Bethune Cookman College Becomes Bethune Cookman University

February 20, 2008 · Print This Article

(Daytona Beach, Fla.) – In the spirit of love and appreciation for the hard work of her trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni, President Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed took the opportunity of Valentine’s Day to make a campus-wide announcement that the college has officially been renamed BETHUNE-COOKMAN UNIVERSITY.

“This has been a part of the vision for the college since August of 2004,” said Dr. Reed. A grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded the initial planning that resulted in a master’s degree program being launched in August 2007. That step led to the school’s eligibility for university status.

“Our graduate school and the graduate program in Transformative Leadership have enabled us to become the great Bethune-Cookman University,” said Reed. “I am certain that our founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, would be very pleased that we have taken her vision into the 21st century.”
According to the “new” Bethune-Cookman University officials, a formal announcement and ceremony will take place at the upcoming March meeting of the school’s Board of Trustees.

School officials expect that the name change will be phased in over the next 24 months. “This is a huge and exciting undertaking” says Dr. Stephen Schafer, vice president for advancement, who will be responsible for implementing a marketing plan that will ensure that the school keeps its history intact and at the same time takes every advantage of publicizing its new university status.

The marketing and public relations plan calls for new signage on the campus grounds and buildings, changes on the web site and on every printed document.

“We want everyone to feel comfortable with the change and encourage our alumni and students to continue to use the B-CC and Bethune-Cookman College names as long as they want to,” said Dr. Reed. “I have no plans to change the alma mater.”

According to President Reed, the next step in the process will be to develop a committee of stakeholders to build consensus for the many changes that will come with adoption of the new name.

“The alumni are elated that we have gone to another level. We think it’s wonderful!, says Jackie Mongal, president of the “new” Bethune-Cookman University national alumni association. “We see the value of the university status and we want our alma mater to grow; we’ve come along way in our history. I know Dr. Bethune would be proud.”


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