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Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.

President Mary Schmidt CampbellOn Aug. 1, 2015, Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell began her tenure as the 10th president of Spelman College. A leading liberal arts college for women of African descent located in Atlanta, Georgia, Spelman has long enjoyed a reputation as the nation’s leading producer of Black women scientists.

Prior to arriving in Atlanta, Dr. Campbell was a major force in the cultural life of New York City. Her career in New York, which included various challenging roles, began at the Studio Museum in Harlem where she served for 10 years. Her role there began at a time when the city was on the verge of bankruptcy and Harlem was in steep decline. However, under her leadership, the museum was transformed from a rented loft to the country’s first accredited Black Fine Arts Museum. Dr. Campbell also established herself as a stalwart supporter who championed the need for professional development opportunities for women and people of color in the arts.

President's Update

By now you have received the letter from the Atlanta University Center Consortium Council of Presidents communicating the consortium’s decision to require that each member of our community be vaccinated by the beginning of the fall semester.


Spelman’s President Shares Strategies to Reduce Student Debt

When the U.S. Department of Education released its data on parent plus loans, the news was no surprise to Spelman College.

Spelman’s in-depth study into the financial aid needs of our students several years ago reinforced our understanding of one of this country’s fundamental inequities: high performing, high need students are drastically underfunded. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that racial fault lines continue to make the lives of African Americans quantitatively harder than those of non-Black Americans. This is a disquieting realization.

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President Campbell Moderates Wildenstein Plattner Institute Panel Discussion

On Oct. 27, 2020, The Wildenstein Plattner Institute hosted a virtual panel that considered the issues involved in maintaining an artist’s legacy, including the importance of archival preservation and the active documentation of the artist’s practice.


MAJOR GIFT: Patty Quillin and Reed Hastings Fund 200 Full Scholarships to Spelman

Patty Quillin and Reed Hastings Fund 200 Full Scholarships to Spelman College With a $40 Million Gift

Over the next 10 years, 200 first-year students will be able to attend Spelman College with a full four-year scholarship thanks to a generous gift from philanthropists committed to educational equity. Philanthropists Patty Quillin and her husband, Reed Hastings, co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Netflix, have aligned their resources with social action by awarding $120 million to Spelman, Morehouse College and the United Negro College Fund. The gift is the largest ever contribution by an individual in support scholarships at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Read Gift Announcement    View on CBS Today


PODCAST: Rockefeller Education Panel - Perspectives on Preparing for the Fall

Rockefeller Client Insights Panelists: Connie Ledoux Book, Brian Casey and Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell

In this 10th episode of Rockefeller Client Insights we get to listen in as Greg Fleming has a dialogue with Connie Ledoux Book, President of Elon University, Brian Casey, President of Colgate University and Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, President of Spelman College about the current state of higher education amidst the COVID-19 landscape and what preparations each leader is taking for their respective institutions and communities looking forward into the Fall season. Introduction by Thomas Martella, AVP, Platform Development at Rockefeller Capital Management. Originally broadcast live June 5, 2020.

Listen on Spotify    Listen of Apple Podcast


UnitedHealth Group Announces $8.25 Million Data Science Initiative Partnership With the Atlanta University Center Consortium

Spelman College is part of a new initiative designed to prepare students within the Atlanta University Center Consortium to meet the growing demand for data scientists and data analytics experts.

“The colleges in the Atlanta University Center, for decades, have been in the vanguard of educating African Americans who succeed in STEM fields,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “This gift is an investment in our commitment to continue that primacy in STEM by making the AUCC a center of excellence for the study of data science across a range of disciplines in medicine and the liberal arts.”

PODCAST: An American Odyssey – Mary Schmidt Campbell on Artist Romare Bearden

In her biography, "An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden," art historian and Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., chronicles the life and career of the influential African American artist Romare Bearden. Listen as she takes a deep dive into his life and carer on this podcast.


New Center will Solidify Spelman’s Place at Intersection of Science, Arts

President Campbell speaks with reporter Maria Saporta and explains how Spelman's proposed Center for Innovation and the Arts has been central to bringing her to Atlanta. “I want to look back over my shoulder and say, ‘I came to this rich storied place, and I made a contribution that took it to the next level,’ ” she said. “Whatever we do has to capture the uniqueness of the black woman’s voice,” as stated in the article.


Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell Sheds New Light on Romare Bearden

 "In her new book, "An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden," Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College, embarks on a comprehensive and contextual journey through Bearden’s life, art and legacy. In doing so, she sheds light not only on the breadth and importance of Bearden’s work, but on how the artist gave voice to a generation and a culture through his self-expression," as reported in an ArtsATL article by Laura Relyea.


Closer Look: New Ga. Reps; Spelman's President; And More

Beginning at approximately at the 9:09 time stamp, Dr. Campbell discusses the first year of her presidency and how liberal arts colleges address current concerns about funding.


Spelman College Receives $30 Million Gift From Trustee Ronda Stryker and Spouse, William Johnston, to Support New Center
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American Talent Initiative’s Impact Report Cites Spelman College's Efforts to Increase Graduation Rates
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An American Odyssey by Mary Schmidt Campbell