Rights History and Research at the University of South Carolina-Columbia. He received his undergraduate degree in History and African American Studies from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, and his Ph.D. is in American History from Emory University.

Professor Donaldson’s teaching and scholarship examine southern history and African American life and culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Presently, he serves as the lead scholar and director for the Columbia SC 63, a documentary project that examines the struggle for civil rights and social justice in Columbia and around the state of South Carolina.

During the course of Dr. Donaldson’s academic career, he served as a Benjamin E Mays-Andrew Mellon Fellow, as an editorial assistant for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Emory and Stanford universities, as a Thurgood Marshall Dissertation Fellow and visiting Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College, as a Fellow of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, and as the Faculty Principal of Preston Residential College at the University of South Carolina. Prior to his tenure at Preston, he held a joint position in the African American Studies Program and served as a founding member of the Institute for African American Research.

Professor Donaldson has received the University of South Carolina’s distinguished Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2010, the John N. Gardner Inspirational Faculty Award in 2015, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Justice Award in 2016. In 2017, he was awarded the Stephen Morrison Visionary Award by the One Columbia for Arts & History Organization. In 2018, he received the South Carolina Governor’s Award in Historic Preservation and the South Carolina Governor’s Humanities Award. In 2019, Dr. Donaldson’s teaching, research, and community engagement were recognized by the South Carolina House of Representatives. He also was awarded an honorary degree by Benedict College.

Dr. Donaldson’s memberships include the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, the South Carolina Archives and History Commission, the editorial board of the University of South Carolina Press, the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, the South Caroliniana Society, the NAACP, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees.

He and his wife are the proud parents of two children.