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The Spelman Community Remembers Attorney Cathy R. Daniels, C'83

June 2021

Cathy DanielsWith great sadness, we share the news that our friend and former colleague, Attorney Cathy R. Daniels, has passed away. We extend our condolences to her family, including former trustee Dr. Walter Allen.

Cathy was a critical member of the administration of Spelman President Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., serving as her chief of staff and secretary of the College. In her role, she provided leadership to campus-wide efforts in organizational change and strategic planning and also managed the operations of the Spelman College Board of Trustees. In 2014, after a few years away, Cathy was hired as a consultant by the Board of Trustees to manage the search for the 10th president of Spelman.

Cathy served as the chief operating officer of The Educational Trust, ensuring the smooth, efficient, and productive operation of the organization. She joined The Education Trust’s leadership team because of her passionate advocacy for underserved students. The Education Trust is a national nonprofit that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families. Before joining The Education Trust, Cathy spent her career with other nonprofits and mission-driven organizations in the education sector.

Cathy DanielsEarlier in her career, Cathy spent 17 years at the Writers Guild of America, adjudicating issues for television and screenwriters related to on-screen credit and other creative rights under the Guild’s collective bargaining agreement. Cathy began her professional career as a teacher and school improvement coordinator for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

A native of Los Angeles, Cathy graduated from UCLA School of Law and received her teaching certification from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. She attended Spelman College and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Cathy also completed a program for senior-level administrators at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Institutes for Higher Education Management.

Memorial gifts of scholarship contributions can be made in her honor to the Dr. Walter R. Allen and Attorney Cathy R. Daniels Scholarship fund.

Donate to the Dr. Walter R. Allen and Attorney Cathy R. Daniels Scholarship


Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D.
"Cathy Daniels was a joy to work with - smart, efficient, sensitive to the needs of others, and always calm even when storms were swirling around her. To know Cathy was to love her - we all did! I know she is deeply missed by her friends and colleagues."

Celeste Watkins-Hayes, Ph.D.
“Cathy was a phenomenal person, and Spelman was so fortunate to have her many contributions. Her brilliance, warmth, impeccable judgment, and good humor were displayed in every project that she touched. It was my honor to work with her.” 

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