Bennett College Receives $20,000 Walmart Foundation Grant to Support Accreditation Efforts

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Bennett College is pleased to announce it has been awarded a 2017 Walmart Foundation mini grant of $20,000

Bennett College is pleased to announce it has been awarded a 2017 Walmart Foundation mini grant of $20,000. The grant is administered through UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building (ICB), and Bennett is among 12 grant recipients this year to receive funds to assist with reaccreditation efforts.

Of the 12 institutions, Bennett College is among six selected by UNCF to use its $20,000 grant toward preparation for its reaffirmation of accreditation, a customary, ten-year process required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the regional accrediting body that governs Bennett College. The remaining six selected institutions will use a $10,000 grant for their five-year interim readiness reviews. The mini grants will provide technical assistance from content-area experts, which will better prepare Bennett to document its success in educating students to maintain full accreditation upon review completion.

“I would like to thank the Walmart Foundation for consistently supporting UNCF and its member institutions, including Bennett College,” said President Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins. “Offering this critical capacity-building grant will further strengthen Bennett College, help to preserve her historic legacy and will ultimately benefit the deserving students we serve.”

Bennett administrators have been working diligently to increase fundraising and enrollment. Last fall, the Institution experienced a 38% increase in new-student enrollment, a 22% housing occupancy increase and an overall enrollment increase of 2%. Fundraising was up 10% during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017, attributable in large part to Bennett’s alumnae, which consistently rank in the Top Three in HBCU alumni giving. The numbers of students applying to and being accepted at Bennett is also up significantly.

“We are making great improvements at Bennett College, where approximately 7,000 women have received their undergraduate degrees,” Dawkins said. “Bennett Belles have gone on to make their mark throughout the nation and the world in many areas of expertise, and we are grateful for this grant that will allow us to continue educating young women for generations to come.”

Over the last decade, the Walmart Foundation has granted more than $4 million to UNCF, which includes the recent announcement of $500,000 to support UNCF’s ICB, a network-wide initiative that helps strengthen member Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Through the Walmart Foundation’s support of ICB, funds and technical assistance can help institutions with their accreditation reaffirmation.

“Once again, the Walmart Foundation has made a significant investment in UNCF’s HBCUs, which in turn results in an investment in America’s future workforce and economic development,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. “Through the continued investment in UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building, which supports our member HBCUs, including Bennett College, Walmart is ensuring that our institutions are given the proper tools to function, to train and equip faculty and staff, and to best serve students who will become leaders of tomorrow.”

As a result of targeted implementation activities, anticipated outcomes include improved fiscal operations and processes, improved staff competencies and capacities, timely report submissions and full compliance with the accrediting body – all of which help to ensure that institutions provide a quality education and have sufficient facilities, faculty, staff and other resources to accomplish their missions. Since the beginning of the Walmart Foundation’s support of ICB, the entire network of UNCF’s 37-member institutions has received grants to assist in various areas of the accreditation process.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspire our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations, or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, but we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit

About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarships, internships and fellowships, mentoring, summer enrichment and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Learn more at, or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter, @UNCF.

About Bennett College
Bennett College was founded in 1873 by the United Methodist Church and became a women’s-only institution in 1926. For 145 years, women have found Bennett to be the ideal place to foster the constant rhythm of ideas. Each student’s individual need for self-expression and desire for achievement is constantly nurtured, and the College fosters a strong respect for every student. Today, in the midst of a very active renaissance, Bennett is preparing contemporary women to be well-educated, productive professionals, informed, participating citizens and enlightened parents. The College offers twenty-four areas of study in Education, the Social Sciences, the Humanities and in Natural and Behavioral Sciences and Mathematics. Numerous opportunities to study at other higher education institutions at home and abroad are available to continue the educational enrichment of Bennett’s students.

The College’s goals continue to focus on the intellectual, spiritual and cultural growth of young women to prepare them for lifelong learning and leadership. Since1930, more than 7,000 women have graduated from Bennett College. Known as Bennett Belles, they continue to be among contributing women of achievement in all walks of life.

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Monique Lenoir
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