Founders Day Convocation was marked by the announcement of several significant donations/investments to the College totaling over $2 million.
Board of Trustees Chair Senator Gladys Ashe Robinson, PhD ’71 secured a $1 million allocation for the College from the North Carolina General Assembly. The announcement was made during the 2023 Founders Day Convocation. President Walsh says, “We are delighted with this investment from the General Assembly and for Senator Robinson’s efforts on behalf of the College. It is a recognition of the importance of the need to be able to address infrastructure to remain a viable and thriving institution that contributes back to the economy of North Carolina.
HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities—commissioned in 2018 by UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute—shows that Bennett College generates $36 million in total economic impact for its local and regional economies. This estimate includes direct spending by Bennett College on faculty, employees, academic programs and operations—and by students attending the institution, as well as the follow-on effects of that spending.”
President Walsh adds, “We are in the process of reviewing which building/area we will focus on with this investment. We have several to choose from and are looking to stretch the dollars to best provide a long-term solution.”
President Walsh spoke passionately to visiting alumnae in attendance, saying, “You’ve stood by your alma mater through thick and through thin. Once again, Bennett Belles are stepping up to join us, to help celebrate us, to help lead the way.” She followed this with the announcement of her personal pledge of $15,000 in support of the College that she leads as the 19th president of the institution.
The last announcement was for the largest estate gift made in the history of the College, totaling over one million dollars. The gift came from the estate of Pittsboro, North Carolina native Patricia Ann McDaniels. According to her niece Glenda Garrison, although Ms. McDaniels did not attend Bennett, she was an advocate for women’s rights and promoted higher education for women. She read about Bennett College and wanted to aid in the education of young women.
Ms. McDaniels was a 1970 graduate of Ohio State University, earned two masters degrees from Tufts University and Northeastern University. She received a law degree from Suffolk University School of Law in 1986.
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