| The year was 1904 when a very determined young black woman, Mary McLeod Bethune, opened the Daytona Educational and
Industrial Training School for Negro Girls. It underwent several stages of growth and development through the years.
In 1923, it became a co-ed high school as a result of a merger with Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Florida. A year
later, the school became affiliated with the United Methodist Church, evolved into a junior college by 1931 and became
known as Bethune-Cookman College.
In 1941, the Florida State Department of Education approved a 4-year baccalaureate program offering liberal arts and
teacher education. Mrs. Bethune retired in 1942 at which time James A. Colston became president until 1946 when Mrs.
Bethune resumed the presidency for a year.
Richard V. Moore, Sr. became president in 1947. Under his tenure the college was accredited by the Southern Association
of Colleges and Schools in 1970, joined the United Negro College Fund and other academic and professional organizations.
The curriculum expanded, student enrollment increased and new buildings were constructed for residential housing and
Oswald P. Bronson, Sr., Ph.D., an alumnus of the College, served as the 4th president of the college from 1975 to 2004.
During his tenure increased student enrollment led to continuous development and expansion of the college. A rapidly
increasing student enrollment led to construction of more student housing and classroom buildings. Major fields of study
increased from 12 in 1974 to 37 by 2003. In addition, seven continuing education centers for students began operating
throughout the state. While maintaining accreditation by SACS, Florida State Board of Education, and the United Methodist
Church Board of Higher Education the college added new accreditations in the Nursing and the Teacher Education programs.
Trudie Kibbe Reed, Ed.D., was appointed to the presidency in August 2004 by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Reed is the first
woman to serve in this capacity since Dr. Bethune, the college founder.
Since 1943, the college has graduated more than 12,900 students who have provided support to the college. Traditionally,
the college has maintained intercollegiate athletics programs, instrumental and choral groups which have achieved
national recognition. Many alumni are employed in the fields of education, medicine, business, politics, government,
science, religion, athletics and environmental sciences.