HBCU Tours - Bethune-Cookman University - Everything You Need To Know & See

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HBCU Tours - Bethune-Cookman University - Everything You Need To Know & See

Bethune–Cookman University (BCU or Bethune-Cookman) is a private historically black university in Daytona Beach, Florida. Bethune–Cookman University is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The primary administration building, White Hall, and the Mary McLeod Bethune Home are in the National Register of Historic Places. Mary McLeod Bethune founded the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in 1904. Initially, the first students met in the home of John Henry and Alice Smith Williams.

The school underwent several stages of growth and development through the years. In 1923, it merged with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Florida, an institution originally founded in 1872, and became a co-ed high school. Bethune-Cookman College is a result of the merger in 1923 of the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Girls, founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and Cookman Institute for Boys, founded in Jacksonville in 1872 by Rev. D.S. Darnell. The new institution, called the Daytona Cookman Collegiate Institute, became affiliated with the Board of Education of the Methodist Church.

By 1931 the school had become a junior college. In 1941, a four-year degree program was developed in liberal arts and teacher training. The school became a four-year college in 1941 when the Florida Department of Education approved a 4-year baccalaureate program in Liberal Arts and Teacher Education. The name was changed to Bethune–Cookman College. In 1943, two years later, the first group of graduates received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. In 1947, the college received an "A" rating from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Florida State Department of Education. In 1988, Bethune-Cookman College was admitted to candidacy status by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to offer a Master's Degree in Science Education.

On February 14, 2007, the Board of Trustees approved a name change to Bethune–Cookman University.


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