Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune was a leader, educator, and civil rights activist. She is well-known for starting a private school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, Florida, and remains an influential leader in the Daytona Beach area, as well as throughout the state of Florida.
The school, originally called the Daytona Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls, merged with Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Florida, in 1923. This merger eventually resulted in the evolution of the school name to Bethune-Cookman University, as it is known today, in honor of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
This year, on the anniversary of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s 144th birthday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent a letter to the U.S. Capitol architect, officially requesting that a statue of Dr. Bethune replace the General Edmund Kirby Smith statue that is currently located in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. This will result in Bethune being the first African American to have a state-commissioned statue, which is expected to be unveiled next year.
“Dr. McLeod Bethune’s statue will represent the best of who we are as Floridians to visitors from around the world in our nation’s capital,” stated Governor Desantis in a news release. “Her legacy endures and will continue to inspire future generations.”
Brown & Brown is proud to support this milestone by recently presenting a $25,000 donation to help fund the statue. Pictured above, some of the Brown & Brown team, including Hyatt Brown, Chairman; Powell Brown, President & CEO; and Bob Lloyd, EVP, Secretary & General Counsel, presented the donation to Bethune-Cookman University Board Member Pete Gamble and President Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite. Brown & Brown has also pledged to help raise an additional $25,000 in donations through fundraising efforts.
The Campaign fund began in April of 2018 and has raised $380,000 of the $400,000 goal, including the Brown & Brown donation.
If you are interested in donating to the Mary McLeod Bethune Statuary Fund, please click here.