MARY McLEOD BETHUNE (1875–1955) was a sociologist and a special adviser on minority affairs to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During the years of the Great Depression, Dr. Bethune was director of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. She served on numerous presidential commissions under Presidents Coolidge, Hoover, and Roosevelt. In 1904 she founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls, which later merged with a boys school to become Bethune-Cookman College. Dr. Bethune was its president. She served as president of the National Association of Colored Women and later, in 1935, was a founder of the National Council of Negro Women. Among her many awards is the Spingarn Medal presented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

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