Bethune-Cookman College

Bethune-Cookman College

Bethune-Cookman College is a historically black college, located in Daytona Beach, Florida.Serving both traditional and non-traditional students, the college traces its root back to 1904.Originally, it was Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School, founded by Dr. In 1923, it merged with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Florida, and became a co-ed high school.One year later, it became affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and by 1931, it evolved into a junior college and became Bethune-Cookman College.Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the college offers baccalaureate programs in different areas through seven academic schools: the School of Arts and Humanities; Business; Education; Nursing; General Studies; Science, Engineering, and Mathematics; and Social Sciences.Continuing education programs are offered as well. To meet the needs of individual students, the college housing offers a variety of residence hall options.To promote physical activity among the students, intercollegiate athletics, and intramural athletics program are organized. The intercollegiate athletics programs of the college have attained national recognition.The Carl S. Library holdings include a circulation collection, periodical collection, and a special collection.

Bethune-Cookman College

On October 3, 1904, African-American educator and activist Mary McLeod Bethune founded a normal and industrial school for African-American girls in Daytona Beach, Florida. Although she began with only five students in a small rented house, in less than two years Bethune attracted 250 pupils and founded the Daytona School for Girls in a building she erected on top of a garbage dump. By 1916 the school had grown into the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute and was affiliated with the United Methodist Church. After absorbing the Cookman Institute for Boys, previously located in Jacksonville, the school, newly christened Bethune-Cookman College, was established as a high school with junior college courses in 1924.

Bethune, who continued as president of the college until 1947, raised funds for the school from middle-class blacks and liberal white philanthropists. Committed to integration and interracial cooperation, Bethune sought out a mixed-race board of directors, but she opposed white directors who favored a vocational curriculum. Bethune pushed for the inclusion of a full liberal arts program, and the school continuously upgraded its standards and facilities. Despite a heavy financial squeeze during the Great Depression, Bethune-Cookman became a two-year junior college in 1939 and a four-year institution shortly after, receiving a Grade A accreditation in 1947, the last year of Bethune's presidency. In 2005 Bethune-Cookman, the only historically black college founded by a woman, had a student body of approximately 2800 and had thirty-five buildings on more than seventy acres. The college offered degree programs in 39 major fields of study, including subject areas as diverse as biology, business, and communications.

Living history, living legend …. Cy McClairen

W hen retiring assistant athletics director Jack &ldquoCy&rdquo McClairen (class of &rsquo53) left campus for the last time as an employee at the end of June, it was a long-delayed departure for the man considered Bethune-Cookman University&rsquos living museum.

McClairen had considered retiring in 1993 but instead decided to retake the helm of the school&rsquos football program, which had abruptly lost its coach. It was the type of sacrifice McClairen was revered for since first stepping onto campus as a student in 1949.

During the 59-year association with his alma mater, McClairen, 85, has served as player, football coach (71-60-3), basketball coach (396-436) and athletic director.

In recent years, he&rsquos also spent time as the senior associate athletics director and assistant golf coach, but he dropped the coaching duties five years ago after hip replacement surgery. Now he is finally moving to his easy chair in Daytona Beach, Florida, home of the Wildcats.

McClairen has been a fixture on campus since 1961, two years after leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers when an injury cut his career short.

An All-Pro with the Pittsburgh Steelers

He has been around the game so long that he has seen most of the major changes in college and professional games &ndash from playing making &ldquogood money&rdquo to working with multimillion-dollar contracts.

&ldquoWhen I played, $9,000 was the [NFL] minimum,&rdquo McClairen said. &ldquoWhen December came around, you had to find a job until July,&rdquo the start of training camp. &ldquoNow it&rsquos a new ball game.

&ldquoThe athletes have been changing since the &rsquo60s,&rdquo he said. &ldquoFirst the money changed everything,&rdquo such as drawing black athletes to predominantly white schools to increase their chances of getting drafted.

&ldquoThen, the TV exposure changed everything again,&rdquo creating revenue streams that encourage athletes to leave college and turn professional at the first opportunity.

