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Papa John's Announces Partnership With Bennett College

Bennett College has formally received a promised $500,000 grant from the Papa John’s Foundation to help maintain its accreditation.

The all-female, historically black college is the first ever recipient of the foundation.

The Papa John’s Foundation announced Bennett would receive the money during their Stand with Bennett campaign.

The national pizza chain continues to revamp their image after founder and former CEO John Schnatter made racially discriminatory comments last year.

Papa John's current CEO Steve Ritchie said the foundation is working with Bennett College because they don't want to see the school fail.

“There's 126 historic black colleges and now it's down to 101,” he said. “Papa John’s was going to do everything within our power to make sure that that was not one less historic black college that existed."

Papa John's officials spent the day touring Bennett College’s campus and announced they will create an ongoing partnership with Bennett College.

Ritchie said the partnership will give students opportunities to work with the pizza chain.

“One of our missions is to create a more diverse and inclusive culture,” he said. “So why not pull that talent directly here from Bennett College. So those are some of the early discussions we've had but there's still work to do.”

The Papa John's Foundation announced grants and partnerships with several organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Association of American Colleges & Universities and Lean into Louisville.

Bennett College remains accredited during their lawsuit against their accrediting agency. Their accreditation was revoked for financial reasons in December.

Bennett College will meet with another accrediting agency later this week.

Naomi P. Brown joined WUNC in January 2017.
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