After two years on probation, in December the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) notified historically Black Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, that it will lose its accreditation. Bennett College President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins promptly appealed the commission’s decision. The appeal will be heard later this month.
In order to demonstrate to the commission that Bennett is financial stable, President Dawkins initiated an emergency “Stand With Bennett” fundraising drive that had a goal of raising $5 million by February 1. The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority donated $110,000. The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and Papa John’s Pizza Foundation each contributed $500,000. High Point University, which like Bennett College is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, announced that it would match up to $1 million for every donation made in the campaign’s final weekend. A total of 11,000 donors nationwide gave money to the Stand With Bennett campaign.
In a ceremony in the college chapel, Bennett College announced that it had raised a total of $8.2 million. New donations announced included $200,000 from BB&T Bank, $100,000 from Old Dominion Freight and $1 million from Kwanza Jones and José E. Feliciano of the SuperCharged Initiative.