&ldquoI think it&rsquos a mistake somewhere,&rdquo McClairen said, &ldquobut I can&rsquot speak to it. I don&rsquot want to shoot blanks at the money they are making now.&rdquo

McClairen has a simple reason for why he is retired this summer: &ldquoIt was time.&rdquo

His run is so amazing that a 90-minute theatrical and multimedia presentation, The Jack &ldquoCy&rdquo McClairen Story, will be presented 7 p.m. Aug. 13 on campus at the Mary McCleod Bethune Performing Arts Center, a building named for the university&rsquos founder, whom McClairen knew personally.

Courtesy of Bethune Cookman

For McClairen, the stories and connections are endless.

A day before the performance, McClairen will be the main attraction at a campus reunion with friends, former players and coaches, according to Bethune-Cookman athletic director Lynn Thomson, who wrote the script for the production.

Why a &ldquoproduction&rdquo? (Other than the fact the selfless McClairen wanted a fundraiser to help fill campus scholarship coffers.)

Why two days of celebration?

Perhaps no one can explain that better than Thompson (class of &rsquo79), a Daytona Beach native who grew up two blocks from the campus and who called McClairen &ldquothe genesis of our modern-day athletics program.&rdquo

&ldquoHe is part of the DNA of this university,&rdquo Thompson said. &ldquoThe connection between Cy and the university began even before he came to Bethune&rdquo through his teachers and administrators back home in Panama City, Florida.

Thompson and his teenage friends made a connection with McClairen when the kids used to sneak into the Bethune-Cookman gym to play basketball. The bigger kids would help Thompson, the smallest member of the crew, slip through a crack in the gymnasium door.

&ldquoCy,&rdquo who had become basketball coach, among other duties, in 1961, &ldquowould cuss us out and then run us out,&rdquo Thompson said.

&ldquoFinally, he had done it so many times, he just let us stay he started leaving balls out for us and put us in charge.

&ldquoNow I have the keys to the gym,&rdquo said Thompson, a former Bethune-Cookman football player who became athletic director in 1991, replacing Cyril Lloyd &ldquoTank&rdquo Johnson, whom McClairen had handed the reins to in 1973. That was the first year that McClairen&rsquos responsibilities were down to a single job &ndash basketball coach.

Thus, as AD, Thompson had &ldquotwo highly touted mentors at my disposal who were very vital and available.&rdquo

Thompson also noted that McClairen sacrificed his personal won-loss record in basketball by playing in &ldquoroad kill&rdquo games in the 1980s and &rsquo90s against Division I teams to generate revenue for the university, which helped finance the infrastructure to update Bethune-Cookman football.

Thompson, who earlier this year joined McClairen in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, added: &ldquoWe are still living off the interest of the investment that Cy McClairen has made in our university.&rdquo

McClairen made sure players heard him

McClairen, who is 6-foot-4 with a playing weight of 210 pounds &ndash and he is not a pound heavier today &ndash is known as a humorous character who is caring, giving and active in his church. However, Thompson said, the gentle giant possesses a hard-to-match penchant for &ldquourban poetry,&rdquo particularly when he has to break down a student-athlete.

One victim was future Hall of Fame offensive lineman Larry Little (class of &rsquo67), who will be attending the McClairen tributes later this month.

&ldquoI remember it was my freshman year,&rdquo Little said. &ldquoSome of the football players had gone out on the night of the Omegas [Omega Psi Phi fraternity] ball. We didn&rsquot go to the ball we just went out, and we might have had a little too much to drink.&rdquo

Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame guard Larry Little, a Bethune-Cookman football alum, sets to block a New England Patriots linebacker Sam Hunt in a 22-14 win on Sept. 28, 1975, at Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Someone did damage to a campus dormitory.

&ldquoCy came into the Hole [the football team&rsquos living quarters] kicking in doors that next morning. He said, &lsquoEverybody be at the meeting at 8 a.m.&rsquo &rdquo

McClairen began singling out players, using colorful language.

Little continued: &ldquoWhen he got to me, he said: &lsquoLittle, you haven&rsquot been here but a minute, and you f&mdashing up already.&rdquo

When Little tried to defend himself, McClairen retorted: &ldquoYour eyes look like the red river of a fox&rsquos a&ndash.&rdquo

Little, who played offense and defense at Bethune-Cookman, credits the coaching and tough love of McClairen and Johnson for preparing him for the NFL. McClairen was later a mentor to Little, who coached Bethune-Cookman football from 1983-91.

