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Presidential Search

Presidential Search Process and Announcement

Search Process

In September 2014, the Board of Trustees charged the Presidential Search Committee, led by Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes, C'96, to identify and recommend a finalist for the 10th president of Spelman College. To develop and support an issues-driven, well-executed, inclusive and appropriately transparent search, the Committee selected the firm Isaacson Miller and also engaged the support of a search administrator.

In the fall, the committee gathered information about our community’s aspirations and expectations for the future through a series of listening sessions with campus, alumnae and external partners via online surveys, and through focused committee conversation. The feedback gathered resulted in a Leadership Profile that reflects our collective assessment of the opportunities for the next president of Spelman College. It is this leadership profile and the issues identified by our stakeholders within, that drove this process which resulted in a strong, diverse and inclusive pool of approximately 300 prospects encompassing alumnae and individuals from traditional and non-traditional backgrounds, as well as a wide variety of disciplines and institutions.

Through a rigorous assessment process, the PSC narrowed the pool and ultimately recommended Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D. as a finalist to visit the campus. Following a successful campus visit and upon reviewing the feedback gathered from a community-wide online survey, the PSC made its recommendation to the board of trustees for final approval.

Review the full process in the Presidential Search pages.

Read the Town Hall Address given by Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell during her visit to the campus.


In March 2015, the Board of Trustees unanimously elected Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell the College's 10th President, effective August 1, 2015.

A Message From the President-elect

April 8, 2015

To the Spelman Community,

I am deeply honored to have been elected by the Board of Trustees to serve as the 10th President of Spelman College. In the days following the announcement, I have been the recipient of an outpouring of good wishes and congratulations and I take this opportunity now to thank you for welcoming me so warmly into the Spelman family.  read more >>

A Message From the Board Chair

March 28, 2015

Dear Spelman Community,

I am incredibly pleased to announce the Spelman College Board of Trustees has unanimously and enthusiastically elected Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell as the 10th president of Spelman College. Dr. Campbell is dean emerita of the Tisch School of the Arts and university professor in the Department of Art and Public Policy at New York University. Dr. Campbell’s appointment is effective August 1, 2015, following the completion of Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum’s 13 years of outstanding leadership and service.  read more >>
"I am delighted by the selection of Dr. Campbell as the 10th president of Spelman College. Dr. Campbell has an extraordinary profile with the experience, energy, and passion that matches what the Spelman community identified as important to lead our college into the next chapter.” -- Celeste Watkins-Hayes, Ph.D., C’96, Vice Chair, Spelman College Board of Trustees, Chair, Presidential Search Committee 

"Spelman College could not have made a more outstanding choice than Mary Schmidt Campbell to be its next president. She is an institution-builder, and she draws the best out of everyone around her." -- John Sexton, President, New York University