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Breaking Barriers: The Inspiring Journey of Spelman Alumna KC Copeland

March 2023

Spelman Alumna and Morgan Stanley Executive KC Copeland

As a proud graduate of Spelman College, KC Copeland, MBA, C'97, is shattering glass ceilings and making her mark as a trailblazer in the financial industry. As the executive director of Morgan Stanley's Wealth Management Digital Marketing Program Management Office, she has proven that hard work, determination and a willingness to take risks can lead to incredible success.

A key player in the firm's efforts to modernize and transform its marketing efforts, Copeland leverages cutting-edge technology to engage with clients and prospects in new and innovative ways. In her nearly ten years with the global financial services firm, she has also held positions in technology and operations which have helped to define and implement strategies across channels such as, Morgan Stanley Online, MS Mobile, and the firm’s advisory and marketing platforms. These innovative efforts have driven digital transformational for financial advisors, clients and prospective clients. 

Growing up, Copeland knew she wanted to make a difference in the world and was drawn to Spelman College because of its reputation for empowering and inspiring African American women to achieve greatness. She reflects positively on her time as an undergrad dual degree engineering student with a course load that earned her degrees from both Spelman College and The Georgia Institute of Technology (Industrial Engineering).  In 2022, she proudly co-chaired her silver (25th) Spelman reunion for the class of 1997 and continues to find ways to give back to the College.

From Engineering to Digital Transformation

Her  professional life began in management consulting with Accenture before attending Duke University to earn a Master of Business Administration concentrated in finance. Post graduate school, she embarked upon a career in financial services at Merrill Lynch in sales and trading. In each role, she proved herself to be a skilled and dedicated professional, earning recognition and accolades from her colleagues and superiors. She witnessed first-hand the financial crisis of 2007/2008 while working on a mortgage trading desk.

"The lessons of that era remain with me to this day and have fueled my passion for learning and teaching financial literacy," said Copeland.

For Copeland, success is not just about personal achievement. It's about making a positive impact on the world and helping others achieve their dreams. She is deeply committed to supporting and mentoring young African American women who are interested in pursuing careers in finance and technology. She knows firsthand the challenges that they will face, and she is dedicated to helping them overcome those obstacles and reach their full potential.

Copeland knows that the road to success can be difficult and uncertain, especially for African American college students who are often marginalized and underestimated. However she believes that with hard work, determination, and the right support, anything is possible. She encourages young women to believe in themselves and to pursue their passions with vigor and dedication.

Giving Back and Paying it Forward

Spelman Alumna KC Copeland on Engineering and Morgan Stanley

When not traveling, Copeland often devotes time to give back through mentorship working with students and small business owners. In fact, she recently engaged Spelpreneur participants in an engaging presentation, "How Data is your BFF," to help prepare them to be future entrepreneurs and business leaders. She is also proud that in 2020, Morgan Stanley formalized a mentorship program with the College.

Morgan Stanley: Opening Doors to Opportunity for Spelman Students

Through the HBCU Scholars Program, talented Spelman College students will receive full scholarships from Morgan Stanley. The $12 million initiative will support a total of 60 full scholarships for students enrolled in Spelman, Morehouse College and Howard University. Created to set scholars on a path to financial independence, the academic and need-based awards will cover the entire cost of tuition and living expenses for selected students across all disciplines and majors. 
In addition to scholarships, Morgan Stanley provides support for career readiness through its HBCU Career Preparedness Program. The programs are part of Morgan Stanley’s newly established Institute for Inclusion, and support the firm’s larger mission to create an integrated, holistic and transparent diversity and inclusion strategy both internally and externally.

Additionally, she enjoys dancing, listening to live music and perpetual learning through books and podcasts. As a budding real estate investor and self-mandated creator of Black Wealth, she is unapologetically focused on helping the next generational of young professionals and entrepreneurs. 

Copeland also served on the Board at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, its Minority Alumni Council and its Alumni Council. She currently resides in her home city in Atlanta where she lives inside the perimeter with her puppy Domingo.