April 25, 2022

Dear Spelman Community,

We are pleased to announce that, after an exciting and comprehensive search process, the Presidential Search Committee (PSC) has identified a final candidate.

Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH, current president and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust, has been selected as finalist for the role of the 11th president of Spelman College. Scholar, HIV and public health researcher, humanitarian and champion of the rights of women and girls worldwide, Dr. Gayle, trained as a pediatric physician, previously served in prominent positions at the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and CARE Inc.

For more information on Dr. Gayle’s professional experience and accomplishments, please read her biography and curriculum vitae.

Dr. Gayle is visiting Spelman’s campus today, Monday, April 25. Please plan to join us in Sisters Chapel at 3:45 p.m., where Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., the 10th president of Spelman College, will introduce her to the community.

Dr. Campbell will retire on June 30, 2022. She will leave a remarkable legacy that her successor will be able to build upon and expand.

Guests [not part of Spelman or the Atlanta University Center Consortium institution's faculty, staff, or student population] must adhere to visitor protocols.

As we have expressed at several stages in this process, your input has been invaluable. The PSC, with assistance from the Storbeck Search of the Diversified Search Group, gathered input from faculty, staff, students, alumnae, and community and higher education leaders. This input informed the development of the leadership profile and led to close to 1000 contacts to develop a robust pool of 300 nominees. Additionally, your input aligned the Committee around a set of priorities and experiences critical for the assessment of our final candidates.

Everyone expects Spelman’s president to be a leader and spokesperson on a range of topics including: higher education, HBCUs, women’s and liberal art colleges, gender equity and Black women’s leadership, as well as innovative thinking about teaching and learning. They expect that from the president, because Spelman College is regarded as a leader in these domains. At the same time, the Spelman community relies on the president to be the person who clears the way for them to achieve excellence, yet, who, also in times of crisis, selflessly, brings solace and comfort in a troubled world. As well, to balance the budget, maintain the college’s rankings, raise money and continue to keep the college ascending. Dr. Gayle meets these criteria.

Following Dr. Gayle’s visit, the Spelman Board of Trustees will convene for deliberation of her candidacy and to vote on the matter of appointing her as the 11th president of our beloved institution. We have every expectation there will be a positive outcome.

Thank you for your sincere and thoughtful engagement to ensure that we successfully identified the best candidate to serve as the 11th president of Spelman College.

Respectfully yours,

Kaye Foster, Chair

Gena Hudgins Ashe, C’83, Co-Chair

Spelman College
350 Spelman Lane
Atlanta, Georgia 30314

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