Dawkins To Step Down As President Of Bennett College

Dawkins To Step Down As President Of Bennett College

8:01am Jun 22, 2019
Bennett College officials including President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins (second from right) accepting a $500,000 gift from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in January. BETHANY CHAFIN/WFDD

Phyllis Worthy Dawkins is leaving her position as president of Bennett College.

The college’s Board of Trustees made the announcement Friday.

During her three years as president, Bennett has struggled with financial pressures and the risk of losing accreditation related to its finances.

Amid those struggles, Dawkins made strides to bring in money from major donors, including the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, which pledged a half-million dollars to Bennett earlier this year.

“We thank Dr. Dawkins for her time and contribution to Bennett College, especially her leadership during challenging times and her dedication to the Bennett Community,” Dr. Gladys Robinson, chairwoman of the Bennett College Board of Trustees, says in a statement from the college. “We look forward to securing new leadership that will take the college to the next level.”

The board of the historically black women’s college in Greensboro praised Dawkins for her leadership of the “Stand With Bennett” campaign, which raised almost $10 million.

She was named the institution’s 18th president in 2017 after serving almost a year as interim president.

Gwendolyn O’Neal, an alumna and former associate professor at Bennett, will serve as interim president. A new president is expected to be named at the start of the academic year.   

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