Spelman College Receives Record-Breaking $100 Million Gift for Scholarships and Academic Advancement
Renowned businesswoman and philanthropist Ronda Stryker and her husband, William Johnston, Chairman of Greenleaf Trust, have bestowed a monumental gift of $100 million to Spelman College. The extraordinary donation is the largest single contribution ever made to a historically Black college or university (HBCU).
Stryker, who has been a devoted Spelman College Trustee since 1997, has dedicated decades of her life to the advancement of women through higher education, championing opportunities for marginalized groups. The $100 million gift coincides with Spelman College commemorating 100 years since its official naming in 1924, marking a historic occasion in the institution’s rich legacy.
A significant portion of the $75 million donation will be used to establish endowed scholarships to support future students. This move aligns with Spelman College’s commitment to attracting the brightest minds and dismantling financial obstacles that may impede qualified students from pursuing education at the esteemed institution. The remaining $25 million will go towards initiatives such as the development of an academic focus on public policy and democracy, enhancements to student housing, and the provision of flexible funding to address critical strategic needs.
We are invigorated and inspired by this incredible act of generosity, said Dr. Helene Gayle, president of Spelman College. This gift is a critical step in our school’s mission to eliminate financial barriers to starting and finishing a Spelman education. We can’t thank Ronda Stryker enough for her selflessness and support as both a trustee and friend. There’s no doubt that Spelman College is better because of her.
The $100 million donation is a testament to Stryker and Johnston’s commitment to education and a significant leap forward for Spelman College in its pursuit of becoming need-blind, Gayle remarked.
Spelman College, founded in 1881 in Atlanta, Georgia, is a leading liberal arts institution dedicated to empowering Black women. With this historic gift, the college aims to continue providing unparalleled educational opportunities to its students, ensuring they have the resources needed to thrive and succeed.
The impact of this remarkable donation extends beyond Spelman College. It sets a new benchmark for philanthropy towards HBCUs and highlights the significant value that these institutions bring to higher education. Stryker and Johnston’s generosity will inspire others to support these vital educational institutions, reinforcing their rightful place in the academic landscape.
The $100 million gift serves as a beacon of hope, signaling a brighter future for Spelman College and its students. Through scholarships, academic advancements, and enhanced campus facilities, the college will continue to foster the next generation of leaders, scholars, and change-makers.
As Spelman College celebrates this historic milestone, it reflects on its century-long journey of empowering Black women and looks towards an even brighter future. With the unwavering support of individuals like Ronda Stryker and William Johnston, the college will undoubtedly continue to thrive and uplift generations to come.