Last weekend, Spelman College President Helene Gayle, M.D., MPH, along with Spelman students, alumnae and trustees attended a performance of August Wilson’s
"The Piano Lesson" on Broadway.

Set in the intersection of the Great Migration and the Great Depression, and directed by Spelman alumnae, actress and Tony Award nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson, C’71, the adaptation of Wilson’s well-known play centers around the embattled Charles family and the contentious decision to sell or not sell their heirloom piano as they grapple with a painful generational history.

The Broadway iteration stars Academy Award winner and Morehouse College Class of 1972 alum, Samuel L. Jackson, Screen Actors Guild Award nominee and Morehouse College Class of 2006 alum, John David Washington, and Tony and Emmy nominee Danielle Brooks.

Following the performance, members of the Spelman community attended a talkback with the cast, director, crew and producers of the play, and imparted wisdom to Spelman and Morehouse theater and performance majors on rehearsal schedules, set design and the inspiration behind the play itself.

The Jacksons also reflected on their time as students at Spelman and Morehouse and how their experiences in the Atlanta University Center (AUC) helped lay the foundation for their future careers.

"The Piano Lesson" marks Richardson Jackson’s directorial debut on Broadway, and she is also the first woman to direct an August Wilson play on Broadway. In addition, the adaptation recently became the highest-grossing Wilson play on Broadway in history.

Campus Highlights

The beginning of the year generally marks a time when setting new intentions and goals is at an all-time high – leaving many of us feeling pressured to make big changes. While it is healthy to set goals, it is just as important to achieve them.

Although it can be sometimes challenging, there are a few ways to ensure we set attainable goals and stick to them. Monica Coleman, LPC, counselor/psychotherapist from the Spelman College Counseling Center, offers these suggestions.

  1. Reframe the idea of "trying" with a mindset of actually getting things done.
  2. Celebrate success with every step you take by measuring growth. Doing this will promote increased productivity and accountability – further attained by sharing your growth with others.
  3. Focus efforts on creating healthier habits and small behavioral shifts. Change does not happen overnight, and it is important to be kind to yourself throughout this process. Achieving small goals can transform into tools that aid in reaching long-term goals. For example, a long-term goal of writing a book can be achieved by creating a daily writing habit.

For more information and resources, visit Spelman’s Counseling Center page.

Spelman College’s Division of Student Affairs would like to extend a warm welcome and invitation to you and your family to join us for Family Weekend 2023 (February 17-19).

Just a month away, Family Weekend is an exciting, fun-filled celebration with something for students, parents, families, friends and community supporters.

The weekend is packed with a variety of activities and events that provide a glimpse into the campus life and student experience at Spelman College. There are several live virtual events and experiences for the entire family to enjoy, including campus and wellness tours, tours of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, a President’s Breakfast and the annual Family Weekend BBQ.

For more information and a full schedule of events, visit Spelman’s Family Weekend page.

It’s a great time to work at Spelman College! With a variety of perks and benefits for staff, including tuition waivers, health and wellness resources, and a beautiful, historic campus, Spelman is more than a place to work.

The Spelman College Division of Institutional Advancement is seeking motivated candidates to fill the following positions:

To apply, or to learn more about these and other positions, visit

Alumnae Spotlight
Dana Tippin Cutler, Esq., C’86, is making television history as part of the first married couple to preside over a television courtroom in the two-time Emmy-nominated daytime series, "Couples Court with the Cutlers." Cutler has more than 30 years of experience practicing education law focusing on charter schools.

Cutler’s career longevity and various positions of bar leadership have not only led to significant opportunities with the American Bar Association (ABA) and the National Conference of Bar Presidents; they have also allowed her to serve as the first woman of color elected president of The Missouri Bar.

When Cutler is not making her mark in the entertainment industry, she uses her expertise to invest in real estate, serve as one of the partners in the James W. Tippin & Associates law firm and offer leadership insights as the chief diversity officer at Holistic Industries – one of the largest operators in the cannabis industry.

Spelman Scenes
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