About Us: President's Office

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Statement from Spelman College

December 14, 2014

The William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship was established to bring positive attention and accomplished visiting scholars to Spelman College in order to enhance our intellectual, cultural and creative life; however, the current context prevents us from continuing to meet these objectives fully. Consequently, we will suspend the program until such time that the original goals can again be met.

Important Statement from Spelman College

November 25, 2014

Dear Spelman Campus Community,

In light of the recent news stories about Dr. Bill Cosby, many news outlets have inquired about our relationship with the Cosby family.  We have responded to those inquiries by providing factual information. Below is the statement that has been provided:

"The College is not in a position to comment regarding the allegations. The College's primary connection with the Cosby family is the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Ed.D. Academic Center, which opened at Spelman College in 1996. At the time, an endowed professorship named for Drs. Cosby was also established to support visiting scholars in the fine arts, humanities and social sciences as well as Spelman College's Museum of Fine Art. The academic center and endowed professorship were funded through a philanthropic commitment from the Cosby family made more than 25 years ago, and at this time there are no discussions regarding changes to the terms of the gift."

While I cannot control how media outlets position information, and more than one has distorted our statement, I think it is important that all of you have the facts.  Two Cosby daughters attended Spelman College. Our building is named after Dr. Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby.  The endowed professorship is named after both Cosby parents. The historic $20 million gift that the College received in 1988, more than 25 years ago, came from the Cosby family.  

Though it is not appropriate for the College to comment publicly on specific allegations against any individual, sexual assault is a profoundly serious issue for any educational institution.  Please know that we do not condone sexual violence in any form and understand our critical role as a women’s college to lead in the fight against it.  I trust you will read all news media critically, informed by these facts.  

Beverly Daniel Tatum

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