Skip to main content
Main content

Bethune Cookman Breaks Annual UNCF Drive Record - Lesa Kennedy to Lead Next Year’s Team

June 29, 2007

Bethune-Cookman University President Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed has announced that the 2007 annual joint fundraising drive in conjunction with the United Negro College Fund Drive ended with a new record amount raised, and for the first time broke the annual $400,000 goal set by the UNCF. A total of $428,000 was raised this year, with $28,000 to be applied as a head start for next year’s drive.

The 2007 campaign was jointly chaired by local developer Jerry Fincke and, in Orlando, by Clarence Otis, Jr., CEO of the Darden Restaurants group.

Dr. Reed also announced that next year’s joint campaign with the UNCF will be headed by Lesa Kennedy, CEO of International Speedway Corp. Kennedy, who was named “The Most Influential Woman in Sports Business” in 2005 by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, is widely known for her philanthropic efforts in the greater Daytona Beach community.

The Darden Restaurant Foundation assisted the 2007 drive with an $80,000 contribution, and an Orlando church contributed $10,000. Aiding in the fundraising efforts was Dr. Mary Alice Smith, whose campus based initiatives with local businesses and business leaders tallied $57,000 of the total $428,000 raised. Dr. Smith is the director of student support services and a professor of psychology at Bethune-Cookman University

About UNCF

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the nation’s largest, oldest, most successful and most comprehensive minority higher education assistance organization. UNCF provides operating funds and technology enhancement services for 39 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), scholarships and internships for students at about 900 institutions and faculty and administrative professional training.

Over 63 years, the United Negro College Fund has raised more than $2 billion to help a total of more than 350,000 students attend college and has distributed more funds to help minorities attend school than any entity outside of the government.

Bethune-Cookman University partners annually with the UNCF to raise dollars throughout the central Florida area (Daytona Beach, Palatka, Flagler, Melbourne, Orlando, Lakeland, Bartow, Avon Park, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa and Vero Beach).

In 2006-07 B-CU will net $1.2 million in funding from the UNCF . These funds are the single largest source of unrestricted funding at B-CU and support student scholarships, student internships, academic program enhancement, research, faculty and administrative professional development, and special projects. Since 2000, B-CU has received more than $11 million in funding.

To learn more about UNCF, visit

Office of Public Relations

Catherine Kershaw
PH: 386-481-2950

About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

To Top