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B-CU Trustees Make Great Progress During Spring Board Meeting

Following the Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) board of trustees spring meeting, Dr. Larry R. Handfield is again serving as chairman of the board.

After temporarily yielding leadership to fellow alumnus and first vice chairman Dr. Lee Rhyant inJanuary, Handfield has returned to the board. The B-CU board of trustees and President Trudie Kibbe Reed asked Handfield to return to provide his expertise and leadership during this significant time of transition for the institution. Handfield had served as chairman since 2009.

"I look forward to steering B-CU through a smooth transition of leadership in the administration," Handfield said, referring to the upcoming retirement of President Reed. "I am grateful to Dr. Rhyant for his willingness to step in when needed. His long-term service to this institution is admirable."

Handfield is a 1978 graduate and longtime benefactor to the institution. The University will soon open the Larry R. Handfield Athletic Training Center, which is the second building on campus that recognizes his contributions to his alma mater.

The board also selected a new slate of officers that include the election of Rev. John Harrington to succeed Dr. Handfield as board chair at the end of his term on June 30.

At the meeting, the University approved an articulation agreement with Palmer Chiropractic College and noted B-CU's selection as one of nine Historically Black Colleges and Universities selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Education ICT V2020 program and one of 28 Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) selected to participate in a collaboration between the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Lumina Foundation. President Reed will serve as a consultant for the Lumina project.

This board session also included a gala to celebrate retiring President Trudie Kibbe Reed. Gala guests included several HBCU presidents; Sen. Tony Hill; Volusia County Councilwoman Joyce Cusack; Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; and the Rev. Dr. Gerald Lord, associate general secretary from the United Methodist Church General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

"The search for an interim president is progressing well and the University expects to name an interim president before President Reed departs on May 13, 2012," said Trustee Dr. William E. Hogan, chair of the university’s educational policies committee and of the presidential search committee. "The search for a permanent president is on schedule and progressing and moving forward as well."

At the close of board session, Dr. Reed, Chairman Handfield, former board chair and current second vice chairman Irvin Matthews, and first vice chairman Lee Rhyant received a standing ovation for their leadership and contributions to the board.

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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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