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Spelman College

President's Letter to the Community

A Message From the President

January 11, 2017

Happy New Year, Spelman Community!

As Spelman College is abuzz with preparations for the first day of classes next week, I write to share some breaking news regarding the chair of Spelman College’s Board of Trustees, Rosalind Brewer, C’84.

Last Friday, Ms. Brewer, CEO of Sam’s Club, announced her decision to leave the company at the end of January. We are proud of Ms. Brewer’s accomplishments and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for her. After an outstanding tenure as a global leader of a Fortune 500 company and residency in Bentonville, Arkansas, she will relocate to Atlanta. We are thrilled that her move will give her even more time to provide stellar leadership to the Board of Trustees, as we launch the College’s new strategic vision.

Below are excerpts from Ms. Brewer’s announcement: 

Walmart’s been my second family for more than a decade and it’s an incredible honor for me to have led and served Sam’s Club. When I first joined in 2006, I had a choice about where to come to work. I saw then how clearly we help people to save money and live better while supporting the communities we serve. I knew there was no better place to be if I wanted to make a difference, and I’m proud to have contributed to that mission in a meaningful way....

There’s never a perfect time to transition when you’re so invested in what you do every day, but I leave knowing Sam’s is in excellent shape. In less than a year, our new strategy has led to three consecutive quarters of improving comp sales. We’re offering more premium products and higher-end brands; we’ve completely refreshed our private label; and our commitment to transforming the shopping experience has resulted in game-changing digital innovation and grown online sales to record industry highs. I can step away knowing Sam’s is well positioned for the future....

Now it’s time for me to think about my own personal growth. If life is a classroom, then I am one of its most ardent students. Everyone needs to stay fresh and I’m ready for the next stretch.

In a couple of months, you’ll hear that I’ve taken on a combination of new challenges. It’s exciting work that fits into the broader plan my husband, John, and I have been developing for some time. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to grow in new ways and will continue to keep you posted on the next chapter.

In partnership and appreciation,


I know that those of you who live in the metropolitan Atlanta region join me in welcoming Ms. Brewer back to the Atlanta community and cheering her on in the next stage of her journey.


Mary Schmidt Campbell
Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D. 
Spelman College 
350 Spelman Lane, SW 
Atlanta, GA 30314-4399