Spelman College Receives Historic $100 Million Gift – Largest Ever to an HBCU

Spelman College, one of the leading educational institutions for Black women in STEM, announced a historic milestone with a $100 million gift – the largest single donation ever made to a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). The generous contribution comes from businesswoman and philanthropist Ronda Stryker and her husband, William Johnston, Chairman of Greenleaf Trust.

Ronda Stryker, a Spelman College Trustee since 1997, has advocated for empowering women through higher education and championing opportunities for marginalized groups. .

This $100 million gift coincides with Spelman College commemorating 100 years since its official naming in 1924. It marks a historic moment and serves as a crucial first step in Spelman’s journey to becoming a need-blind institution, aiming to eliminate barriers to admission and attract the most talented and promising students.

Out of the total contribution, $75 million has been earmarked for endowed scholarships, ensuring Spelman College can continue attracting the best and brightest students and removing financial barriers that might hinder qualified students from enrolling at Spelman. The remaining $25 million will be allocated to various initiatives, including the development of an academic focus on public policy and democracy, improvements to student housing, and providing flexible funding to address critical strategic needs.

Dr. Helene Gayle, the President of Spelman College, expressed gratitude and excitement about the gift, stating, “We are invigorated and inspired by this incredible act of generosity. 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.”

At a special ceremony today on campus, Spelman College students will celebrate the generosity of Ronda Stryker and William Johnston to commemorate this transformative gift. The historic donation is expected to have a profound and lasting impact on the college, empowering future generations.

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