Bethune - Cookman University Ends Controversial Dorm Deal And Stabilizes B-CU's Future

Bethune - Cookman University Ends Controversial Dorm Deal And Stabilizes B-CU's Future

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Tuesday, June 29, 2021 – After many years of trying to resolve the controversial dormitory deal agreed to by past leadership, the Bethune-Cookman University administration and Board of Trustees has ended its $85 million dorm deal and secured the institution’s future. Had the deal not been concluded, it would have cost the University more than $300 million in its entirety.

Interim President Hiram Powell and Board Chairman Belvin Perry Jr. signed the agreement to acquire $108 million in financing designed specifically for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and backed by the federal Department of Education and Rice Capital. Vice Chairman Pete Gamble, who also served as finance committee chair, along with legal counsel, financial consultants and members of the University leadership team were in attendance.

Perry said. “Ending this deal marks the dawn of a new beginning for B-CU giving the entire university community and its stakeholders confidence in the future, which now burns very bright.”

Perry noted that the new funding would not just pay off the dorm deal, but would also pay off bonds and apply toward critical deferred maintenance. Ending the dorm deal also resolves the technical default associated with B-CU’s bond rating.

Interim President Powell praised the team for bringing closure to one of the University’s most difficult moments. “The strategic thought process and actual execution completed by this team of university executives are nothing short of remarkable,” Powell said. “This ends what has been a terrible ordeal and repositions B-CU on a new and positive path for everyone.”

Perry added, “This is a solid and secure investment in the future of Bethune-Cookman and our students. It’s been a complicated process accomplished by a small, hardworking group that focused on saving B-CU,” Perry noted. “We wanted to make sure that this university that we love, doesn’t just get by but thrives. This issue was resolved by those of us who care deeply about protecting Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s vision and mission.”  

About B-CU

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 36 undergraduate and 8 graduate degrees on its main campus. 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 3,000. For more information, visit