Smollett is black and gay and told police he was attacked in Chicago this week. Just days before, he had appeared on MSNBC alongside university president Phyllis Dawkins to raise awareness of the school's plight. Fans have expressed support for Smollett by donating to Bennett College.
News outlets report Bennett also announced that African-American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha pledged $100,000, while Wells Fargo has pledged $50,000. As of Wednesday night, Bennett had raised around 65 percent of its goal.