Little was a member of the 1972 Miami Dolphins 17-0 NFL championship team, but perhaps Little&rsquos proudest coaching achievement is when as coach of then-Division II North Carolina Central football team (1993-98), he registered a September 1994 victory over a Bethune-Cookman team coached by McClairen.

As the Orlando Sentinel tells it:

&ldquoReturning to face his alma mater, North Carolina Central coach Larry Little broke down in tears during his pregame speech. It was Bethune-Cookman that broke down during the game. The Wildcats had six turnovers, allowing Little a happy homecoming as his Division II Eagles stunned Division I-AA Bethune-Cookman 24-5 before 6,528 at Municipal Stadium.

Little, who played under Cy McClairen at B-CC from 1963-67, was fired by Bethune President Oswald Bronson following the 1991 season after nine years as the Wildcats&rsquo head coach.&rdquo

&ldquoI never let him forget about that one,&rdquo said Little, who just might remind McClairen again on Aug. 12.

Long after the August celebrations, McClairen will have plenty of people around to tell his stories to. He has been married for 57 years to Daytona Beach native Margaret, who was Miss B-CC in her senior year.

He has two daughters, Robin and Michelle a son, Dwayne three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Plus, McClairen will continue to come to the office &ldquoa couple days a week and just do what he wants to do,&rdquo Thompson said.

It all started in 1949

McClairen began his association with the university when he enrolled as a student in 1949. After a six-year NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and two military stints in between, McClairen came back to Bethune-Cookman in 1961 to be head football coach.

His responsibilities would grow almost the moment he set foot on campus.

&ldquoThe basketball coach left two days before school opened,&rdquo McClairen remembered. &ldquoThen, my AD had a heart attack and was going downhill real fast.

&ldquoI didn&rsquot have time to try to find no athletic director, so I took over that job and the basketball program.

&ldquoSo for 12 years, I held those three positions, coming out of the Army.&rdquo

McClairen was head football coach 1961-1972 and 1994 to 1996 &ndash his last season as a head coach. He was basketball coach 1961-1966 and 1968-1993.

Raymond McDoogle coached the 1966-67 basketball team, and Tony Sheals succeeded McClairen before the 1993-94 season.

McClairen was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1953, but his playing days were delayed by the two-year hitch in the military. A knee injury ended his NFL career after six seasons.

McClairen, No. 87, playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Photo is provided courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Courtesy of Bethune Cookman University

McClairen has been around so long that he remembers when the Cleveland Browns were an elite team in the NFL thanks to a player named Jim Brown.

With two players &ndash Little and defensive tackle Maulty Moore &ndash on the &rsquo72 Dolphins, McClairen, who has a Steelers helmet in his office &ndash became a Dolphins fan as well.

His tenure and people skills &ndash driving skills as well &ndash gave him firsthand knowledge of Bethune-Cookman legends, including founder Mary McLeod Bethune.

Rashean Mathis (class of 2003, who recently retired after 11 seasons with his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars and two with the Detroit Lions) remembered that McClairen, then an administrator, &ldquoalways had a smile on his face.&rdquo

&ldquoBefore I even knew who he was, he was like a ball of energy, a light that came into the room,&rdquo Mathis said.

&ldquoIf he was having a bad day, you never knew it. And he had this handshake he would give everyone those Michael Jordan hands would swallow up your hand, and he would greet everyone with a &lsquoYol!&rsquo

&ldquoAll that he had accomplished, it was amazing to see how humble he was, said Mathis, who also will attend the McClairen tributes.

&ldquoI believe we stand on the backs of those who stood before us,&rdquo Mathis said.

&ldquoWith Cy, it was like Herschel Walker walking down the halls at Georgia or Deion Sanders at Florida State,&rdquo Mathis said. &ldquoThat&rsquos what Cy is for us. He was one of the first [NFL players]. You just don&rsquot know about it because he wasn&rsquot from a big school.&rdquo

While at Bethune, Mathis had 14 interceptions in 2002 playing for former NFL defensive back Alvin Wyatt (class of &rsquo70) to break a record of 13 set in 1969 by Wyatt, who had been recruited by McClairen and played for him. Mathis broke Wyatt&rsquos single-season interception record and holds the IAA record. Wyatt still holds the school record by 34-31. Wyatt was named head coach by Thompson in 1997 and became Bethune&rsquos winningest football coach (90-54).

