WEST PALM BEACH – Sixty years after her death, the Palm Beach County Alumni Chapter of Bethune-Cookman University continues to honor the legacy of the school’s founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
On February 25 at 11:30 a.m., the local alumni chapter will host their 13th Annual HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Scholarship Luncheon at the Embassy Suites Hotels, located at 1601 Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach.
This annual luncheon is the local chapter’s major fundraiser. Proceeds support scholarships for deserving Palm Beach County students and help the local chapter fund programs that assist youth in achieving their dream of a college education.
Delivering this year’s keynote address is Lee Rhyant, a Fort Pierce, Florida native who graduated from Bethune-Cookman College and rose through the ranks at Lockheed Martin where he was Executive Vice-President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin’s Marietta Operations for eleven years.
In this role he managed over 10,000 employees, annually produced multi-billion dollar revenue streams and oversaw the design, manufacturing and delivery of the USAF newest fighter, the F-22. In 2009, Rhyant was voted the Country’s Top Executive by the National Management Association. Upon retiring from Lockheed Martin, he created a successful international consulting business. He is now the President of LER Solutions.
This year’s theme is “Sharing the Vision: Portraits of Excellence in Businesses Serving the Community.” The honorees are Charlotte Hooks, Warcecer Jakes, Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler, Seabron Smith, Ricky Wade and Juan Williams VIP guests include Bethune-Cookman graduate, former Miami Dolphin player and NFL Hall of Fame member Larry Little, who will be joined by some of his former Miami Dolphins teammates: Dwight Stephenson, Nat Moore and others. Former Buffalo Bills player Alvin “Shine” Wyatt will also be in attendance. Miami Dolphin memorabilia has been donated for a silent auction.
Musical entertainment will be provided by the internationally recognized Bethune- Cookman University Concert Chorale. This past December, the Concert Chorale was invited by President Barack Obama to perform at the White House.