President’s MessageOn behalf of the great Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) family of faculty/staff, students, alumni, and friends welcome to the website of the ATLanta chapter of the National Alumni Association!
Mary McLeod Bethune left a legacy of generosity and service to our nation and abroad. The B-CU’s motto “Enter to Learn; Depart to Serve” are words of wisdom that are as appropriate today as any time in our history.
We are excited to have you visit us and hope that the information you seek is found here. Our focus is simple: To support our great institution in service, student recruitment, and through financial contribution. Our alumni live all across metro-Atlanta and are working in all levels of government including the federal, state, and local municipalities. B-CU alumni are also employed in private sector organizations small and large. Many are entrepreneurs providing products and services to our communities.
I am looking forward to working with you and increasing the chapter’s membership. I ask each alumnus to reflect on their own journey. Where would you be without Bethune-Cookman University?Read More
An Open Letter to HBCU Graduates**Reprinted with the permission of the author**
Charlie Nelms, Ed.D.
Higher Education Expert and Consultant
Dear HBCU graduates,
Although most of us have never met, we share a special bond as graduates of one of America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). With few exceptions, these are the places that sprouted from sweat-soaked seeds planted by the sons and daughters of former slaves, sharecroppers and subsistence farmers whose belief in the power of education confounded the plans of plantation owners, straw bosses and Southern white politicians. HBCUs were the places that accepted us because they wanted to serve us, not because they were forced to do so or wanted to “diversify” their enrollment. They welcomed us with open arms and did not need to establish black culture centers or persuade faculty and staff to accept or embrace us. HBCUs never characterized us as high-risk or academically or culturally disadvantaged; they chose instead to focus on our assets. Thankfully, we were the reason that HBCUs existed and not a special project on diversity and inclusion. Most of us would agree that our alma mater enveloped us in a culture of caring from which it was nearly impossible to escape. As a consequence, we developed the intellectual, social and leadership skills that allowed us to compete with anyone in the world. All of this HBCUs did with only a fraction of the fiscal resources available to predominately white universities (PWIs).
I am sure you must have read by now that HBCUs are at a major crossroads. Enrollment is declining, in part because of increased competition from PWIs, online universities, proprietary schools and community colleges. In fact, according to the Oct. 9, 2014, edition of Diverse Issues in Higher Education, the University of Phoenix Online Campus is the largest producer of African-American recipients of bachelor’s degrees in all disciplines.