Only Black Fortune 500 Female CEO Graduated From Spelman; Now College is Launching $250 Million Campaign to Develop More Leaders

Spelman College announced its largest fundraising campaign in history. Through its $250 million fundraiser, the college is seeking to support new academic programs. There are also plans to make college more affordable and develop the next generation of black women leaders.

Rosalind Brewer, a former Starbucks executive and 1984 graduate of Spelman, is helping to expand the mission of the college. She’s currently the chair of the Spelman College Board of Trustees. On March 15, 2020, Brewer is slated to become the CEO of Walgreens. She will be the only Black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Spelman wants to replicate this level of excellence in the boardroom by providing resources and opportunities for more Black women to succeed.

“The excellence of Spelman College has a significant impact on our global community. The investment that our generous supporters continue to make to our beloved institution transforms lives and lifts communities,” said Brewer in a statement. “Their gifts enrich the experiences of our students, invest in exceptional faculty, and support initiatives that address society’s most pressing challenges. We are grateful for their magnanimous contributions.”

The $250 Million Campaign to Propel Spelman

This campaign will be a game-changer for the future of Spelman. The college has attracted donations from hundreds of donors. To date, Spelman has received more than $240 million. The college plans to continue campaign fundraising efforts through 2024.

Spelman plans to position the next generation of students, scholars, and administrators to carry on the tradition of excellence in leadership. The school is focused on increasing financial aid, endowing faculty professorships, and funding a digital transformation.

Spelman is also prioritizing innovative and pioneering academic programs. The campaign will support The Center for Black Entrepreneurship in partnership with Morehouse College and Black Economic Alliance. There will be an Institute for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. The campaign will also pave the way for The Atlanta University Center for Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective.

The college wants to ensure employment opportunities for graduates. The $250 million campaign will launch professional development programs that will create more access to jobs and skill development resources. Black people have been disproportionately impacted by employment opportunities during the pandemic. The most recent labor statistics show that Black workers experience higher unemployment rates than any other demographic.

A History of Producing Black Excellence at Spelman

Spelman has been around since the late 19th Century. The school has produced some of the world’s most talented and thought-provoking leaders of our time. Founded in 1881, the institution started as a school for former slaves. Now, Spelman College is a leading historically black college and university in the country. It is the nation’s oldest private historically Black liberal arts college for women.

Rosalind Brewer is one of many prominent women leaders who received an education at the institution. Civil rights activist Maxine Smith graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in Biology in 1949. Keshia Knight Pulliam received a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology in 2001. She’s best known for her role as Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show.

Spelman has garnered a reputation as one of the best women’s colleges in the country. The $250 million campaign will help the college to achieve its mission of being a place where Black women can grow and make an impact on society.