WGHP, January 30, 2019
Two major donations to Bennett College were announced Wednesday as part of an effort to keep the school open.
The donations, from Alpha Kappa Alpha and Wells Fargo, will go to support the private, historically black college for women which must meet a $5 million fundraising goal in order to safeguard the school’s accreditation.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc.
The sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha pledged to contribute $100,000.
Alpha Kappa Alpha, founded in 1908 at Howard University, is considered the nation’s oldest African-American sorority.
“We are honored to provide Bennett College with their full endowment immediately to support their fundraising goals,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President Glenda Glover.
Wells Fargo Bank
Wells Fargo Bank contributed $50,000, the first substantial gift from the banking community, according to the college.
Wells Fargo Region Head of Middle Market Banking Pete Callahan said the bank was glad to donate due to the value Bennett adds to the community.
“Wells Fargo is proud to continue our support for Bennett College and help provide opportunities for their students to be successful,” said Callahan. “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.”
Dawkins noted that this contribution is one part of a relationship that has extended since 2014 when the bank’s Wealth Management Division began working with Bennett’s Department of Business, Economics and Entrepreneurship.
“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.”
Progress toward Bennett’s $5 million goal
The college needs to hit the $5 million mark by Feb. 1 to stay open.
Other notable donations include, among others, the following:
- The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem donated $500,000.
- Papa John’s Pizza donated $500,000.
- Alpha Phi Alpha donated $31,000.
- Newmark Knight Frank donated $10,000.
The $5 million minimum is needed to maintain the school’s accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.