Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. latest generous donor to help cash-strapped Bennett College stay afloat
This latest endowment comes just days after Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. donated $31,000 to Bennett to help the school stave off losing its accreditation on Feb. 1. The financially-strapped school needs to raise $5 million quickly. Papa Johns also vowed to give $500,000 to the historically Black women’s college in Greensboro, N.C.
“As an HBCU graduate and someone who has dedicated my life’s work to the HBCU community, I personally know the impact that establishing an endowment has on a student’s enrollment or graduation prospects,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President Dr. Glenda Glover.
“Our organization has established the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund with the goal of investing in the future of our young people and the sustainability of our treasured Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Over the next four years, we have pledged to donate a total of $10 million towards the endowment. We are honored to provide Bennett College with their full endowment immediately to support their fundraising goals.”
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has also donated $50,000 to the school, the school announced.
“Wells Fargo is proud to continue our support for Bennett College and help provide opportunities for their students to be successful,” said Pete Callahan, region head of Middle Market Banking for Wells Fargo. He serves as the Greensboro market president for Wells Fargo. “We share the belief that supporting education is one of the most important investments we can make in our country’s and our local community’s futures. We know the return on an investment in a great education far exceeds those from the best mutual funds.”
Bennett College President Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins said the school has had a longstanding relationship with the bank.
“Wells Fargo allows a select group of Bennett students to spend a day shadowing their financial advisors at work and also awards two, $5,000 scholarships to our students each semester, for a total of $20,000 annually,” Dawkins said. “Moreover, Wells Fargo representatives share career opportunities with students and provide them with resume review and advice. We cannot thank Wells Fargo enough for their continual support of Bennett and for this generous donation, which we hope will serve as a catalyst for other financial institutions to continue donating to us.”
Worthy Dawkins learned of the donation in a letter from Alpha Kappa Alpha and said she is grateful for the donation
“On behalf of the Bennett College Board of Trustees, as well as our faculty, staff and students, I can’t thank President Glover and the members of AKA enough for their donation to Bennett College,” Dawkins said. “While we appreciate all of the support Bennett has received from individuals, foundations and corporations, substantial gifts like the one from AKA will go a long way toward helping us reach our fundraising goal of a minimum of $5 million by Feb. 1. We are truly appreciative to the women of AKA for their amazing support.”
Bennett was founded in 1873 and has been a college for women school since 1926. Board of Trustees Chair Gladys Robinson told Greensboro’s WXII 12 previously that she is confident the school will meet the goal.
“We have alumni all across the country and the world who are making contributions and do it every year, but this year they’ve got to double up, but we also have friends out there who believe in what we do here at Bennett,” Robinson said. “It’s important to sustain Bennett College, because there are a lot of women, young women who need this opportunity for education,” Robinson said.
Robinson said they have a number of backup plans in case they come up short of the goal, including applying to another accreditation organization, to maintain accreditation at Bennett College.
The generous endowment will be presented at a Black History Month gathering of HBCU presidents at Alpha Kappa Alpha’s International Headquarters in Chicago.