McClairen&rsquos life touched by legends

But exactly how well did McClairen know Bethune, who in 1904 founded the Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls, which eventually grew to become the private Bethune-Cookman College?

Well, as a student, he was her driver, being one of the few people on campus with a car and a driver&rsquos license.

Perhaps another link as impressive is this: McClairen was a member of the NFL Pro Bowl in 1957 in Los Angeles, when he was third in the NFL with 46 receptions, just ahead Frank Gifford (future Hall of Famer and Monday Night Football pioneer), with had 41 catches.

Coach &ldquoCy&rdquo McClairen (C) with university officials.

Courtesy of Bethune Cookman

During the Pro Bowl week, McClairen&rsquos roommate was a breakout star from Syracuse who was an All-American in football and lacrosse.

So what does McClairen remember about Jim Brown, whom some consider the greatest football player ever?

&ldquoHe was kind of quiet, and he was a rookie,&rdquo McClairen said. &ldquoHe spent a good part of the week on the phone with somebody from Syracuse that had promised him a car at the end of his rookie season.&rdquo

McClairen remembered more about Brown.

&ldquoJim Brown was a hell of a football player,&rdquo McClairen continued. &ldquoHe could outrun most of the white boys [as well as most of the black ones], and he was a workhorse, and coming from Syracuse, he was a complete ball player.&rdquo

Coming out of high school in Panama City, Florida, McClairen was not a complete, polished football player, and he almost didn&rsquot make it to Bethune-Cookman.

He was first set to play at Florida A&M for the legendary Alonzo &ldquoJake&rdquo Gaither, who seemed to have a lock on the talent pool at Florida&rsquos segregated black high schools.

Gaither&rsquos teams (204-36-4, 36 All-Americans, 42 in the NFL) won 22 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles in his 25 years as head coach and six Black College National Championships between 1950 and 1961.

But Gaither wanted McClairen to try out &ndash a process that could take up to two years &ndash to earn a scholarship, with no guarantees.

McClairen wasn&rsquot having any of that.

When McClairen returned home, his father called Richard V. Moore, McClairen&rsquos middle school principal, who was then president of &hellip Bethune-Cookman College.

History was about the take shape.

At Bethune-Cookman, McClairen was slated to play tackle for coach Rudolph &ldquoBunky&rdquo Matthews, until substituting at tight end during a practice &ndash and that&rsquos the position McClairen played for the Steelers.

On the basketball court, McClairen was a forward, and one of his teammates was future Temple University Hall of Fame coach John Chaney.

McClairen&rsquos basketball talents &ndash as well as football &ndash made Gaither and Florida A&M regret not offering him a scholarship.

&ldquoI caught a touchdown pass to beat Jake Gaither for the first time in Bethune-Cookman history,&rdquo he said.

When the Wildcats beat the Florida A&M Rattlers 8-7 in the 1952 homecoming game, in attendance was former Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, who was running the Pittsburgh Pirates.

McClairen suspects Rickey spread the word about his exploits to the Steelers, who drafted McClairen in 1953.

Then, during basketball season, McClairen teamed with Chaney to beat the Rattlers for the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship.

McClairen was SIAC player of the year in that season.

In 1977, he was named SIAC Coach of the Year. When Bethune-Cookman later joined MEAC, McClairen would eventually win MEAC Coach of the Year in football and in basketball.

How good was McClairen as a basketball player? While in the Army between 1951-53, he was part of invitation-only barnstorming games organized by eventual Globetrotter legend Marques Haynes, whom McClairen remembers as &ldquothat dribbler from Oklahoma.&rdquo

A good basketball player, yes, but how good was McClairen as a basketball coach?

With no previous coaching experience, he had 16 consecutive winning seasons, according to Dan Ryan, Bethune-Cookman&rsquos athletic historian and assistant sports information director. McClairen had four 20-win seasons and four postseason appearances.

His 1967-68 SIAC champions &ndash without a shot clock or 3-point line &ndash averaged 102.6 points a game, which is better than the 2015-16 Orlando Magic and 15 other NBA teams, according to Ryan, a Bethune-Cookman historian.

McClairen&rsquos best teams featured future ABA and NBA players Carl Fuller and Johnnie Allen.

