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Spelman College's In Memoriam Tributes

The Spelman Community Salutes Robert "Danny" Flanigan Jr.

Danny FlaniganThe Spelman community will never forget the enormous impact Danny Flanigan made at the College. The life and legacy of our True Blue Financial Hero is a cherished part of Spelman's history and a integral part of its success.  Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell's words to the community ring loudly as thoughts and well wishes for Danny Flanigan come pouring in from all around the world:

"Few epitomized the spirit of Spelman the way that Danny did. Few did as much to transform Spelman into a leading liberal arts college. Few will leave a vacancy as big as the one Danny leaves behind," she said.

"Danny was always two steps ahead of whomever he served. His infinite curiosity led him always to be on the look-out for pitfalls for Spelman to avoid and to hunt opportunities for Spelman to seize. As faithful as Danny may have been to Spelman, he was a legend in the world of finance.:

We cherish Danny Flanigan as a fiscally responsible leader, mentor to our staff and students, a colleague, and a friend. We are celebrating his life, legacy and commitment to the College in an online tribute.  Please leave your reflections using the form on this page. The following thoughts from the community, friends, colleagues and loved ones for Danny remind us what community really means.


Former President Johnnetta Betsch Cole Pays Homage to a Legend

A Tribute to My Colleague and Friend, Robert “Danny” Flanigan Jr.

In so many ways, Danny Flanigan, my colleague and friend, was bigger than life. Perhaps that is at the root of why I am still struggling to accept that when I make a visit to Spelman, he will not be there. When a newly appointed HBCU president asks for my counsel on a complex fiscal matter, I can no longer say, "ere is his number, call Danny Flanigan." When someone asks me, "What is the secret sauce that explains Spelman College’s remarkable financial success?" I can no respond, "Ask Danny Flanigan." And yet, because Danny was bigger than life, while he has gone to Glory, his good work at Spelman truly lives on.

I love to recount the story of my first meeting with Danny on the first day that I was in Rockefeller Hall as the seventh president of Spelman College. I walked the short distance to Danny’s office, he invited me in and after we exchanged a few pleasantries, I said, “Mr. Flanigan, beginning today, you are no longer the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs at Spelman College.” Danny looked at me with disbelief and the expression on his face said, “Could it really be that the new president of Spelman has just fired me?” I laughed and said, “Danny, let me finish my sentence. Beginning tomorrow and over the next two weeks, I ask that you take on the role of Professor Flannigan and teach me everything I need to know about the finances and business operations of Spelman College so that I can serve this institution with distinction.”

From that day until ten years later when I brought closure on my presidency at Spelman College, I continued to learn from “Professor” Danny. Among my fondest memories of Danny are those times when I had the pleasure of witnessing his truly special relationship with his wife Lois and their son Robby. I have a strong sense of how deeply our Spelman family is mourning Danny’s passing. But I have trouble even imagining the sense of loss that Lois and Robby are experiencing. I hope and pray that they will find some comfort in knowing that Danny lives on in the hearts and memories of his Spelman family.

A Time to Remember

A photo tribute compiled by Germaine McAuley, director of campus wellness.


With Candles Raised: We Celebrate Danny Flanigan and Remember


The Spelman Community Remembers Danny FlaniganThank you to all of the members of the Spelman community who have taken the time to share memories and reflections with the community in honor of Danny Flanigan. His memory and his contributions to the College will always be remembered. Please click on the arrows below to view all the messages as they come in and are posted. Each section is numbered for every candle we hold up to celebrate the life and legacy of a man who will forever be a bright light to Spelman College.


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Tribute Submission for Robert "Danny" Flanigan Jr.

Please share your reflections and tributes honoring Danny Flanigan.