Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has made their pledge to #StandWithBennett loud and clear. Days before Black History Month, the nation’s oldest Black sorority declared it would give $100,000 to all-women Bennett College to help it maintain its accreditation.
“Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President @gloverpres and @akasorority1908 members proudly #StandWithBennett. Our $100,000 donation to @bennettcollege is why HBCU for Life: A Call to Action is a major program for AKA. #HBCUforLife #SupportHBCUs,” AKA announced in a Jan. 30 tweet.
AKA will present the historically Black college with the gift during a gathering of HBCU presidents at the sorority’s international headquarters in Chicago during Black History Month.
“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 AKA International president Dr. Glenda Glover in a statement. “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.”
The donation from the sorority is one of the largest Bennett has received since announcing on Dec. 11 it must raise at least $5 million to stay accredited with SACSCOC. It has also been gifted $500,000 from Wells Fargo. Last Thursday, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, which is geared toward improving the quality of life for North Carolina residents, also gifted $500,000. More controversially, Papa John’s donated $500,000 through its newly created Papa John’s Foundation.
As of Feb. 1, the day of the college’s deadline, 76 percent of the goal has been raised. Donations can be made here.
Bennett College was founded in 1873 as a coeducational institution and is one of two women-only HBCUs in the country, including Spelman College. The Greensboro, North Carolina institution put out a call on Dec. 13 to raise $5 million to maintain its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The notice came two days after the college lost its membership in the SACSCOC. After making an immediate appeal of the decision, Bennett continues to be accredited throughout the appeal process. The school was removed solely for financial reasons. As such, no sanctions were made against its academics, leadership, faculty or students.