His basketball winning percentage was .678 after the 1978 season but slipped under .500 during the fundraising sacrificial games against Division I heavyweights such as Arkansas, Minnesota and Georgetown.

In the NFL, McClairen also played against New York Giants defensive back Emlen Tunnell, who in 1967 became the first African-American inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as well as Dick &ldquoNight Train&rdquo Lane, another Hall of Fame defensive back.

McClairen offered short takes on some of Bethune-Cookman&rsquos greats.

On Larry Little:

Former Miami Dolphin Larry Little speaks during a news conference announcing Reebok&rsquos new television campaign, dubbed &ldquoPerfectville,&rdquo featuring members of the only undefeated team in NFL history, the 1972 Miami Dolphins, on Feb. 1, 2008, at the Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images for Reebok

&ldquoHe was the greatest player I ever coached. He was real fast and he could do it all. He could block well, he could play defense well, and he was quick as a cat.&rdquo

John Chaney in his playing days:

Temple head coach John Chaney directs his team during the Temple-Virginia Tech National Invitational Tournament first-round basketball game at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Virginia, on March 15, 2005.

&ldquoHe could handle the ball and shoot it. He got married before he finished college. He made the Globetrotters team, but his wife said he couldn&rsquot stay away from home that long. So he got a job with the local high school until he went on to Temple.&rdquo

Alvin Wyatt, a former Bethune-Cookman football coach who played in the NFL:

Bethune-Cookman coach Alvin Wyatt holds up the trophy after Bethune-Cookman defeated Florida A&M 39-35 in the Florida Classic in Orlando, Florida, on Nov. 22, 2003.

&ldquoHe was a star out of Jacksonville, but he hurt his knee, and Jack Gaither wouldn&rsquot give him a scholarship [to FAMU].

&ldquoOur doctors checked him out and found his knee was fine, and he switched from offense to defense.&rdquo

McClairen said he helped his players with their NFL contract negotiations &ndash Little with Miami and Wyatt with the Oakland Raiders.

McClairen also believed he knows why Gaither dominated the black college football circuit the way coach Eddie Robinson dominated at Grambling.

&ldquoJake was filming the game when most black schools couldn&rsquot afford to film it,&rdquo McClairen said.

He stopped being head basketball coach in 1993, but had to take over football in the fall after the football coach left abruptly after a drug conviction.

In the following season, he &ldquobeat Florida A&M for the second time in my career as coach.&rdquo

On Bethune-Cookman career-passing leader Bernard Hawk (7,737 yards and 56 touchdowns):

&ldquoHe could flat-out throw that football. And he could run the football himself. He was just a hell of a quarterback to say the least. And he played it for four years.&rdquo

On Rashean Mathis:

Rashean Mathis (No. 31) of the Detroit Lions breaks up a pass intended for Riley Cooper (No. 14) of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Dec. 8, 2013, in Philadelphia.

Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images

&ldquo[Head football coach Alvin] Wyatt got him because he talked to his parents. Wyatt worked with him individually and brought him up to date. He had ability, so it fell in place.&rdquo

Mathis would go on to break Wyatt&rsquos career interceptions record at Bethune-Cookman.

Did we mention that McClairen was once on The Oprah Winfrey Show?

One of the players whom McClairen cut from the football team &ndash one who legend has it was not even offered a scholarship by Gaither and Florida A&M &ndash went on to become be famed trial attorney Willie Gary. He eventually played at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and graduated from law school at North Carolina Central University in nearby Durham, both historically black universities.

Winfrey reunited the pair on her TV show, according to Ryan, who has compiled a compendium of MClairen factoids.

It seems Gary, whose law practice is in Florida, doesn&rsquot hold a grudge against McClairen or Bethune-Cookman and has contributed several times to the university.

McClairen still believes he made the right decision.

&ldquoI didn&rsquot offer him a scholarship because he had never played football,&rdquo McClairen said. &ldquoThe president of the university wanted me to do the show, so I did it.

What&rsquos 🔥 Right Now

&ldquoBut we didn&rsquot have the money to give to a guy who had never played football that I knew of.&rdquo

Historic Second Avenue

The Historic Second Avenue Project interviews began in 2012 to research the vibrant African American community located on what is now known as Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard. In the video, local individuals reveal the breadth and scope of the area’s atmosphere and amenities that, during segregation, provided for everyone’s needs. Research into the local community is ongoing and perhaps insight regarding revitalization without gentrification can be obtained.

