Our History

The National Alumnae Association was initiated under the presidency of David Dallas Jones in 1948. Mamie Mundy McLaurin, affectionately known as Ma Mac, was assigned the responsibility of organizing the alumnae to assist in raising funds to support the College. There have been several outstanding presidents of the Association who provided dynamic leadership for the organization in the early years. They were:

Alma Tarpley Taylor ’30 (1954-1957)
Juanita G. Wells ’37 (1957 – 1959)
Fannie Lee Hinnant ’45 (1959 – 1965)
Maxine Haith O’Kelly ’49 (1965 – 1966)
Elizabeth Alston Edwards ’40 (1966 – 1967)

There was a period when the Association was inactive. Emma O. Smith ’48, who served on the Bennett College Board of Trustees from 1974-1985, and was the chair of the board from 1979-1985, was instrumental in getting the president of the Bennett College National Alumnae Association a seat as a board member. The Association was reactivated in the seventies under Dr. Isaac H. Miller’s presidency. Subsequently, the following alumnae were elected to the office of President of the Association:

1971-1975: Marion Benton Tasco ‘60
1975-1977: Arney Hall Johnson ‘37
1977-1979: Bernice Johnson ‘51
1979-1985: Tressie Wright Muldrow ‘62
1985-1989: Gladys Ashe Robinson ‘71
1989-1993: Deborah Tillman Love ‘79

1993-1997: Tressie Wright Muldrow ‘62
1997-2001: Ellease Randall Colston ‘53
2001-2005: Marion Lee Bell ‘53
2005-2009: Audrey Demps Franklin ‘72
2009-2013: Dr. Lisa A. Johnson ‘81
2013 – 2017: Deborah Tillman Love ‘79

2017-2019: Gwendolyn Mackel Rice ’61
2019-2021: Natalie Parker Stewart ’01
2021- 2022: Dr. Carlinda Purcell ’72
2022 - 2023: Dr. Melissa J. Watson '13
2023 – Present: Sydney J. Meeks '18