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B-CU alumna honored by her family

November 26, 2007

Bethune-Cookman University President Trudie Kibbe Reed happily accepted a $75,000 contribution from B-CU alumna Lucille O’Neal, who made the presentation last week on behalf of her children, Shaquille, Lateefah, Ayesha and Jamal.  Joining Dr. Reed and Mrs. O’Neal is B-CU’s CFO/CEO, Mr. E. Dean Montgomery.
The O’Neal children made the gift to honor their mother, who is a 2003 graduate of B-CU.  In turn the university has named the lecture hall in its soon to open new facility for the nursing school The Lucille O’Neal Lecture Hall.  The funds will be used to furnish and equip the room with permanent, fixed seating and  high-end technology.
“We are most grateful to Mrs. O’Neal and her family for their generosity and interest in the School of Nursing,” said Dr. Reed.  “When the families of our alumni step forward to honor their loved ones in this way, their gift becomes a part of the larger legacy and tradition of the university.”
The lecture hall is not the only sponsorship made by members of the O’Neal family.  An earlier contribution made by Mrs. O’Neal and the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund to the nursing program prompted the university to name the nursing school’s wellness center after her mother, Odessa Chambliss, who during her lifetime had been a nursing professional.
Both the School of Nursing, which is named after Central Florida philanthropist Dr. L. Gale Lemerand and the Odessa Chambliss Wellness Center will be dedicated on Thursday, December 6.
The nursing school complex is a 35,000 sq. ft., state-of-the art building that contains the latest in teaching technology including simulation laboratories, smart classrooms, a lecture hall and wellness center. 
“The Odessa Chambliss Wellness Center continues the traditions of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s activism in addressing the healthcare needs of our local community through educational programs and community-based nursing initiatives,” says Shirley Q. Range, vice president for the university’s office of institutional advancement. “The generosity of the O’Neal family is significant to both the university and the surrounding community.”

Office of Public Relations

Shirley Range
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

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