Crystal deGregory Heads A New Center At Bethune-Cookman University

Accomplished historian Crystal A. deGregory, Ph.D., was appointed director of the Bethune Center for the Study of Women and Girls at Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU), a historically Black university in Daytona Beach, Fla. DeGregory will also serve as an associate professor of history.

Before her new role at B-CU, deGregory served as a research fellow at the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University and as director of Kentucky State University’s Atwood Institute for Race, Education and the Democratic Ideal, which holds the legacy of Rufus B. Atwood, the university’s former president.

She is the founder of HBCUstory, a digital storytelling project intended to preserve, present and promote inspiring stories of the HBCU experience, and continues to serve as executive editor.

Newly launched with the appointment of deGregory, the Bethune Center for the Study of Women and Girls is a resource for intentional research, programming and support for issues paramount to the survival and success of women and girls.

Of particular note are gender equity topics such as women’s leadership, food, and housing security, body image, physical and sexual health and safety, mental health and emotional wellness, maternal health and healthy relationships.

In addition, when possible, the Center will support student-led initiatives and institutionalize signature events and programming that undergird its role as an affirming space for women and all members of the B-CU community who actively resist sexism and all forms of oppression.

“Mary McLeod Bethune’s legacy looms large over American life and culture, and nowhere is it larger than in the perpetuity of Bethune-Cookman University,” said deGregory. “This center and especially its focus on women and girls, is one more example of the enduring nature of her faithful witness.”

An HBCU alumna, deGregory has a bachelor’s degree in history from Fisk University, master’s degrees in history and education from Vanderbilt University and Tennessee State University, respectively, and a doctorate of philosophy in history from Vanderbilt.