In October 2020 sculptor Nilda Comas got to work on a marble statue honoring the life of Mary McLeod Bethune. The marble statue, being carved in Pietrasanta, Italy will takes its place in the U.S. Capitol building this July. Bethune was a daughter of slaves who pursued her education and activism from an early age against all odds. Born in 1875, she eventually started a school in 1904 with $1.05 and five students. Today we know the school as Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach. We celebrate Mary McLeod Bethune’s life and achievements as a pioneer of the civil rights movement and her trailblazing of education for all. Our own founder, Bernie Simpkins, championed education as well and worked throughout his life to provide the opportunity of education to students, make scholarships available to them, fund higher education programs and created the B.W. Simpkins Entrepreneurial Seminar Series at what is now Eastern State College. His legacy lives on through many of these initiatives and our Board continues to champion education for all. To read more about the iconic marble statue and its artist, click here.