What comes to light in these series of interviews is how the implementation of Urban Renewal in the early 1960s fundamentally and irrevocably altered that sense of community. Daytona Beach was one of many adversely affected cities in Florida. Other neighborhoods, for example Overtown in Miami and Progress Village in Tampa were places where the “term ‘blight’ was used as an economic descriptor in real estate terms that denoted property in which value no longer appreciated, regardless of that property’s appearance or structural integrity”. In Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Space, Place, Region edited by Michelle Nickerson and Darren Dochuck (2011), suggests that urban renewal politics and policies were influenced by institutionalized racism when the term ‘blight’ might also have been a “cultural signifier for a people, usually black, who themselves had no value or at least no values” (p.181).

B-CU Mass Communications student Mark Gottlieb served as editor and History major Daremoni Jones hosted interviews with former Daytona Beach City Councilmen, Mr. James Huger and Mr. Bernard Smith, business owner Ms. Patricia Hamilton Heard, Tanya Jenkins, Minnie King, Carretta King Butler, and others who tell some of the history of Second Avenue in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Featured Biographies

Bernard Smith, Jr. was born in Daytona Beach, FL, in the building which would eventually become the General Studies building for Bethune Cookman College at the time, it was the area’s black hospital. His father had a close friendship with Mrs. Bethune, and she actually visited the family in the hospital after Mr. Smith’s birth.

Harold V. Lucas Jr. was born in Daytona Beach on October 5, 1932 to parents Harold Lucas Sr. and Althea Beatrice Lucas. Lucas attended Cypress Street Elementary and Campbell High School where he played basketball and was involved in the drama club, business club, and woodworking club.

HSAP Documentary

Project Created By Mark Anthony Gottlieb Jr. History & Mass Communication Professional Produced & Edited by Joshua Cohen, Senior- Mass Communications: Broadcast Production Technology

6 Things To Know About Bethune-Cookman University

Here's some fast facts about the Daytona-Beach HBCU, recently in the news for inviting U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to speak at their 2017 graduation.

On Wednesday, historically Black university Bethune-Cookman acquired national attention after U.S. Secretary Betsy DeVos delivered their commencement speech.

Shortly after the University made the announcement — less than two weeks shy of their graduation ceremony —students and alumni began to petition the University to withdraw DeVos as their speaker.

Two-time HBCU alumnus Dominik Whitehead spearheaded one of the online petitions that garnered more than 5,000 signatures within just a few days of its creation. Whitehead shared with ESSENCE how the selection of the speaker at his alma mater “sends a mix message and it becomes tone-deaf.”

Recent graduates Taylor and Tyler Durrant, who are 22-year-old identical twins, told ESSENCE that they found the selection both “insulting” and “embarrassing.”

“I think it’s just a slap in the face to understand now that we’re being sold … our legacy is being sold,” Tyler Durrant told ESSENCE about her skepticism of her soon-to-be alma mater’s motives to invite the U.S. Secretary to speak during their graduation.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Daytona Beach-based historically Black college founded nearly 150 years ago:

Educator-civil rights leader, Mary McLeod Bethune, founded Bethune-Cookman University. According to University’s website, Bethune opened the Daytona Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in 1904 with $1.50, faith in God and five little girls: Lena, Lucille, and Ruth Warren, Anna Geiger and Celest Jackson.

People, Locations, Episodes

*The creation of Cookman Institute in 1872 is celebrated on this date. This was one of the first schools for Blacks that preceded America’s many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

Located in Jacksonville, Florida the Rev. S. B. Darnell founded this school, which was named after the Rev. Alfred Cookman, a Methodist minister, who gave money for the assembly of the first building. Associated with Georgia’s Clark University, Cookman was the first institution for the higher education of Negroes in the State of Florida, and for a long time it was the only school of the kind in the State. For nearly half a century it maintained a high moral, spiritual, and intellectual standard for the thousands of young Black men and women who came under its influence.

