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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bethune-Cookman receives $4.6 million gift from donor

An anonymous philanthropist has given $4.6 million to Bethune-Cookman College.

The gift is the largest in B-CC's 102-year history.

Miami attorney Larry Handfield, a trustee and 1978 alumnus, said the donor is a friend of his who sought out his counsel.

"(The donor) trusted my direction as far as what will be a good purpose," Handfield said Thursday in a telephone interview.

He told the contributor that Bethune-Cookman touches people's lives every day. The school steered Handfield, a fatherless inner-city teenager, to law school.

When asked about the amount, Handfield said: "When someone is being generous, you don't ask questions."

The gift is unrestricted, meaning the college can use it as it sees fit.

Stephen Schafer, vice president for institutional advancement, said the trustees and president are discussing what might be the best use. The "leading candidates" are a football training center and expanding the nursing program.

Handfield was once drum major in the Marching Wildcats Band.

"(He) is a drum major on all fronts for the college. He is leading on a new and powerful level," President Trudie Kibbe Reed said in a written statement.


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