Just a few months after conceding that Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C., was on the verge of losing its accreditation, school officials announced in a recent campus ceremony that it raised $8.2 million, well beyond the $5 million they projected was needed to help keep open its doors.
Bennett President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, who had responded to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ decision in December to rescind the school’s accreditation, appealed and is scheduled to appear at a Feb. 19 hearing, with the hope that the decision to revoke Bennett’s accreditation will be reversed. The school, which had been on probation for two years, enrolls 429 students and remains accredited by SACSCOC until the outcome of the hearing.
To demonstrate to the SACSCOC Bennett College’s financial stability, Dawkins initiated an emergency “Stand with Bennett” fundraiser aimed at securing $5 million by Feb. 1.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority donated $110,000 and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and Papa John’s Pizza Foundation each contributed $500,000.
High Point University, which, like Bennett College, is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, announced that it would match up to $1 million for every donation made in the campaign’s final weekend. A total of 11,000 donors nationwide gave money to Bennett’s call to action campaign.
Among the latest donations are $200,000 from BB&T Bank, $100,000 from Old Dominion Freight and $1 million from Kwanza Jones and José E. Feliciano of the SuperCharged Initiative.