Family and Friends Week, which runs through Saturday, has gotten off to a roaring start at Bennett College! On Monday morning inside the Sallie Walker Brown Dining Hall, Belles gathered for “Sisters By State” Sisterhood. They sat in groups according to their home states, got to know each other and enjoyed good food and fellowship.
On Tuesday, the Bennett spirit was in full bloom as students, staff and faculty wore Bennett T-shirts and other paraphernalia. Betty P. Watson, Coordinator for Default Management, was happy to sport a Bennett T-shirt all day.
“Even though I’m not a Bennett graduate, I claim ownership as a Belle due to the duration of time I’ve spent in Bennett’s culture,” said Watson, who has worked at Bennett for 19 years.
On Wednesday, September 20, Bennett will participate in Sodexo’s annual “GO RED DAY”, formerly known as “GO ORANGE DAY”, designed to raise awareness of hunger and to provide canned goods and non-perishable items for those in need. Shannon Harvey, General Manager of Sodexo, said that through the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, colleges and universities throughout the country that are serviced by Sodexo participate in the event.
“I am happy to work for a company that places an emphasis on something as important as eradicating hunger,” Harvey said. “Many of us may take eating for granted, but not everyone has ample food to eat. Events like this, where people donate canned goods and non-perishable items, can sometimes make the difference between a child going to bed fully nourished at night or going to bed hungry. I commend Dr. Dawkins and Bennett College for making “GO RED DAY” a formal part of their Family and Friends Week.”
Donations of canned goods and non-perishable items will be collected in the Sallie Walker Brown Dining Hall during the lunch hour on Wednesday. The items will be delivered to the St. Matthews United Methodist Church Pantry, which serves many residents in the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive/Florida Street areas. St. Matthews is the founding church of Bennett College.
Also Wednesday as part of Family and Friends Week, the Opening Reception for the “Cultural Visions” exhibit will be held at 5 p.m. inside the Steele Hall Art Gallery. The exhibit features the art of Diane Britton Dunham, which for more than two decades has been recognized internationally as a genuine illustration of the history and traditions of African American southern culture.
On Thursday, September 21, 2016 Belle Shemiah K. Curry will be the keynote speaker during A.C.E.S., held at 11 a.m. inside the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Chapel. The event is being sponsored by the Leadership Development Institute for Women at Bennett College.
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Curry is the oldest of three girls. At Bennett, she served in roles that groomed her gifts of leadership, public speaking and mentorship for girls. While at Bennett, Curry participated in internships with The White House and MSNBC. She was recognized as an Andrew Mellon Mays Research Fellow, Student Government Association (SGA) President during her senior year and was featured in JET Magazine.
Curry recently returned from teaching English in Rwanda in East Africa. A “Meet and Greet” with light refreshments will be held inside the Steele Hall Art Gallery after her speech.
On Friday, September 22, the Bennett Bookstore will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. That night at 6 p.m., the Miss Bennett College Regale will be held for Niquia S. Harris, Miss Bennett College 2017-2018, inside the Global Learning Center (GLC). Harris, of Willingboro, New Jersey, is a senior social work major.
On Saturday, September 23, the Bennett College Parents Association will hold its annual meeting in the GLC Lecture Hall beginning at 9 a.m. A Community Day Cookout will be held on the Quad beginning at 12:30 p.m., and the Miss Bennett College Coronation will be held at 7 p.m. inside the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Chapel.
A committee of dedicated faculty and staff, with the assistance of students, worked to organize this important week at the College. Yolande Johnson, a 1983 Belle and the institution’s Community Campaigns Coordinator, served as chair of the Family and Friends Committee.
“Family and Friends Week is a good time for the campus to come together as a family and for us to interact with the family members of our students,” Johnson said. “When I was a student at Bennett it was held for only a weekend, so I’m glad to see that over the years it has evolved into a week.”
The public is invited to attend the Coronation on Friday.