Daytona Beach, FL
UNCF Member Institution
Transformation Partner since 2022
Motto: “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve”
On October 3, 1904, an exceptional young Black woman, Mary McLeod Bethune, opened the Daytona Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls—what would become Bethune-Cookman University—with $1.50, faith in God and five little girls, along with Dr. Bethune’s son, Albert.
Dr. Bethune became a national and international figure with a long list of notable accomplishments, including counseling U.S. presidents, playing a role in the founding of the United Nations, and creating an influential African American women’s organization. She also helped found the United Negro College Fund, of which Bethune-Cookman was a charter member. The University was a crowning achievement in her storied career.
Over the years, Bethune-Cookman grew steadily, adding academic programs and expanding its physical plant. Since 1943, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) has graduated more than 19,000 students. Alumni work in various fields, including the arts, business, education, government, sciences, and religion. B-CU has received national recognition for its intercollegiate athletic programs and instrumental and choral groups. In 2007 Bethune-Cookman achieved university status, adding a graduate program in transformational leadership to its offerings.
Facilitated through the Institute for Capacity Building, Bethune-Cookman is now a UNCF cohort member in the HBCU Transformation Project, a first-of-its-kind effort to improve student enrollment, graduate success, and institutional effectiveness rates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.