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Bethune-Cookman University to Graduate More than 200 Students at Upcoming Fall Commencement


Thomas A. Moorehead, Bert Reames and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson to Receive Honorary Doctorates

Bethune-Cookman University will graduate more than 200 students and bestow doctorate degrees upon three key influencers at Saturday’s fall commencement ceremony.  The university will honor Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, local businessman Bert Reames, and automotive connoisseur Thomas A. Moorehead for their business accomplishments and commitments to service.  The fall commencement ceremony is at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 10th in the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center (698 W. International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach).  All guests must have a ticket for entry.  Mr. Thomas Moorehead is also the featured commencement speaker.  

Thomas A. Moorehead is a visionary business professional who is a revered mentor to hundreds of African Americans interested in careers in the automobile industry.  Mr. Moorehead began his automotive career in 1985 and has since opened his own Buick/Izuzu and Buick-GMC Trucks dealerships.  He is now the owner of the largest African-American owned BMW/Mini centers in the country and was the first African-American awarded a Rolls-Royce franchise in 2013. He later added Harley-Davidson of Washington, D.C. to his portfolio. Mr. Moorehead has been recognized numerous times by some of the country’s top business entities.  In 2014, Moorehead was the recipient of The 2014 Morehouse College Candle in the Dark Business Award, joining a list of esteemed honorees.  Mr. Moorehead and his wife, Joyce, have one of B-CU’s newest residence halls named in their honor.  Moorehead earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business administration and economics from Grambling University in 1966; and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan in 1971.

Bert Reames, better known as “Gator Bert,” is a native Floridian who relocated to Daytona Beach, Florida, after graduating from college in 1949. Mr. Reames is CEO of Reames Employee Benefits Solutions. He was a forerunner in the development of voluntary life, disability health and dental benefits for employees and designed and implemented the first wholly voluntary disability program written by Unum, an employee-benefits company based in Chattanooga, Tenn.  He has held top positions with Sears Roebuck and Co.; Daytona Beach Chamber of Commerce; Prudential
Insurance Company of America; Set up Life and Employee Benefits Department and others. Bert’s community activities are numerous including the Daytona Beach Lions Club, Masonic Lodge #270;,University of Florida Alumni Association, Halifax Home Health Governing Board; Tiger Bay Club Board Member; and the Civic League of the Halifax Area.   Mr. Reames is married to the former Julie Massfeller and they have one son, Roosevelt.  He attended the University of Florida for two years, and entered the United States Army Air Corps in 1944. After being discharged, he continued his education at Drury College in Springfield, Missouri and graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson is a change maker who has been committed to fighting for change in her community and beyond.  Congresswoman Wilson’s achievements include working with Republican Governor Jeb Bush to remove the Confederate flag from the State Capitol, mandating HIV/AIDS testing for newly-released prisoners, opposing high-stakes standardized testing, pushing for a ban of the term “illegal alien” in state public records, and partnering with Republican Governor Charlie Crist to restore voting rights for ex-felons.  She introduced the American Jobs Act of 2013, the Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights, and the Youth Corp Act of 2013.  Congresswoman Wilson is widowed and the proud mother of three children: Nicole, LaKesha, and Paul.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Fisk University and a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Miami.

For more information and media inquiries, please contact Keisha Boyd at

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Keisha Boyd
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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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