Hiram C. Powell Selected to Lead Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida

Hiram C. Powell has been named interim president of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, effective June 1. He was appointed to lead the university after E. LaBrent Chrite was named the ninth president of Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Dr. Chrite had been president of Bethune-Cookman University since 2019.

Most recently, Dr. Powell has served as dean of performing arts and communications at the university. During his time at the university, Dr. Powell has served in several leadership roles including interim provost and vice president of institutional advancement. Dr. Powell has also served as dean of graduate studies and associate vice president of academic affairs. Dr. Powell began his career at Bethune-Cookman in 1980 as an associate director of bands. He later was appointed chair of the music department and served as band director.

Dr. Powell said his dedication and commitment to the future of the university run deep. “Bethune-Cookman University gave me a foundation and support that allowed me to learn, grow, and lead in music and academia,” Powell said. “I embrace this chance to lead B-CU forward and help our students succeed from every opportunity that this institution has to offer. I am living proof of what Dr. Mary McLeod intended when she established her college; it is my great honor to lead B-CU.”

Dr. Powell holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Bethune-Cookman Univerity. He earned a master of fine arts degree in music theory from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in music theory from Florida State University.


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