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Spelman College Celebrates the Life and Legacy of Dr. June Dobbs Butts

June 2019

Spelman Alumna June Dobbs Butts Memorial Service and Celebration of Life for
June Dobbs Butts, Ph.D.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 11 a.m.

First Congregational Church
105 Courtland Street, NE.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303


A Life Well Lived: June 11, 1928 - May 13, 2019

When June Dobbs Butts, Ph.D., C'48, entered the gates of Spelman College in the 1940s, she had an acute understanding of the value of education. Having five sisters who attended Spelman prior to her freshman year in 1944, Dr. Butts indicated her interest in Spelman’s cultural background in her admissions application. She knew Spelman would provide high academic training and best prepare her for post-graduate studies. She also stated she knew she would love Spelman as much as her sisters did. Valuing scholarship and sisterhood, Dr. Butts pursued studies in sociology and French; and she participated in campus clubs and activities such as the Glee Club, the Atlanta University -- Spelman-Morehouse Chorus, and the NAACP.

June Dobbs Butts-Class of 1948-BnW-HeadshotAs a student, Dr. Butts was crowned Miss Maroon and White, was a member of the Y.W.C.A., the French Club, and served as class president during her senior year. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948; and continued her education with graduate studies in history and culture at the University of Mexico. She later earned a master’s degree from Fisk University and a doctorate in family life education from Teachers College at Columbia University.

With interest and innovation, she built a career filled with teaching, writing and lecturing. Her work included leading Fordham University’s Training Teacher Trainers program, internationally acclaimed work as a sex researcher and therapist, and notable writings for both academic journals and nationally recognized publications such as JET, Ebony, and Essence Magazines.

June Dobbs Butts-Founders Day Symposium-11 Apr 1973The youngest daughter of Irene and John Wesley Dobbs, one of Atlanta’s most prominent African American leaders, Dr. Butts was also the aunt of Atlanta’s first Black mayor, the late Honorable Maynard Jackson. She became the first African American to be trained as a sex therapist by Masters and Johnson, and she later served as a visiting scientist at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta.

Dr. Butts maintained her commitment to Spelman as an alumna through alumnae engagement and new student recruitment, including family members that continued the Dobbs Sisters’ legacy. She remained connected to the Spelman community through sisterly connections, consistent giving to further the work and reach of her alma mater and remained engaged with campus activities such as Founders Day events and Reunions.   

Black and white photos courtesy of the Spelman College Archives         


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