Chrite optimistic about B-CU’s future

Bethune-Cookman University's new president took a glass half-filled attitude in referring to the college's finances during his first speech before the student body.

"We have an incredible opportunity to re-imagine Bethune-Cookman University," President LaBrent Chrite said during remarks at the opening of the President's Assembly on Sept. 11 in the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center.

Chrite, the university's seventh president, said officials are working hard to address the university's current financial crisis.

Chrite greeted everyone and went on to encourage students, faculty, and staff. "Let faith, integrity, respect, and a thirst for knowledge to become your calling card," he said. The president also said that students should be mindful before distributing content on social media. "Your digital footprint will be on the record, permanently," he said.

The Rev. Reginald Lee Bachus served as the keynote speaker for the event. "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it," said Bachus, who is pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York. He also is a founding member of the 400 Foundation, a faith-based effort to advance economic equity in New York City's development and construction industry.

Bachus noted that the university's founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, beat the odds. "You're walking on legendary leadership," he said when referencing the social climate this university was founded in.

Bachus used biblical passages to drive his message on leadership. "You have an obligation and responsibility to carry the mantle," he said. He encouraged faculty and staff to exhibit "exceptional leadership."

Jerrykah Thomas, president of B-CU's Student Government Association, called on the name of B-CU's founder. She encouraged students to remain motivated and to not procrastinate. Thomas also announced that there will be a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, Sept. 26. 

By Ashlyn Denson