BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Hubert Grimes gave Bethune-Cookman University students a pep talk on Wednesday morning during his first address to them as the school’s interim president.
“It’s a new season. A new season of power and prosperity, a new season that has been given to us. I am excited,” Grimes said at B-CU’s annual Fall President’s Assembly, which was held at the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center.
Grimes became interim president in July after Dr. Edison O. Jackson retired amid pressure from alumni.
‘Go to class’
Grimes, a retired Volusia County judge, told the students to take advantage of the opportunity to get an education.
He said, “Value this opportunity. Is it perfect? No, but we keep working every day to make it better. Do not waste this opportunity to get your education. Go to class, get your work done and stay out of trouble. I used to say this phrase a lot to kids in the court when I was a judge.”
The interim president gave the students some simple advice to follow.
“I give you these words to help you do well on your journey in life. Young men, carry yourself with respect. Respect yourself and your female sisters. Young women, respect yourself and your male brothers,” he remarked.
“It’s the simple things like picking up a piece of paper off the ground and keeping your room clean that will take you a long way. Those are things that show pride and respect for your school. Not only get to class on time but dress for success. You should be dressing for the next job. You never know who you will encounter on this campus,” he added.
The president also touted the university’s achievements.
“We are a university that wins. We win athletically. We win musically. It all starts in the classroom.
We are the smallest school in our athletic conference, but we have a winning reputation,” he related.
“It’s all like in the words of Johnnie Cochran – preparation. We are a team. We are better as a team. Our football team is great, but they are better because of the band. We have great talent all around this campus in every department, every sport, every club and every aspect.”
‘Protect the legacy’
He also had praise for B-CU and its founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
“Bethune-Cookman is special. It’s the only school named in honor of a Black woman. The impact of Dr. Bethune goes far beyond this campus and all across the world,” he explained.
“She was ridiculed for buying land that was a garbage dump. She saw this university and its great potential. As we start this school year, each and everyone of you students are special. It’s important that we protect the legacy and protect the vision. We’re not stuck in the past, but we’re focused on our future.’’
Daytona Times intern Greg Lewis contributed to this report. He is a senior Mass Communications major at Bethune-Cookman University.