B-CU Celebrates Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune With Guest Speaker Dr. Tameka Hobbs
In honor of the birth of B-CU Founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, family of Dr. Bethune, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., faculty, and students gathered in the Heyn Chapel on Tuesday, July 12th to commemorate 141 years of her legacy. The program began with a prayer from university Chaplain, John Baldwin and greetings were given on behalf of President Jackson by Dr. Walrond, B-CU Provost. Youth from the local community organizations shared in the Dr. Bethune's celebration with liturgical dance and creative expression.
Dr. Tameka Hobbs gave the keynote message as she shared the pinnacle moments in Dr. Bethune's legacy that transcends throughout B-CU today. "A careful analysis of Dr. Bethune's life, work and her writings gives us the guidance to understand the tools that she used and the knowledge she acquired in order to build a legacy so strong that we are here 141 years later talking about it." Dr. Hobbs is an HBCU graduate, author and historian at Florida Memorial University. "Mary McLeod Bethune is an incredible source of inspiration. She was the most influential woman in the nation for her time. When I think about who Dr. Bethune is, she is a woman of faith, vision and purpose. She was determined to leave this earth better than how she found it," said Hobbs. Dr. Bethune was an educator, civil rights leader, visionary and role model to boys and girls in Daytona Beach. Dr. Hobbs pronounced Dr. Bethune as the "Patron Saint" of what is now called, "Black Girl Magic” as she acknowledged Dr. Bethune as top choice for a statue in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Hobbs focused her message on Dr. Bethune’s leadership and the five core factors that she reflects Dr. Bethune lived her life by. "Through her life and her course of action, Dr. Bethune held a firm belief in the moral capacity in black woman and the power of education as a tool for people to reach their highest capacity,”said Hobbs. "We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends,” was a quote she used from Dr. Bethune.
Dr. Hobbs shared that we should all look to Dr. Bethune and her leadership and pragmatism as an example and think about where she would want us to put our energy towards in order to discover the new tools and methods that are going to help us appreciate our nation. “Dr. Bethune had a drive for community activism believing that if you want to go far you must go together, believing deeply in the promise of America and it's ideals in democracy, equality and liberty and lastly, her sense of duty inspired by her Christian beliefs,” she said.
The celebration ended with remarks from the Director of the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation, Dr. Ashley Robertson, thanking students and guests for attending and acknowledging the great history and life of Dr. Bethune. A luncheon in honor of Dr. Bethune was held immediately following the celebratory program in the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation house.
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.