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Bethune-Cookman University
Motto Enter to Learn..Depart to Serve.
Established 1904
Type Private, HBCU
Religious affiliation United Methodist Church
Endowment $30.4 million[1]
President Trudie Kibbe Reed
Faculty 200
Students 4,000
Undergraduates 3,400
Postgraduates 120
Location Daytona Beach, Florida,
United States
Campus Urban, 82 acres (0.29 km²)
Colors Maroon and Gold
Nickname Wildcats
Mascot Wil D Cat
Athletics NCAA Div I FCS
Affiliations Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
B-cc cat.png

Bethune-Cookman University or B-CU (as it is called as of Feb. 14, 2007) is a private historically black university in Daytona Beach, Florida.



Mary McLeod Bethune founded the Bethune Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in 1904. The school underwent several stages of growth and development through the years and in 1923, it merged with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Florida. and became a co-ed high school. A year later in 1924, it became affiliated with the Methodist Church. By 1931, the school had become a junior college.

The school became a four-year college in 1941 when the Florida Board of Education approved a 4-year baccalaureate program in Liberal Arts and Teacher Education.

On February 14, 2007, its Board of Trustees approved the name Bethune-Cookman University after the institution established its first graduate program.



Mrs. Bethune retired in 1942 at which time James E. Colston became president until 1946 when Mrs. Bethune resumed the presidency for a year.

Richard V. Moore, Sr. became president in 1947. Under his tenure the college was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1970, joined the United Negro College Fund and other academic and professional organizations. The curriculum expanded, student enrollment increased and new buildings were constructed for residential housing and classrooms.

Oswald P. Bronson, Sr., Ph.D. (B-CU alumnus), served as the fourth president of the college from 1975 to 2004. During his tenure increased student enrollment led to continuous development and expansion of the college. A rapidly increasing student enrollment led to construction of more student housing,classroom buildings and the Mary Mcleod Bethune Auditorium. Major fields of study increased from 12 in 1974 to 37 by 2003. In addition, seven continuing education centers for students began operating throughout the state. While maintaining accreditation by SACS, Florida Board of Education, and the United Methodist Church Board of Higher Education the college added new accreditations in the Nursing and the Teacher Education programs.

Trudie Kibbe Reed, Ed.D., was appointed to the presidency in August 2004 by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Reed is the first woman to serve in this capacity since Dr. Bethune. Since beginning her tenure, the university has a number of campus improvements including construction of the Center for Civic Engagement, the L. Gale Lemerand School of Nursing, the creation of the Alexis Pugh and Eugene Zimmerman Scholarship houses, and the provision of a university-owned house as an alumni center. Dr. Reed also established the university's first graduate program under the School of Graduate & Professional Studies. The new program, is a Master of Science in Transformative Leadership.


Bethune-Cookman University is a small, private, co-educational, and residential institution. The university meets its commitment to excellence through expanding and modifying academic programs and innovative curricular offerings by preparing students to meet the demands of the future.

The academic program of the university is conducted within seven schools[2]

  • School of Arts & Humanities
  • School of Business
  • School of Education
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Graduate & Professional Studies
  • School of Science, Engineering and Mathematics
  • School of Social Sciences

Student activities


Bethune-Cookman University is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and participates in NCAA Division 1-AA. The school sponsors basketball, bowling, baseball, cross country, football, track and field and volleyball. The Wildcats joined the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 1979. The Wildcats have 29 MEAC titles; 13 in baseball, 1 in bowling, 1 in men's cross country, 2 in women's cross country, 3 in football, 2 in women's indoor track and field, 5 in softball and 2 in women's tennis.

B-CU has an intense in-state rivalry with Florida A&M University. Today, they meet annually in the Florida Classic, a regular-season, neutral-Bethune-Cookman's first win came a year later, 12-0 in 1926.

Brian Jenkins (Native Floridian) was named the tenth head football coach at Bethune-Cookman University on December 21, 2009. He comes to B-CU from Rutgers where he served as an Assistant Coach.

In 2000, Mervyl S. Melendez, (B-CU alumnus) was named as the head coach for the Wildcats' baseball program. He's the first B-CU head coach to win a MEAC title in his first season, and under his tutelage, the Wildcats baseball team has won seven conference championships in the last eight years (2000-2004, and 2006-2007). In 2007, the Wildcats finished the regular season with a record of 33-25, with notable wins against both University of Tennessee and Stetson University, as well as ranking #1 in the 2007 Black College Baseball poll.

Marching band

The Marching Wildcats (The Pride)of Bethune-Cookman create the "BCU" formation while playing before a packed Citrus Bowl Stadium at the Florida Classic.

The Marching Wildcats are a 325 member unit that includes instrumentalists, the Sophisticat Flag Corps and the 14 Karat Gold dancers. Known as "The Pride," the band is under the direction of a Bethune-Cookman alumnus and former Marching Wildcat, Donovan Wells.

The 14 Karat Gold dancers are featured performers in all engagements of the Marching Wildcats and occasionally perform as a solo act. The 14 Karat Gold dancers can be seen frequently in BET video clips promoting Black colleges. The Sophisticat Flag Corps blends traditional flag techniques with innovative choreography to create highly entertaining presentation.


The Marching Wildcats perform pre-game and halftime shows at all home games of the Fighting Wildcats football team. Games played in neutral sites where Bethune-Cookman University is deemed the home team, The Pride also performs a traditional pre-game show.

The Pride's leadership
Donovan Wells Director of College Bands
James Poitier Associate Director and Arranger
Pedro Orey Assistant Director and Percussion Instructor
Ernest Hamilton Auxiliary Instructor
Horatio Walker Announcer

The Pride has been featured in numerous events, including televised performances. On January 26, 2008, the band performed in its fifth Honda Battle of the Bands showcase of HBCU bands in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference representative. In December 2005, a small group of The Pride's percussion section filmed a commercial unveiling the new Cadillac DTS. The commercial made its debut in February 2006 and continued air play throughout the rest of the year. Immediately following the band's January 2005 performance at the Honda Battle of the Bands, the event's producers nominated The Pride to be featured in the Super Bowl special episode of the Emmy-winning Ellen DeGeneres Show.

See also


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ 2008 - 2009 College Catalog

External links


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