Alpha Kappa Sorority, Inc. is the latest organization to lend a helping hand in the campaign to prevent the shuttering of Bennett College, a historically black institution located in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The sorority has agreed to donate $100,000 to the institution, following a $50,000 gifts from Wells Fargo Bank and two large donations in the amount of $500,000 from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and pizza distributor, Papa Johns.
Bennett is on the hook to raise a total of $5 million dollars by the end of the week after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, voted to revoke its accreditation based on insufficient funds. Though the school managed to stay open and retain its accreditation after filing an appeal, all could be lost if the school does not meet a deadline of February 1. The Commission plans to meet in mid-February to discuss the appeal, Greensboro.com reports. Bennett has raised a little over $3 million which is 65 percent of their goal, according to school’s website.
Bennett was founded in 1873 and became an all women’s institution in 1926, joining the ranks of Spelman College to become the second university where Black women exclusively attend. As the first sorority to be founded by Black women on the campus of Howard University on January 15, 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha felt they had a strong determination to help bring the college out of its financial strain.
“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.
“On behalf of the Bennett College Board of Trustees, as well as our faculty, staff and students, I can’t thank President Glover and the members of AKA enough for their donation to Bennett College,” said Bennett College President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins.
“While we appreciate all of the support Bennett has received from individuals, foundations and corporations, substantial gifts like the one from AKA will go a long way toward helping us reach our fundraising goal of a minimum of $5 million by Feb. 1. We are truly appreciative to the women of AKA for their amazing support,” Dawkins continued.
Members of the public can donate to the school’s campaign by clicking here.