Delaware, Spelman Sign Historic Partnership Agreement
The University of Delaware and Spelman College in Atlanta signed an historic partnership agreement to create educational opportunities for students and faculty in conjunction with the Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art, a premier compilation that was presented to the University of Delaware early this year (see Black Issues, March 29).
UD President David P. Roselle and Spelman College President Audrey Forbes Manley signed the agreement during a reception Oct. 25 in Atlanta to mark the fifth anniversary of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and the opening of the exhibition “Through These Eyes: The Photographs of P.H. Polk,” which is drawn from the collection.
“Spelman has a rich tradition of gathering family and friends to celebrate firsts, and truly this is an historic occasion,” Manley told scores of onlookers, including members of P.H. Polk’s family, who filled the museum gallery.
“You are witnessing the signing of an agreement that creates a partnership of enormous national significance between Spelman College and the University of Delaware,” she said. “This agreement is a gift to Spelman, a gift to Delaware and a gift to everyone who loves art.”
“The University of Delaware is honored to join Spelman College in this groundbreaking agreement,” Roselle said. “This agreement is most remarkable in that it brings together the unique resources of two institutions of higher education as partners in a common cause. It is a significant landmark in the history of higher education and ushers in a new era of cooperation.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Spelman College and the University of Delaware have agreed to create opportunities for students and faculty from both institutions to participate in programs associated with the Paul Jones Collection.
The institutions will form a joint advisory committee to facilitate implementation of the agreement.
The committee will work to develop student internships, stimulate faculty exchanges, provide for expanded graduate study opportunities and build institutional links between various programs at Spelman and UD. In addition, the institutions will share relevant art exhibitions and pieces from the collection itself.
Jones, an Atlanta resident, said it was part of his dream in giving the collection to UD that it would foster interaction between the institution and historically Black colleges and universities.
Prentice Herman Polk is considered to be one of the greatest photographers of African American Southern life. He was the official photographer of Tuskegee University from 1939 to 1984, and was the proprietor of one of the few private studios in Alabama’s Macon County during that time.
The exhibit will be featured at the museum through April 13.
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