May 14, 2019


The entire Spelman College community is looking forward to celebrating with graduating seniors, their loved ones and alumnae during the Commencement and Reunion events this week.

In advance of the activities, Spelman's Public Safety is sharing an important update: We have been made aware that Westboro Baptist Church is promoting their plans to protest at the commencement and baccalaureate services of Spelman, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University.

Monitored by the FBI and designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center,
which tracks extremist groups, Westboro Baptist Church is known for its harsh anti-gay beliefs and the crude signs its members carry at their frequent demonstrations where they provoke and harass to encourage incidents.

Spelman's priority is the safety of our students, faculty, staff, alumnae and guests. As such:
  • We will have additional staff on hand to ensure that all events proceed safely and with minimal disruption if any at all.
  • All faculty, staff and students should carry their Spelman ID to all events. Also, we strongly recommend that all alumnae, guests, and vendors have ID, as there will be additional security screening by campus staff and local law enforcement.
  • Per Spelman's guidelines posters, placards, signs and balloons are prohibited at all Commencement-related events.
  • We encourage everyone to immediately report any suspicious or concerning behavior to campus staff or law enforcement.

A detailed schedule of activities and more information about Commencement and Reunion are available on and the commencement app, where you will also find contact information for staff who can answer any questions you may have.

Steve Bowser
Public Safety

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