Bennett College Interim President: School Will Be Community Focused

1:22 PM, Aug 19, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Bennett College was founded on service and community engagement but some alumni believe somewhere along the way new students and some alumni have lost sight of that.

Dr. Esther Terry, the school's interim president, has told the group, she wants to bring the school back to its roots.

News 2 spoke with some alumni Sunday who told us they are anxious to see the change and ready to help.

Dr. Terry, along with dozens of alumni held what they call "The Long Walk" Sunday on the college campus to affirm the promise and rededicate themselves to their alma mater.

Dressed in all white, the group accompanied Dr. Terry from her house to the school's chapel for the service.

"This day is so overwhelming; it is so heart fulfilling to see all of us back here, all of us supporting our college," said Dr. Lisa Johnson, an alumna of the school.

The "Long Walk" is about 500 steps from the president's home to the chapel. Traditionally, the president is accompanied by at least 500 alumnae as part of the ceremony.

Wanda Mobley, the school's spokesperson, says the walk is symbolic of the school's entrance into a new phase in its 139-year history.

"We want to be more of a community presence, we want the community to know Bennett is here for them as they have been here for us over the last 139 years," she said. "We want to be, you know, join some clubs and organizations and we want those clubs and organizations to partner with us and come on our campus."

Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins and Councilwoman Yvonne Johnson were at the education service. 

The school reports the alumni association contributed $900,000 in just the past academic year to support efforts at the college.

"Alums have that foundation of being engaged and a part of the community and making change occur, and I think it's important because the students need to continue that legacy," said Dr. Karen Martin-Jones, an alumna.

Dr. Esther Terry is the first alumni to lead Bennett College. She was named interim president after Dr. Julianne Malveux resigned in May of this year.

WFMY News 2

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