Bennett Alumnae Raise $1 Million to Shrink School’s Deficit

Bennett Alumnae Raise $1 Million to Shrink School’s Deficit


Graduates of Bennett College broke records by raising $1 million to help their alma mater out of a deficit that could threaten its accreditation.

The $1,027,533 gift is the largest ever from Bennett’s National Alumnae Association to the school, one of the nation’s only two colleges that focus primarily on African American women. The donation doubled last year’s fund-raising total and surpassed the association’s goal of $750,000.

The record-setting gift was intended to show the college that Bennett graduates strongly support the school’s president Dr. Johnnetta Cole, said Tressie Muldrow, a 1962 graduate who served as the association’s national fund-raising chairwoman. Bennett trustees hired Cole last year to breathe new life into the struggling women’s college (see Black Issues, May 23, 2002).

The college continues to carry a $3.8 million deficit, spokeswoman Wanda Davis said.

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed Bennett on probation — the most serious sanction it can impose aside from stripping accreditation — in December 2001. The accrediting body will review the probation resulting in part from its deficit in October, Davis said.

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