Saving One of America’s Last Black Women’s Colleges

Threatened, a historic university reaches an emergency fundraising goal—and then some.

Courtesy of High Point University

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Just two months ago, Bennett College looked like it might have to close its doors. One of the last two remaining historically black colleges for women, Bennett lacked the funds needed to meet its accreditation requirements.

But over 55 days, the 146-year-old North Carolina school used social media and found an array of allies in its mad dash to raise $5 million by the February 1 deadline. Bennett ended up raising $8.2 million from 11,000 donors, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Of that total, $1 million came from nearby High Point University, another Methodist-affiliated institution. The university’s graduates and staff made significant individual donations.

“In your toughest times, you know who your friends are,” said Bennett President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins.

High Point’s president, Nido Qubein, put it this way: “We as a neighbor school cannot just stand by.” Later, at a news conference announcing that Bennett had reached its fundraising goal, he added, “This isn’t about money. This is about the future of tens of thousands of young women who will exit Bennett to serve the world and plant seeds of greatness.”

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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