B-CU Partners with National Council of Negro Women, Inc.
WASHINGTON, DC. – Thursday, February 27, 2020 – The National Council of Negro Women Inc. (NCNW) and Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) have launched “Advancing the Legacy,” a celebration of the accomplishments of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of both the NCNW and B-CU.
NCNW National Chair and President Dr. Johnnetta Cole, joined by B-CU President Dr. LaBrent Chrite, announced the initiative as an effort to protect the vision and mission of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, an influencer who was ahead of her time. Cole and Chrite were joined by Judge Belvin Perry, Ret., and Chair, B-CU Board of Trustees; Janice Mathews, Esq., and NCNW Executive Director; students from B-CU along with members of the B-CU Washington, D.C. Metro alumni chapter.
“Advancing the Legacy,” is a compelling awareness and fundraising initiative created to provide ongoing support of Dr. Bethune’s lifelong mission of ensuring access to higher education for African American students. Dr. Bethune will be formally recognized later this year when her statue will become part of the National Statuary Hall Collection in the Capitol Rotunda. Her inclusion marks the first African American to have a state-commissioned statue in Statuary Hall.
The University has achieved one-third of its $12M campaign goal with $8 million needed to close the gap in scholarship funding. The Advancing the Legacy campaign includes a digital element, asking advocates to make a financial contribution online at advancingthelegacy.com and to share their support on social media using the hashtag #AdvancingBCU. All funds will be allocated in support of students, to reduce the cost of access and to strengthen retention and graduation rates.
“It’s only appropriate that during Black History Month we recognize and honor all of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s accomplishments because they are many and they are as relevant and important today as when she began in 1904,” said Dr. LaBrent Chrite, B-CU president.
“We have accomplished so much over the past year in terms of preparing for B-CU’s future, and we just have one last bridge to cross,” Dr. Chrite added. “Everything we have done and will continue to do is intended to protect and advance Dr. Bethune’s legacy and ensure access to higher education for African American students.”
“Dr. Bethune fearlessly and successfully surpassed countless obstacles faced by a black woman, who was raised by former slaves. Even during her childhood in South Carolina, she understood the power of education and made her life’s work to provide access to young black men and women,” said Dr. Cole. “She also understood the importance of empowering black women which is why she established the NCNW. B-CU and NCNW are forever connected by her vision and legacy.”
In 1904 Mary McLeod Bethune opened the Daytona Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls with $1.50, faith in God and five little girls. The school grew over the years to ultimately become one of the nation’s most beloved HBCUs. Dr. Bethune’s presence is felt throughout campus. More than 14,000 students have graduated and are employed in the fields of education, medicine, business, politics, government, science, religion, athletics, and environmental sciences.
Dr. Bethune was a world-renowned influencer serving as an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and for whom she established the Black Cabinet where she served as its only female member. Dr. Bethune was a humanitarian, philanthropist, businesswoman, political activist and champion of education, once saying “We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”
B-CU trustees, administrators, students, faculty and staff will thank companies, donors and friends for their generosity and commitment to sustain Bethune-Cookman University at the Annual Spring Concert, Sunday, April 5, 2020, where students will showcase their talents and share testimonials of their B-CU experience.
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, FL 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 www.cookman.edu.
The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) is a council of national African American women's organizations and community-based sections. Founded in 1935, the NCNW mission is to lead, develop, and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities. NCNW fulfills this purpose through research, advocacy, and national and community-based services and programs on issues of health, education, and economic empowerment in the United States and Africa. With its 32 national affiliates and more than 290 sections, NCNW is a 501(c)3 organization with an outreach to nearly three million women. For more information about NCNW, please visit www.ncnw.org.
For more information on Advancing the Legacy initiative, please visit advancingthelegacy.com or contact the Division of Institutional Advancement, 386-481-2950 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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 www.cookman.edu