Many Blacks in Florida loved and honored "Old Cookman" and the names of Dr. Darnell and "Miss Lillie," Miss Lillie M. Whitney, a former and greatly loved teacher, were warm with memories. Many of the early pupils were ex-slaves eager to learn. Old men and old women sat side by side with boys and girls in the classes. School at night and day school were conducted. The great Jacksonville fire of 1901 destroyed all of the buildings. It was (then) decided to secure a new location before rebuilding, in order to get the school a little farther from the center of town. After rebuilding, the enrollment was about two hundred and fifty. Cookman had classes in all the elementary grades and in the four high school grades. In addition there were special courses in normal training, music, domestic science, sewing, and public speaking and they added sewing, shoemaking, printing, business, and agriculture.

The educational opportunities for Blacks at the time were inadequate, and Cookman's future, particularly as a training school for teachers was intense and useful. Nearly half the population of Jacksonville was Black at the turn of the twentieth century and the demand for teachers was huge. From Cookman a stream of selected young people went on to further study at Clark, Meharry, Gammon, and other colleges and professional schools. Cookman President selected Professor Isaac H. Miller of Clark to serve as principal. Under his capable leadership the school was transformed both physically and spiritually.

Cookman Institute was merged in 1923 with the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute of Daytona Beach, founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Together they became Bethune-Cookman College.

The Encyclopedia of African American Heritage
by Susan Altman
Copyright 1997, Facts on File, Inc. New York
ISBN 0-8160-3289-0

People, Locations, Episodes

On this date in 1904, Bethune Cookman University was founded. It is one of more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in America (HBCU).

Activist and educator Mary McLeod Bethune founded it as a normal and industrial school for Black girls in Daytona Beach, FL. Started in a rented house with only five students, in less than two years she attracted 250 pupils. By 1916, the school had grown into the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute and was affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

After absorbing the Cookman Institute for boys in Jacksonville, the newly christened Bethune-Cookman College was established as a high school with junior college courses in 1924. Despite the heavy financial squeeze of the Great Depression, Bethune-Cookman became a two-year college in 1939, a four-year college shortly after, and received a Grade A accreditation in 1947, the last year of Dr. Bethune’s presidency.

In 1990 Bethune-Cookman was the only Historically Black College founded by a woman. It is the 6th largest of the 39-member UCNF colleges with a student body nearing 3,000. Bethune-Cookman offers Bachelor of Science degrees in 39 major areas through six academic divisions: Business, Education, Humanities, Nursing, Science/Mathematics, and Social Sciences.

The college is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Florida State Department of Education, the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, AMA Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration National League for Nursing.

Black American Colleges and Universities:
Profiles of Two-Year, Four-Year, & Professional Schools
by Levirn Hill, Pub., Gale Group, 1994
ISBN: 0-02-864984-2

Bethune-Cookman University College World Series History

YearStageLocationConferenceRoundRankStatsRosterOverallInclusionnthOther Schools in this RoundMajor Leaguers
2017RegionalsGainesville,FLMEAC2Team StatsRoster36-25Automatic16Florida, South Florida, Marist---
2016RegionalsGainesville,FLMEAC4Team StatsRoster29-27Automatic15Florida, Georgia Tech, Connecticut---
2014RegionalsCoral Gables,FLMEAC3Team StatsRoster27-33Automatic14Texas Tech, Miami, ColumbiaMontana Durapau
2012RegionalsGainesville,FLMEAC4Team StatsRoster34-27Automatic13Florida, Georgia Tech, College of CharlestonMontana Durapau
2011RegionalsTallahassee,FLMEAC4Team StatsRoster35-22Automatic12Florida State, Alabama, Central FloridaMontana Durapau, Peter O'Brien
2010RegionalsGainesville,FLMEAC4Team StatsRoster35-22Automatic11Florida, Florida Atlantic, Oregon StatePeter O'Brien
2009RegionalsGainesville,FLMEAC4Team StatsRoster32-28Automatic10Florida, Miami, JacksonvilleHiram Burgos, Peter O'Brien
2008RegionalsCoral Gables,FLMEAC4Team StatsRoster36-22Automatic9Miami, Mississippi, MissouriHiram Burgos
2007RegionalsTallahassee,FLMEAC4Team StatsRoster33-27Automatic8Mississippi State, Florida State, StetsonHiram Burgos
2006RegionalsOxford,MSMEAC4Team StatsRoster30-27Automatic7Mississippi, Tulane, South AlabamaHiram Burgos
2004RegionalsTallahassee,FLMEAC4Team StatsRoster27-28Automatic6Florida State, Central Florida, Oklahoma State---
2003RegionalsCoral Gables,FLMEAC4Team StatsRoster30-28Automatic5Miami, Florida, Florida Atlantic---
2002RegionalsGainesville,FLMEAC3Team StatsRoster39-22Automatic4Florida, Miami, Florida Intl---
2001RegionalsTallahassee,FLMEAC4Team StatsRoster26-34---3Florida State, Auburn, Jacksonville---
2000RegionalsTallahassee,FLMEAC4Team StatsRoster33-29---2Florida State, Central Florida, Evansville---
1999RegionalsCoral Gables,FL--4Team StatsRoster------1Miami, Florida Atlantic, Florida Intl---
16 record(s)

