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Mary McLeod Bethune Award

Mary McLeod Bethune Award


The Mary McLeod Bethune Award is presented annually to the senior class student who has contributed most significantly to the advancement of the Black student community at the University of Maryland and the general interest of the University.  The award is presented at the University’s Annual Awards Banquet held during the spring semester.


Seniors are nominated by staff and faculty members in the beginning of the Spring Semester.  Nominated students will receive a notification about the opportunity to apply for this award and how they can highlight their involvement on campus and their growth throughout their four years at UMD.


Recipients must exemplify:

1.      Breadth of Campus Activities

2.      Depth of Campus Involvement

3.      Sense of Commitment to African American Concerns

4.      Participation Throughout Undergrad Career

5.      Community Service Involvement

6.      Scholastic Achievement


Who was Mary McLeod Bethune?

Mary McLeod Bethune was born to former slaves in South Carolina. She and her family grew up laboring in cotton farms, living in extreme poverty most of her life. She would later be the first from her family to attend school, and eventually college. Passionate about education and its role in equality and civil service, Mary founded a school for African-American girls called the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls which would later merge into Bethune-Cookman College. She became well known as a civil activist, promoting the rights of African-Americans and women for various affairs and even founding the National Council for Negro Women. Mary Bethune left a lasting legacy as one of the most influential civil rights leader, emphasizing education as her primary tool. Mary Bethune’s accomplishments were nationally recognized. In 1973 she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and a year later the Bethune Memorial Statue was built in her honor.  


Past Award Recipients:

·          2022 Alison McLure

·          2021 Joelle Everett

·          2020 Austin Plummer

·          2019 Bryce Hammond

·         2018 Ja'Nya Banks

·         2017 Wendell Alston, Jr. 

·         2016 Foluke Tuakli

·         2015 Jazmyn White

·         2014 Wendell Alston, Jr. 

·         2013 Vaughn Midder

·         2012 Nkema Anyiwo

·         2011 Tiffany Harvey

·         2010 Kameahle Christopher

·         2009 Constance Iloh

·         2008 Kyle Carson

·         2007 Nicole West

·         2006 Stefanie Brodie

·         2005 Alan Grantham / Derrick Weatherspoon

·         2004 Jean Gabi Powell

·         2003 Nana Nyarko

·         2002 Patrice Billingsly

·         2001 Kesha Robertson

·         2000 Shanaysha Furlow

·         1999 Joy Freeman

·         1998 Naima Stevenson

·         1997 W. David Hubbard

·         1996 Ziedah Ferguson

·         1995 Roy Anderson

·         1994 Anita A. Dashrell

·         1993 Stanton Brown

·         1992 Karen D. Brown

·         1991 Stephanie Robinson

·         1990 Sherita Hill

·         1989 Rhonda Williams

·         1988 Cameron Haires

·         1987 Chanta Jackson

·         1986 Rohini Parikh

·         1985 Leisa Green

·         1984 Carmen Sommerville

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