January 16, 2020

Happy New Year!

A new decade begins! Looking back over the past 10 years, we are proud that we have upheld our Spelman Sister Marian Wright Edelman’s advice: we educate Spelman students to fight "hard and long" for what really matters, beyond personal success.

Looking back over the last decade, we can point with pride to our students, who lift the institution ever higher with their extraordinary accomplishments and to our faculty, who bring a fierce commitment to their students, even as they gain national and international recognition as leaders in their fields and to everyone on campus who has a role in the success of our Spelman students.

Just in the last year, the College hit some remarkable milestones: We have vaulted in national rankings to No. 57 among all liberal arts colleges and we retained our national ranking as the No. 1 HBCU 13 years straight. Our stellar faculty also excelled. Last year, Spelman won recognition for its faculty with a ranking of No. 22 in undergraduate teaching and Dr. Aditi Pai, associate professor of biology, was recently honored with a national award for outstanding undergraduate teaching in STEM. According to the National Science Foundation, we continue to lead the nation in the education of Black women in STEM, and we now lead the nation as the top producer of Black students who participate in study abroad and who earn Fulbright and Gilman fellowships.

Perhaps most importantly, Spelman has been recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in social mobility. When I delivered my inaugural speech several years ago, I stated that Spelman is a necessity. More than ever, Spelman - a college that embraces and affirms our individual identities, even as it inspires us with our responsibility to our communities - is a necessity. What will the next 10 years hold for Spelman College?

Our strategic plan drives the goals and priorities of the school. In the coming years and, to date, we have made impressive progress on that plan:

Deliver the Spelman Promise

There is no higher goal than making sure that we are doing everything possible to make sure that each and every student who enrolls at Spelman graduates. Our expectation is that they not only graduate with a degree but with a competitive edge, and are prepared to step into leadership roles. To that end, we have accomplished the following:

  • Over the last decade, the College has raised $61,707,139 in scholarship funds to support the academic careers of our brilliant students.
  • With support from the Lilly Foundation and UNCF, Spelman established a Career Pathways Initiative to assure that every woman leaves with a clear pathway into either graduate or professional school, a career, or a post baccalaureate position.
  • We have established a Department of Defense designated Center for Excellence for Minority Women in STEM and, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the College launched an initiative to increase the number of Black women who earn Ph.D.s in economics.

Elevate the Spelman Difference

Our faculty are the heart of the educational enterprise at Spelman. The College is committed to supporting their creative and scholarly work and their development as productive faculty members.

Last year, we received a $1 million grant to support faculty development from The Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which will assist the College in retaining our excellent faculty and support their continued professional development.

Enhance Operational Excellence

Spelman recognizes that technology is ubiquitous and touches virtually every academic discipline. A major upgrade and modernization of Spelman’s technology infrastructure is underway, including a campus-wide upgrade of the College’s fiber-optic network.

Promote Academic Innovation

As new knowledge emerges, colleges and universities need to be at the forefront of creating new areas of study. To that end, Spelman is refreshing its physical space and expanding its curricula through the following initiatives:

    We begin the new decade with great energy. Knowing that the world around us offers challenges to meet and hurdles to overcome, we are secure in the knowledge that we belong to a community of purpose, a community that every day educates leaders who will follow Spelman alumna Marian Edelman’s advice to fight long and fight hard for the change we want to see.

    Welcome back and welcome to a new year of sisterhood, service, support and strength. Welcome to a new decade of excellence wrapped in love at Spelman College.


    Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.
    President, Spelman College

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