Spelman College has received a historic $100 million gift.
The Atlanta-based institution was founded in 1881 and is considered a leading liberal arts college and global leader in the education of women of African descent. It boasts its ranks among the leading producers of Black women who complete Ph.Ds. in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
The donation, reportedly the largest single donation ever to an HBCU, is from businesswoman and philanthropist Ronda Stryker and her husband, William Johnston, chairman of the Michigan-chartered Greenleaf Trust. Stryker is also vice chair of Greenleaf Trust. She serves on the Stryker Corporation board of directors and has been a member of Spelman’s board of trustees since 1997.
The gift marks 100 years since Spelman’s official naming in 1924. Officials said about $75 million of the $100 million will go to endowed scholarships for future students, leaving $25 million to help the college develop its academic focus on public policy and democracy, improve student housing, and provide flexible funding to meet critical strategic needs.
“We are invigorated and inspired by this incredible act of generosity,” said Spelman President Dr. Helene Gayle. “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.”