Bennett College, one of only two all women Historically Black Colleges and Universities that exist, raised $8.2 million dollars, in an effort to stay open and retain their accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission. The accrediting body announced on December 11th that they would revoke the college’s accreditation. After the meeting, Bennett College leaders crafted the “Stand With Bennett” campaign to raise $5 million while sitting in an airport.
On February 4th at 12pm, Phyllis Dawkins, Bennett’s president held a press conference to announce the funds were raised in excess of what they requested. Over 11,000 people and groups made donations to the college, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Papa Johns, and BB&T bank to name a few. High Point University gave a donation of $1 million on Friday, making it the largest donation to the campaign at the time. High Point and Bennet are both affiliates of the United Methodist Church. A California couple also donated $1 million, the wife’s mother and aunt both attended Bennett College. The campaign was publicly supported by TV star, Jussie Smollett of FOX’s hit show, Empire.
Lodriguez Murray, vice president of public policy and government affairs for the United Negro College Fund said, “I think this proves to SACSCOC and to everyone who doubts the value of historically black colleges in 2019 – this shows that these schools have far-reaching and deep support, both locally and nationally”. Dawkins, the university’s president said, “some might even call this a miracle.” “We’ve raised enough to produce additional resources That’s what we did – and more. We should be in good shape”. There is a hearing scheduled for February 18 to appeal losing accreditation.
Photo Source: @Bennett_College Instagram