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Spelman Announces Inaugural Recipients of the Dovey Johnson Roundtree, C’38, Presidential Scholarship Share a Spelman College Press Release


Jazmyn Burton
Spelman College
(404) 798-5212
Twitter: @SpelmanMedia

Dovey Scholars News Release Spelman CollegeATLANTA (July 22, 2020) -- Spelman College recently announced its first cohort of students selected to receive the Dovey Johnson Roundtree, C’38, Presidential Scholarship.

Named for Spelman alumna and civil rights activist Dovey Johnson Roundtree, C’38, the scholarships are funded by a $40 million gift from philanthropists Patty Quillin and her spouse, Reed Hastings, co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Netflix.

Twenty outstanding first-year students were selected to receive the four-year scholarships, which will cover tuition, room and board.

“The Dovey Johnson Roundtree Scholars represent the essence of intellectual curiosity, determination and hard work, attributes present in the life and accomplishments of Ms. Roundtree,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “We deeply appreciate Patty Quillin and Reed Hastings for such an affirming gift that enables us to extend the opportunity to study at Spelman debt free to such stellar students.”

Quillin and Hastings announced their decision to make a historic donation to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities,
awarding $40 million to Spelman in June. The couple awarded $40M each to Morehouse College and the United Negro College Fund. The $120 million gift to all three institutions represents the largest ever contribution by an individual in support of scholarships at HBCUs.

Over the next 10 years, the funding will cover scholarships for a total of 200 first-year Spelman students.

From competitive athletes to members of the National Honor Society, the first group of 20 students selected to become Roundtree Scholars possess impressive resumes that include internships, community service projects and academic achievements.

“We are excited to learn more about the inaugural group of bright, accomplished Dovey Johnson Roundtree Presidential Scholars. As proponents of education reform with a deep interest in social equity and education, we believe that one of the best way to support the next generation of Americans is through the education of future Black women leaders,” said Quillin and Hastings. “We hope our support of this scholarship will encourage more institutions to reverse generations of inequity in our country by supporting initiatives at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”

After earning her degree from Spelman, Roundtree broke gender boundaries when she became one of the first women to enter the Women’s Army Military Corps during World War II. She went on to become one of the first Black officers in the corps. After her discharge from the Army, she attended Howard University Law School and in 1955, she argued a case before the interstate commerce commission that led to the desegregation of interstate bus travel in the United States.

Roundtree lived to be 104 and, before she died, wrote an autobiography titled “Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights.”

For first-year student Paige Delaney Ashton, receiving a scholarship named in honor of Roundtree holds a great deal of significance.

“Her decorated legacy as a trailblazing Black woman in both the legislative environment and within the Civil Rights Movement demonstrates the importance of paving a path for the normalization of Black women excellence in society,” Ashton said. “It also forces me to consciously become more aware of how I am actively pursuing ways to accomplish success in a world that doesn’t always expect or support Black women leaders.”

Class of 2024 Dovey Johnson Roundtree, C’38, Scholarship Recipients

Paige Delaney Ashton
Menlo Park, CA

Breah Olivia Banks
Minneapolis, MN

Jada Farley-Cook
Hoover, AL

Ava Patricia D’Haene
Johns Creek, GA

Marsanna Maria Grande Harris
San Pedro, CA

Kaleigh Nicole Jackson
Woodbridge, VA

Cherica Danielle Johnson
Adel, GA

Nailah Akida Gordon Johnson
Cheltenham, PA

Jasmin Jena Jean-Louis
Los Angeles, CA

Hanifa Maswali
Lynn, MA

Nailah Muhammad
Roselle, NJ

Ravyn Gabrielle Payne
Cordova, TN

Joya Catrice Peasant
Birmingham, AL

Jasmine Aleah Phillips
Mount Laurel, NJ

Kennedy Nicole Ridley
Laurel, MD

Ambree Kristiona Robinson
Buford, GA

Kayla Maree Shannon
Grand Blanc, MI

Danait Tekie
Lilburn, GA

Nikira Amaya Walter
McKinney, TX

Aliyah Simone Webster
Virginia Beach, VA

Spelman College
Founded in 1881 in Atlanta, Spelman College, a historically Black college and a global leader in the education of women of African descent, is dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the intellectual, creative, ethical, and leadership development of its students. Home to 2,100 students, Spelman empowers the whole person to engage the many cultures of the world and inspires a commitment to positive social change. Designated by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, the College is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math. Recent initiatives include a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. With an annual six-year graduation rate 30 points higher than the average for African Americans nationally, Spelman graduates’ students who win prestigious national and international awards, virtually every year, including Fulbright, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, Rangel and Pickering. U.S. News and World Report 2020 rankings list Spelman as No. 57 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 22 for undergraduate teaching, No. 6 for both innovation and social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 13th year among Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


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