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Mary McLeod Bethune

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Mary McLeod Bethune, (born July 10, 1875, Mayesville, South Carolina, U.S.—died May 18, 1955, Daytona Beach, Florida), American educator who was active nationally in African American affairs and was a special adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the problems of minority groups.

Mary McLeod was the daughter of former slaves. She graduated from Scotia Seminary (now Barber-Scotia College) in Concord, North Carolina, in 1893 and from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in 1895. She married Albertus L. Bethune in 1898, and until 1903 she taught in a succession of small Southern schools.

In 1904 Bethune moved to the east coast of Florida, where a large African American population had grown up at the time of the construction of the Florida East Coast Railway, and in Daytona Beach, in October, she opened a school of her own, the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls. Having virtually no tangible assets with which to start, she worked tirelessly to build a schoolhouse, solicit help and contributions, and enlist the goodwill of both the African American and white communities. In 1923 the school was merged with the Cookman Institute for Men, then in Jacksonville, Florida, to form what was known from 1929 as Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach. Bethune remained president of the college until 1942 and again from 1946 to 1947. Under her administration the college won full accreditation and grew to an enrollment of more than 1,000.


Classifications Edit

  • 1951–1972: NCAA College Division
  • 1973–1979: NCAA Division II
  • 1980–present: NCAA Division I–AA/FCS

Conference memberships Edit

  • 1925–1945: Independent
  • 1946–1949: Southeastern Athletic Conference
  • 1950–1979: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
  • 1979–2020: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
  • 2021–present: Southwestern Athletic Conference
Year Conference Overall record Conference record Head Coach
1984 MEAC 7–3 4–0 Larry Little
1988* MEAC 5–6 4–2 Larry Little
2002 MEAC 11–2 7–1 Alvin Wyatt
2010* MEAC 10–2 7–1 Brian Jenkins
2012 MEAC 8–3 8–0 Brian Jenkins
2013* MEAC 10–3 5–1 Brian Jenkins
2014* MEAC 9–3 6–2 Brian Jenkins
2015* MEAC 9–2 7–1 Terry Sims
Total 8
* Denotes a tie for first place and conference co-champion

The Wildcats have won two Black College Football National Championships, a mythical national championship won by the best black college football team(s) in the United States of America.

Year Conference Overall record Conference record Head Coach
2010 MEAC 10–2 7–1 Brian Jenkins
2013 MEAC 10–3 5–1 Brian Jenkins
Total 2

The Wildcats have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs five times with an overall record of 0–5.

Year Round Opponent Result
2002 First Round Georgia Southern L 0–34
2003 First Round Florida Atlantic L 24–32
2010 Second Round New Hampshire L 20–45
2012 First Round Coastal Carolina L 20–45
2013 First Round Coastal Carolina L 24–48

Over 31 Bethune–Cookman alumni have played in the NFL, [3] including:

One former BCU football player has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Year inducted Player POS Seasons at BCU NFL team(s) Years with NFL team(s)
1993 Larry Little G 1963–1966 San Diego Chargers 1967–1968
Miami Dolphins 1969–1980

The Buck Buchanan Award is given to the most outstanding defensive player in Division I FCS. In 2002, Rashean Mathis of Bethune- Cookman won the award. [4] Mathis holds the NCAA FCS/ I-AA records for most interceptions in a season (14), most interceptions during a career (31), most yards on interception returns in a season (455), and most yards on interception returns in a career (682). [5]

Watch the video: Bethune-Cookman University Campus Tour 2020