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Bethune-Cookman University Thanks Rep. Joyce Cusack for Longstanding Support

Today, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) welcomed Florida State Representative Joyce Cusack to the L. Gale Lemerand School of Nursing building to thank her for her years of public service and longstanding support of the University.  Cusack, who was awarded an honorary doctorate at B-CU’s 2008 Commencement, is leaving the legislature at the end of this term due to term limits.  State Representative Audrey Gibson, who represents parts of Duval County, also attended the appreciation event to present a contribution to the B-CU School of Nursing’s Joyce Cusack Endowed Scholarship Fund.

“On behalf of the entire B-CU family, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Representative Joyce Cusack.  She has been a champion for this institution and a strong advocate on issues affecting our community,” commented B-CU President Trudie Kibbe Reed.  “I’ve been to Tallahassee to see first-hand that when Representative Cusack talks, people listen.  We have been very lucky to have her fighting for us.”  Specifically, Dr. Reed noted that Representative Cusack has been instrumental in securing more than $20 million in funding for scholarships and retention programs at B-CU over the last four years.

Representative Cusack, who is a trained nurse, spoke about her commitment to supporting Bethune-Cookman University and its School of Nursing, noting: “I will always be a drum major for B-CU.  I will always be a drum major for healthcare.  Because a child can’t learn if he’s sick and seniors can’t live without quality care.”  She praised today’s students as being tomorrow’s leaders who understand the importance of giving back and serving their communities.

State Representative Audrey Gibson then presented a contribution to the Joyce Cusack Endowed Scholarship Fund for nursing students, telling the student nurses about her own connection to nursing through her mother, a nurse and former dean of healthcare studies at Florida Community College in Jacksonville.  “Nursing fed me; nursing clothed me; nursing raised me,” she said.  “And I know that when I’m 99 years old and one of you is caring for me, I’ll be in good hands.”  

Dr. Alma Dixon, dean of the B-CU School of Nursing, and Robert Brown, a nursing student and the first recipient of a Joyce Cusack Scholarship also participated in the program which included a fanfare by the Marching Wildcats under the direction of Mr. Donovan Wells.

Office of Institutional Advancement

Liz Poston
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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