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President, Trustees Lead Dedication of Harrison Rhodes Building

harrison rhodes dedicationBethune-Cookman University President Dr. Edison O. Jackson and members of the Board of Trustees gathered with guests on a cold, sunny Friday to dedicate the Harrison Rhodes Memorial Building. Attendees were serenaded by the Concert Chorale.

Standing in front of Harrison Rhodes, Provost Dr. Makola Abdullah noted the significance of the renovation. “The construction is a physical manifestation of radical transformation. We are taking the dream of Mary McLeod Bethune and turning it into a 21st century academic success,” he said.

Dr. Jackson remarked on the blessing of a building that will, once again, house the College of Liberal Arts. “We believe that God is here,” Dr. Jackson said. “Thanks to Chelsea Shell, who worked hard to secure the funds from the U.S. Department of Education. That hard work means that the College of Liberal Arts is returning home.”

The 5,000 square foot building now has an additional 28,000 square feet that will house classrooms, research laboratories, computer labs and offices. Within two weeks, new windows will be installed and the interior walls will be painted, Dr. Jackson explained.

Harrison Rhodes Memorial Building, which was built in 1941, has a rich history, said Board of Trustees Chairman Rev. John Harrington. “Harrison Rhodes was fascinated with his mother and sister’s interest in B-CU. He became so involved that Mr. Rhodes wrote the first grant to the Carnegie Foundation for books for the library, then housed in this building,” Rev. Harrington said. Once Swisher Library was built in 1974, the Harrison Rhodes building re-opened in 1977 as the Social Science building, he said. 

B-CU Executive Chaplain Rev. David Allen asked the audience to stand and extend a hand toward a plaque to dedicate the building. His prayer of blessing was followed by the benediction.

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Beverly James
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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