What is described as a life-changing journey, members of the Bennett College community, led by President Rosalind Fuse-Hall, travelled to South Africa in 2014. The trip forged partnerships that will mutually augment academics, scientific and cultural cooperation with colleagues in South Africa. Discussion areas of potential cooperation between the College, Wits University, and the University of Western Cape, which futuristically will include faculty and students exchanges as well as collaborations with academic programs and research projects.

Funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, this trip will give the College the opportunity to strengthen its strategic goal of building global acumen. “We seek to prepare our community of scholars, both students and faculty members, to develop a global lens through which one analyzes all issues,” said President Fuse-Hall. “As we become less of a world of disparate continents and more of a global village, we seek to provide experiences that will expand our scholars’ understanding of the myriad issues that face this world from the perspective of many cultures.”

This comprehensive trip did not only allow for scholarly exchanges but will also gave the participants the opportunity to experience traditional and contemporary Africa; discuss the commonalities among ‘born frees’ and American youth who were born after segregation; participate in a service learning project with preschoolers at the Orange Farm Day Care Centre; and host a recruitment fair with Bennett graduates who reside and are natives of Johannesburg, including Celenhle Dlamini ’02, granddaughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela.

During the upcoming academic year, faculty members will share their experiences in campus development seminars and students will present their experiences in various classes as well as the Academic and Cultural Enrichment Series (ACES), which is a campus-wide assembly.