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Governor Approves $17 Million in Recurring Funding For Bethune-Cookman University

Daytona Beach, FL – Tuesday, June 30, 2020 – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis approved on Monday, $17 million in recurring funding for Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU), securing the historic college’s future and access to higher education for African American students.

State Sen. Randolph Bracy, III, served as the Senate appropriation sponsor. He and the Florida Legislative Black Caucus led by its chairman, state Rep. Bruce Antone, announced last year their intent to secure this funding for B-CU as well as an additional $13 million for Florida Memorial University and Edward Waters College. The Black Caucus and Bracy joined by state Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, the House appropriation sponsor, made their announcement of support at B-CU earlier this year.

Sen. Bracy said in March the state’s investment in these three colleges is critical. Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) pre-date the integration of American institutions of higher learning and have launched the careers and contributions of a plethora of African American leaders in diverse industries.

B-CU President Dr. LaBrent Chrite said Monday, “We greatly appreciate the state’s generous support of Bethune-Cookman University, and we are grateful to Governor DeSantis, Senator Bracy,and Representative Antone and others for working so hard on our behalf. This commitment, particularly at this unique time in the state’s recent history, represents a powerful affirmation of the critical role this university assumes in developing Florida’s human capital. Our job now is to effectively and transparently steward these resources in order to improve and sustain the vitality, competitiveness, and impact of B-CU for another 116 years.” Students current and past all contributed to encouraging the state leadership to support the budget. Chrite also thanked the support from Yolanda Cash Jackson and LaToya Sheals from Becker & Poliakoff and B-CU staff. “This was a team effort with all sharing the goal of continuing Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s vision,” Chrite said.

Judge Belvin Perry, Chairman of the B-CU Board of Trustees, noted the importance of preserving HBCUs. “We appreciate the efforts of Gov. DeSantis, Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva, the Florida Black Caucus led by Rep. Bruce Antone, Sen. Randolph Bracy, III, and Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff for recognizing the importance of not just Bethune-Cookman University, but Florida Memorial University and Edward Waters College as well. These three institutions are vital to the state of Florida in making sure that people of color have access to a first-class education.”

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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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