Long-time Spelman College trustee Ronda Stryker and spouse William Johnston donated $30 million to the historically Black college (HBCU), making the gift the largest in Spelman’s 137-year history from living donors.
The multi-million dollar gift will support Spelman’s new Center for Innovation & the Arts (CI&A), which will house all of Spelman’s arts programs, including art, art history, curatorial studies, dance, digital media, documentary filmmaking, photography, music and theater, according to the college. The center will also forge connections to the Westside community.
“As former educators who believe strongly in social justice, Bill and I have great appreciation for how Spelman provides a superior education for students that encourages them to be global change agents,” said Stryker, a Spelman trustee since 1997 who is director of Stryker Corporation and vice chair and director of Greenleaf Trust. “Spelman alumnae are leaders across every field imaginable, breaking new ground, while tackling some of the world’s most challenging issues from health disparities to the digital divide. We are thrilled to support a building that will encourage students to master technology, innovation and the arts.”
The Stryker family’s latest gift to Spelman adds to their charitable giving over the years. Other gifts have supported the institution’s Gordon-Zeto Center for Global Education, the Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts, the Wellness Center, Sisters Chapel and other academic initiatives and funds.
“With this historic gift, yet again, Ronda’s support will be transformational,” said Spelman president Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell. “Her contribution ensures that Spelman students will be prepared to tackle the challenges of our changing world through innovation, creativity and the dynamic intersection of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (also known as STEAM).”