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Spelman College

President's Letter to the Community

Welcome Back

Happy New Year and Welcome Back!

As 2018 begins, Spelman is teeming with energy, new ideas and exciting events.  

Our Bonner Office of Civic Engagement kicked off the new semester with a day of service for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. More than 200 members of the Spelman community participated by volunteering in various activities all over Atlanta's west side. Their contributions benefited the Atlanta Beltline-Westside Trail clean up, the Westside Mural Project, the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance Community Garden Project, the Westside Volunteer Corps School Supply Drive, and Village Tutorial After school STEAM Activity Kits.

Recently, the values of our Spelman sisterhood were on display with an interdisciplinary team of talented Spelman students. They constructed an app designed to create an environment in the Atlanta University Center that is positive, communal and safe. Spelman computer science majors Amirah Husbands, C'2019, and Thulani Vereen, C'2020, and psychology major Kirsten Bray, C'2018, developed the “Safer” mobile application. Designed to encourage good Samaritan engagement in preventing sexual violence, the app was developed in the Innovation Lab under the leadership of the director, Dr. Jerry Volcy, and the assistant director, Jessica Anderson.

These students are the embodiment of “Imagine, Invent, Ascend,” the theme of our new strategic vision. We are proud that all three students will present their innovative solution at the HBCU Making and Innovation Showcase at the Emerging Researchers Network Conference in February in Washington, D.C.

The Spelman sisterhood displayed its might, as well, this year with a dramatic increase in the number of alumnae participating in the Sister2Sister Mentoring and Connections program, a signature program that provides professional, educational, cultural and virtual mentoring to current students. Administered by the Office of Alumnae Affairs, the program served 222 alumnae/student pairs, a 49 percent increase over last year!

Alumnae demonstrated Spelman love with an increase in the number of end-of-year contributions to the College. The Office of Institutional Advancement led a unique campaign focused on consecutive giving through the True Blue Society. More than 900 alumnae and friends of Spelman participated in the "Once in a Blue Moon" campaign which opened the New Year with robust alumnae participation numbers. While we are still processing the end-of-the year gifts, I can share that to date alumnae have given approximately $119,000 more this year than they had by this time in FY17.

What a great launch into 2018 — and the best is yet to come. At the end of this week, our Spelman College Glee Club, under the direction of Dr. Kevin Johnson and along with the Morehouse College Glee Club, will collaborate with renowned opera singer Kathleen Battle at the Woodruff Arts Center in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. They will present, "Underground Railroad - A Spiritual Journey," a collection of moving spirituals inspired by the journey to freedom along the Underground Railroad, composed and written by Ms. Battle with accompaniment by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Later this month, the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art opens a new exhibition, "Deborah Roberts: The Evolution of Mimi,” a collection of collages, paintings and hand-painted serigraphs. The second semester Spelpreneur leadership mentoring series launches its new season under the direction of Dr. Jane Smith. A highlight of their year will be a 10-day start up competition in February. Also that month, the College will welcome family members of students to campus for our 2018 Family Weekend.

In the coming year, we will continue to unfold our new strategic vision: Deliver the promise of graduation to every Spelman student; elevate and support the difference our Spelman faculty make; enhance operational excellence by supporting the professional development of staff and faculty and improving the technology environment; and promote innovation among students, faculty and staff.

My thanks for all you do to keep Spelman soaring.

Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.
President, Spelman College