Bethune-Cookman College was established from the merger in 1923 of two Florida institutions: the Cookman Institute for Boys of Jacksonville, founded in 1872 by the Reverend D. S. B. Darnell; and the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute of Daytona Beach, founded in 1904 by Dr.Mary McLeod Bethune.
Mary McLeod. Bethune was instrumental in promoting the education of African American children. In 1904, Bethune moved to Daytona to establish her own school, the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls, which opened October 3, 1904 in a small cottage near the railroad tracks. Within two years the school had four teachers and 250 pupils, including boys. Faith Hall became the school's new home in 1907. By 1914, the school outgrew this small building, and the program moved to White Hall, an attractive Georgian Revival building completed in 1916. Renamed the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute, it was the first high school for black students in the area. Financial uncertainty led to the merger with the Cookman Institute (c. 1898 drawing shown above). The school's named was changed to the Daytona-Cookman Collegiate Institute and had an affiliation with the Board of Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.
Both institutions had curriculums rooted in Christian principles to address the growing need for rudimentary training for African American boys and girls. In 1931, the college took on its current name, Bethune-Cookman College. In 1941, implementation of a four-year college degree program in liberal arts and teacher training allowed study towards a Bachelor degree in Elementary Education. Mary McLeod Bethune's home, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 640 Second Ave. on campus.
Return to top
Theme Map and Site Listing | Golden Cresent Home page