Sonya Perdue Bolton, far left, who was in the marching band at Saint Paul’s College, in 1983. Featured Image
Since the 1930s, the women of Bennett College, one of the nation’s two historically black colleges for women, have dressed in white and sung their “Preference Song” over an annual breakfast. They wave white linen napkins in the air, cheering “dear old Bennett College,” and welcome incoming freshmen.
The tradition, near and dear to the Belles of Bennett College, may soon be lost, along with the school itself.
In December, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges voted to eliminate Bennett’s accreditation because of the school’s bleak financial report. Without it, the small, North Carolina-based private school is ineligible for federal funding, a likely death knell.
Bennett, founded in 1873, is fighting the decision in court. If it loses, it could become the latest in a long line of historically black colleges and universities to succumb to time and financial woes.