Alumnae: Founders Day

Founders Day

APRIL 6 - 11, 2017

2017 Founders Day Video

2017 Founders Day Photos

Spelman's Cherished History

In the spring of 1879, New England teachers and missionaries, Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles journeyed south to study living conditions among freed persons. Appalled by what they found, particularly the lack of educational opportunities for females, they pledged to return to the South to open a school for Black women and girls. Many showed interest in their vision but lacked financial capital to support it. Yet, equipped with $100 from the First Baptist.

On this the 136th anniversary of our founding, Spelman College, celebrates a long-standing commitment to academic excellence and service to others, inherited from the Founders. Grounded in the vision of Packard’s charge to build “for a hundred years hence,” Spelman is unwavering in her commitment to deliver an outstanding education for our current students, while ensuring our ability to deliver on this promise for generations of students to come. Empowering leaders since 1881 through an intellectual and ethical course, we pause to pay tribute to our past.

Founders Day Honorees

  • Founders Spirit Award Recipient Ernestine Miles Mann

    Atlanta native Ernestine Miles Mann received her early education at Spelman College Nursery School and her elementary education at Oglethorpe Elementary School, which was then a private school located on the campus of Morris Brown College. Prior to enrolling at Spelman College in 1953, Mann established herself as leader at an early age by serving as the president of her Debutante Club.


  • Honorary Degree Recipient Stacey Yvonne Abrams

    stacey abrams
    Stacey Yvonne Abrams is the House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly and State Representative for the 89th House District. She made history as the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly and is the first African American to lead in the House of Representatives.



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2016 Photos

2015 Video