In 1904, with faith in God, $1.50 and five little girls, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune embarked on a journey to transform lives and opened the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls. In 1919, the curriculum was expanded and the name was changed to the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute. In 1923, it became a co-ed high school as a result of the merger with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Florida (founded in 1872) and was named the Daytona Cookman Collegiate Institute. The institution evolved into a junior college and was subsequently renamed Bethune-Cookman College in 1931, and in 2007, the institution achieved university status with the offering of graduate programs and became Bethune-Cookman University.

Throughout its existence and evolution, Bethune-Cookman University established a stellar reputation for preparing women and men for leadership and service. Bethune-Cookman University’s academic reputation, dynamic faculty and 82-acre historic campus attracts more than 3,500 students from across the United States and around the world. At B-CU, students receive a liberal arts education in a full range of academic programs including business, education, humanities, the sciences and nursing.