Spike Lee Launches Fellowship for Students From Morehouse, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University

Spike Lee is paying it forward at his alma mater in a major way with the launch of an official fellowship program that will aid HBCU students.

On Thursday, the Academy Award-winning director, who graduated from Morehouse in 1979, and his agency, Gersh, announced the Spike Fellows Program that will support students from Morehouse, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter.

Together, the fellowship recipients will form the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC).

“I know firsthand the education one receives at a Historically Black College and University,” Lee said in a statement.

“I am who I am because of my grandmother [Zimmie Jackson] and my mother [Jacquelyn Shelton Lee] who both graduated from Spelman College. I am who I am because of my grandfather [Richard Jackson Shelton] and my father [William Lee] who both graduated from Morehouse. It’s on the campuses of Spelman and Morehouse where they met, fell in love and got married. As my elders often told me, ‘Deeds not words.’”

The fellowship will aid students through student loan debt relief, mentorship within the entertainment industry, post-college internships, and full-time employment, courtesy of Gersh. The Spike Fellows class will consist of five AUCC graduates who will be selected by a panel of Lee, the AUCC community, and Gersh management.

Lee and Gersh have a multiyear commitment to expand the fellowship to include more students and resources in the foreseeable future.

“As industry leaders, we’ve always taken seriously the responsibility to build a more diverse, dynamic ecosystem in which people of all ethnicities, backgrounds and experiences can thrive,” Gersh Senior Managing Partner Leslie Siebert said.

“We are honored that Spike has chosen us to be his inaugural partner, and we are proud to welcome the five inaugural Spike Fellows into our organization.”