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B-CU Celebrates the Life of Dr. Wendell P. Holmes, Jr.

Dr. Wendell P Holmes

Dr. Wendell P. Holmes, Jr. served as a member of the Bethune-Cookman University Board of Trustees for 25 years.  He was the chairman for more than a decade and was the first layman to be elected.  B-CU dedicated its business building in Dr. Holmes’ honor in 1998. The building is now home to the Bob Billingslea School of Hospitality Management and the School of Business and Entrepreneurship.  Dr. Holmes was further recognized by B-CU when the university presented him with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

"We have truly lost a great man.  Dr. Holmes genuinely loved Bethune-Cookman University and advocated for the advancement of our young people, as a whole. He demonstrated that love with his service," says President Jackson.   

*Click HERE to view photo gallery of Dr. Holmes.*

Dr. Holmes was an incredible businessman and community activist.  He was the first Black person to be elected to any Florida school board.  He owned and operated the Holmes & West Funeral Home in the 1950s and ran it successfully until he launched Wendell Holmes Funeral Directors.  He spent his latter years grooming other funeral home owners and directors until his 2009 retirement.  Dr. Holmes was a graduate of Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia and completed studies in mortuary science at Eckels College in Philadelphia. He was a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and several other community organizations.  Dr. Holmes leaves behind his wife, Jacquelyne, and two children, Wendell P. Holmes, III and Carolyn Holmes Nesmith.  

B-CU honors the legacy of Dr. Wendell P. Holmes, Jr. and prays for his family during this difficult time. Dr. Holmes will forever be loved and honored at B-CU for his unwavering support. 

Public Viewing

Friday, June 3, 2016, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Bethel Baptist Institutional Church
215 Bethel Baptist St.
Jacksonville, FL  32202

Saturday, June 4, 2016 - 10:00 a.m.
Bethel Baptist Institutional Church
215 Bethel Baptist St.
Jacksonville, FL  32202

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Keisha Boyd
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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

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