B-CU Receives $1.4 Million Gift From Local Entrepreneur L. Gale Lemerand

B-CU Receives $1.4 Million Gift From Local Entrepreneur L. Gale Lemerand


Donation Will Be Used for Renovations to Two Athletics Buildings

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 22, 2024) – Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) announced a generous $1.4 million donation from local entrepreneur and philanthropist L. Gale Lemerand today. The donation will be used to renovate two buildings on campus that will be known as the L. Gale Lemerand Academic Multiplex and the L. Gale Lemerand Football Complex.

“Mr. Lemerand’s generosity and commitment to furthering education in the state of Florida can’t be overstated,” said Dr. William Berry, acting president and provost of B-CU. “He has been a friend of the university for many years now, and we are incredibly thankful for his kindness and investment in ensuring our students have access to the best facilities possible.”

Lemerand serves as CEO of Stonewood Holdings, the parent company for the Stonewood Grill & Tavern and Peach Valley Café chains, which he majority owns. The highly-regarded businessman in Daytona Beach is no stranger to Bethune-Cookman. He previously donated funds to help construct the L. Gale Lemerand School of Nursing at B-CU - which was opened in 2007 - housing offices, classrooms, simulation labs, and lecture halls.

"When Coach Alvin Wyatt called me, I had to find some time to listen to him, and I came out and learned a bunch of good things about what is going on at this fine university," said Lemerand at today's signing. "When there [are] problems in any organization, whether it's a college or whether it's a business organization, there's a lot of publicity about that. But there's very little publicity when things start to turn around through the hard work of the current executives of this and the management of this great university. When I found out the things that have been happening behind the scenes and all the improvement and hard work that's gone into it, it just made me feel that I just needed to do something!"

”The entire B-CU community appreciates the support of Mr. L. Gale Lemerand,” said Belvin Perry, Jr., chair of the B-CU Board of Trustees. “This transformative gift will benefit current and future students and is a testament to the enduring values and legacy of our Founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.”

“This is a transformative day for Bethune-Cookman University and B-CU Athletics,” Athletic Director Reggie Theus said. “This type of contribution will allow us to directly improve the quality of the student-athlete experience at Bethune-Cookman University as we continue to build champions on the field and in the classroom here in Daytona Beach.”

The L. Gale Lemerand Multiplex and L. Gale Lemerand Football Complex will be used for academic support, meeting and office space, recruiting, athletic locker rooms and other similar purposes to support student athletes.

Those interested in donating to Bethune-Cookman University can visit Cookman.edu/Donate

Entrepreneur L. Gale Lemerand 1

Entrepreneur L. Gale Lemerand 2

Entrepreneur L. Gale Lemerand 3

Entrepreneur L. Gale Lemerand 4

About Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU)

Now in its 120th year, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) is a historically-Black university in Daytona Beach, Fla., founded by civil and human rights activist Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune in 1904 as the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls. With deep roots in the history of America, B-CU is a United Methodist-related, private institution largely focused on liberal arts programs to meet students’ diverse educational, social and cultural needs. The university is home to the nation’s #2 HBCU 

Nursing Program, a world-renowned marching band known as “The Pride,” and is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.