GREENSBORO, NC — Bennett College is $10,000 stronger thanks to the recent efforts of Ann Zuraw, President of Zuraw Financial Advisors.
Zuraw, with the support of Bennett College and several sponsors, raised $10,000 at the Bertha Sternberger & Bennett College Scholarship Fund Brunch at Greensboro Country Club last Wednesday, September 2nd. Zuraw’s great-grandmother, Bertha Sternberger, established a fund in 1925 to support education which is currently providing scholarships to Bennett Belles. Bertha Sternberger was also a supporter of Bennett College’s transition to a woman’s college in 1926.
“The goal for the fundraiser was to raise $10,000 for Bennett College” said Zuraw, a friend of President Rosalind Fuse-Hall, who were classmates at UNC -Chapel Hill. “We are ecstatic about the community support for Bennett College. With 200 attendees, it confirmed Greensboro’s support in the educational pursuits of women and the mission of Bennett College under the leadership of Rosalind Fuse-Hall. ”
The brunch featured as the speakers Linda Beatrice Brown, a graduate of Bennett College Class of ’61, and Bennett College President Rosalind Fuse-Hall. Brown discussed traditions set in place by her aunt, Willa B. Player, who served as president of Bennett College. President Fuse-Hall recognized the faculty, staff, trustees and students who attended the brunch. She also provided highlights of the initiatives and accomplishments of faculty, staff and students.
Brown told the crowd that the traditions set in place and framework for the establishment of Bennett College was designed —“to prepare women for the future, instill confidence, competence, and provide protections in a hostile white supremacist society.”
Brown also discussed her aunt’s leadership and her recognition of the changing times. She cited Dr. Player’s response to Belle activism, “At Bennett we teach our students how to think, not what to think.”
“Her walk down memory lane was a stark reminder that what Bennett has always stood for is as relevant today as it was 89 years ago when the college narrowed its focus to educating women,” said Theresa Bennett-Wilkes, member of Bennett College Class of 1972, who attended the brunch.
Dr. Fuse- Hall during her presentation, highlighted the following:
- Student Belles are working with area youth as case managers to gain on-the-job training in Social Work.
- Curricula are in development to familiarize students with global issues in preparation for their studies abroad.
- The College’s budget has been reduced to ensure it operates within its means.
- Retention numbers have increased.
- The largest major at Bennett is biology.
- Students are working with, and learning from, creative young faculty conducting innovative research in genetic and biotechnology via the core DNA analysis lab, which is providing research opportunities for them.
- Faculty and staff have generated $3 million in research grants and the college awaits a decision regarding another $1.6 million in proposals submitted.
- 44% of the students graduating from Bennett College pursue advanced degrees.
Both Dr. Fuse-Hall and Dr. Brown stressed the benefits of a Bennett College education.
This news article includes excerpts from a summary of the Bertha Sternberger Scholarship Fund Brunch written by Author Theresa Bennett-Wilkes, Bennett College Class of 1972 and a life member of the Bennett College National Alumnae Association