Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name



First Advisor

Dr. Margaret Rowley


This study deals with the early years of Bethune Cookman College, from the merger in 1923 to the retirement of Mrs. Mary Jane McLeod Bethune in 1942. Included is a brief historical background of both Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls and Cookman Institute. The purpose of this study is to give the history of the origin and early development of Bethune-cookman College, which was an outgrowth of the two most significant institutions for Blacks in Florida.

Although a number of studies have been done on Mrs. Bethune, most mention only briefly the origin of the college, and no real in-depth research has been done on the history of the college itself. This study is the first step toward looking into the history of the college and, hopefully, with further study in the future, an accurate account of the college's history can be written with the aid of this study.

The information used was taken from the Administrative Files and Registrar Office at Bethune-Cookman College and the Archives at Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Georgia. Interviews were held with people who had worked and lived with Mrs. Bethune and assisted in the growth and development of the college. Such secondary works as James P. Brawley, Two Centuries of Methodist Concern: Bondage, Freedom, and Education of Black People1 Ella Kaiser Carruth, She Wanted to Read: The Story of Mary McLeod Bethune1 Walter Jesses Dees, College Built on Prayer1 and Rackham Holt, Mary McLeod Bethune: A Biography proved to be of great value.

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