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Spelman College President Helene Gayle Honored for Philanthropic Leadership and Work in Advancing Gender and Racial Equity Share a Spelman College Press Release

INDIANAPOLIS — Spelman College  announced today that the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) has awarded President Helene Gayle, M.D., MPH, with the 2023 Shaw-Hardy Taylor Achievement Award, in recognition of her leadership in philanthropy and efforts to advance gender and racial equity.

The Shaw-Hardy Taylor Achievement Award recognizes philanthropists, nonprofit leaders, volunteers, change agents, fundraisers and researchers who have moved women’s philanthropy forward and demonstrated significant impact on the field. The award has been presented triennially since 2008 and this year WPI will present the award during its 2023 Symposium: All In, All Rise on March 28-29 in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Gayle is the 11th president of Spelman College, a historically Black women’s liberal arts college. An ardent believer in education’s power to unlock opportunity, Dr. Gayle is committed to cultivating women’s academic excellence and career success. Before joining Spelman College, she served as president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations. Under her leadership, the Trust adopted a new strategic focus on closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region.

For nearly a decade, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of the leading international humanitarian organization CARE, where she led efforts to empower women and girls globally. A pediatrician and public health physician with expertise in economic development, humanitarian and health issues, she spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. She led the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.

Dr. Gayle serves on a variety of public company and nonprofit boards, including The Coca-Cola Company, Organon, Palo Alto Networks, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Brookings Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America and the ONE Campaign. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, Council on Foreign Relations, American Public Health Association, National Medical Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Gayle’s work as a physician, public health official, nonprofit and philanthropy executive, and college president demonstrates a deep commitment to ensuring that people across gender, racial, ethnic, class, geographic, and other demographic lines have access to quality healthcare and educational and economic opportunities.

“As a physician whose career has spanned public health, global poverty alleviation and community economic development, I am committed to using my skills to help contribute to greater social justice and equity in our country and our world,” said Dr. Helene Gayle. “I’m honored to receive this award and excited about philanthropy’s role in addressing the multiple, interconnected issues that perpetuate inequities in our society.”

Previous recipients of the Shaw-Hardy Taylor Award include fundraisers Sondra Shaw-Hardy and Martha Taylor, co-founders of WPI; philanthropist Barbara Dobkin; philanthropist Maureen Hackett, donor of the Eileen Lamb O’Gara Chair in Women’s Philanthropy at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; changemaker Tracy Gary; and philanthropist Melinda French Gates.

“WPI is honored to present the Shaw-Hardy Taylor Award to Dr. Helene Gayle for her philanthropic leadership and dedication to advancing equity,” said WPI Director Jeannie Sager. “Not only is her deep expertise across a diverse range of issue areas invaluable to the philanthropic community, her work demonstrates the wide-reaching impact that's possible when we commit to empowering women and girls.”

We invite you to join us in celebrating Dr. Gayle’s award at WPI’s 2023 Symposium: All In, All Rise on March 28-29 in Chicago, Illinois. The award presentation will take place on Tuesday, March 28 in the afternoon and will be followed by a cocktail reception.

All In, All Rise will examine how women’s involvement in philanthropy influences and strengthens communities, encourages greater strategic giving, and builds a more diverse community of engaged citizens. The symposium—which includes keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities—will bring together a unique cross-section of attendees, including donors and funders, fundraising and nonprofit professionals, social entrepreneurs, business executives, government leaders, and other influential changemakers. WPI is proud to have Bank of America as the Visionary Sponsor of All In, All Rise. Learn more and register online at: If you are media personnel interested in attending the Symposium or Shaw-Hardy Taylor Achievement Award presentation, please email to apply for a media credential.

Media Contacts

Susan McPherson
(917) 859-2291                                                                   

Adriene Davis Kalugyer
(317) 278-8972

Lydia Sermons
(470) 898-6451


About the Shaw-Hardy Taylor Achievement Award
The Shaw-Hardy Taylor Achievement Award honors those who have made extraordinary contributions to women’s philanthropy and is named in honor of the leadership of two visionary women, Sondra Shaw-Hardy and Martha Taylor. They saw the potential for women’s involvement in philanthropy long before it became a trend or a strategy and created the organization that would become the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.

About the Women’s Philanthropy Institute
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) is part of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. WPI increases understanding of women’s philanthropy through rigorous research and education, interpreting and sharing these insights broadly to improve philanthropy. By addressing significant and groundbreaking research questions and translating that research into increased understanding and improvements in practice, WPI helps to leverage new and expanded resources for the common good.                                                                                             

About the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its undergraduate, graduate, certificate and professional development programs, its research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram and “Like” us on Facebook.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by the U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 51 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 5 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 16th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal has ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and collaborations have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones.

To learn more, please visit and @spelmancollege on social media.


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