LIGHTNING FOUNDATION TO HELP ST. PETER CLAVER CATHOLIC SCHOOL CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH
The Lightning Foundation is sponsoring a celebration of the history of St. Peter Claver Catholic School as well as Black History Month with a program titled "Facing the Rising Sun for the Next Century" this Friday at the Tampa school. Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, 14th president of Bennett College and a longtime leader in the African-American community, is scheduled to speak at the event which begins at noon Friday at the school (1401 Governor Street, Tampa).
Students in grades K-8 have researched the rich history and heritage of St. Peter Claver, the oldest African American School in the State of Florida. Their research and work will be on display throughout the school, and a mural timeline has been created featuring important American History dates and important dates in the history of St. Peter Claver. Additionally, a historical marker unveiling will take place on the school grounds following Dr. Cole's speech.
Lunch for alumni, parents and special guests begins at noon in the Multipurpose Room, followed by Dr. Cole's speech at 12:45 p.m.
Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole has a distinguished career as an author and a college and university teacher and administrator that spans 37 years. In addition to her role at Bennett College, she is President emerita of Spelman College and Professor emerita of Emory University, from which she retired as Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women's Studies and African American Studies.
Dr. Cole made history in 1987 by becoming the first African American woman to serve as president of Spelman College. At her inauguration, Drs.Bill and Camille Cosby donated $20 million to the college. With Dr. Cole's leadership, Spelman became the first historically black college or university to receive a No. 1 rating by U.S. News and World Report magazine when the college was named the No. 1 liberal arts college in the south. That same year, Dr. Cole was named to President-elect Bill Clinton's transition team as cluster coordinator for education, labor and the arts and humanities.
Founded in 1894, St. Peter Claver Catholic School offers an educational program that is open to all students regardless of race, nationality or religious belief. Its purpose is to foster service to others, to be committed to the dignity of all people and to provide Christian education to African American youth of the community.