Bennett College Needs $5,000,000 by February 1st

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation gave Bennett College $500,000 last Thursday afternoon, making it the second half a million dollar gift the College received within 24-hours.

Five hundred thousand dollars is the largest single gift Bennett has gotten since officials announced they need to raise a minimum of $5 million by Feb. 1 to try to remain accredited.

In a press conference, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Executive Director Maurice “Mo” Green said the Foundation believes in Bennett College’s legacy and wants to support it.

“I am grateful to have this opportunity to stand before you today to announce that the trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation voted to give Bennett College $500,000,” Green said. “As one of only two HBCU women’s colleges, we are blessed to have this treasure in North Carolina but even more fortunate to have it in the Triad.”

Dawkins said the donation from Z. Smith Reynolds is significant not only because of its size but also because of what the Foundation stands for.

“The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has been making a positive change in the lives of North Carolinians for many decades, and we at Bennett College are so blessed by this tremendous gift,” Dawkins said. “Bennett College is an esteemed institution that deserves to remain open to ensure women of color will have a safe haven in Greensboro where they can come to be educated and shaped into global leaders, analytical thinkers and effective communicators.

“This most gracious gift will go a long way toward helping us reach our goal by Feb. 1,” Dawkins continued. “I cannot thank Mr. Green and The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation enough for their generosity. I truly appreciate them for believing in Bennett College.”

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is a statewide, private, family foundation that has been a catalyst for positive change in North Carolina for more than 80 years. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the Foundation has invested $572 million into the state.

The Foundation embraces a set of core values that emerge from its long history to further its mission of improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians. Its core values are Stewardship, Integrity, Fairness & Justice, Diversity & Equity, Civic Participation, Sustainability and Collaboration – values Bennett College instills in its students.

Green praised Bennett, not only for its excellence but also because of the Bennett College Middle College, a high school located on the campus of Bennett College. The Middle College at Bennett has had a 100 percent graduation rate many years, often has more than 95 percent of its graduates attend college each year, and has been recognized as a North Carolina and National School of Character and as a National Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education. “It is my hope and the hope of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation that this gift of a half-million dollars will encourage others to give generously so this college can remain in existence.”

On Dec. 11, 2018, Bennett College was removed from membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Bennett immediately appealed the decision and remains accredited during the appeal process. Bennett was removed strictly for financial reasons. The College was not issued sanctions against its academics, leadership, faculty or students.

Founded in 1873 as a coeducational institution, Bennett became women’s only in 1926. Spelman College in Atlanta is the country’s only other all-women’s HBCU.

Bennett has a history of producing outstanding women leaders, including: the first African-American woman licensed surgeon in the south; the first woman or African-American to head the U.S. Peace Corps; the first African-American mayor of the city of Greensboro; the first African-American female mayor in the state of Washington; the writer of the screenplay “The Loving Story,” which in 2016 was turned into an Academy Award-nominated motion picture; the first woman to hold the position of Director of Drug Program and Policies and youngest Director within the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA); and the first African-American woman to serve as Assistant Attorney General in the state of Massachusetts – just to name a few.

Ways to give to Bennett College:

• Online:
• Text2Give: Text the word BELLES to the number 444999
• Cash App: $StandwithBennett
• U.S. Mail: Send a check to Bennett College, Office of Institutional Advancement, 900 E. Washington St., Greensboro, N.C. 27401