GREENSBORO, N.C. — The moment of truth is here for Bennett College.
Representatives of Bennett College headed to Atlanta for a Monday meeting with their accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Should the meeting go well, the college could have the sanction against it lifted.
The historically black women’s college’s future was thrown into question when the SACSCC sanctioned the school due to dwindling finances.
To climb out of its hole, Bennett College worked for six weeks to raise $5 million to bolster its reserves.
The wildly successful fundraising campaign pulled in more than $8 million with the help of about 11,000 donors.
As of today, we have raised $8.2 million! We could not have done it without any of you! We are forever grateful! THANK YOU! 💙🔔💙 #StandWithBennett #BennettCollege #BennettBelles #BennettMatters #HBCUsMatter
— Bennett College (@BennettCollege) February 4, 2019
Keep the school open, however, is about more than just having the money. Bennett College will need to prove the institution can continue to stay financially afloat.
The college’s strategic five year plan includes efforts to strengthen that financial base, in part by increasing enrollment and retention.
Bennett also plans to build strategic partnerships within the community.
The college has already identified one of those partners as High Point University, which contributed $1 million towards the college’s fundraising campaign. The university indicated that it would be willing to help the college develop a strong financial plan.
At the news conference where Bennett announced that the college met its goal, High Point University President Nido Qubein handed over a slew of high-bill donations, adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, from various bodies he and the university are associated with before finally presenting the $1 million check from the school.
The college also received $1 million from Kwanza Jones and Jose Feliciano, half a million from Papa John’s and another half a million from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
— Aleksandra Bush (@AleksBushNews) February 4, 2019