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Alumnae: Alumnae Stories

Alumnae Stories

Spelman Legacy on Display in New African American Museum

September 2016

Spelman College is well represented in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016.


  • Mo IvoryRuth Odom Bonner, 99, the grandmother of alumna Rukiya Bonner, C'96, joined four generations of her family, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, to ring the bell to officially open the Museum [The Washington Post]
  • Tuliza Fleming, C'94, is a Museum curator
  • Former president Johnnetta B. Cole donated her inaugural gown and cap to the Museum collection
  • Mattiwilda Dobbs, C'46, is featured in the opening exhibition
  • Mo Ivory, C'91, has a quote featured in the Museum exhibition [AJC]
  • A photo of the Spelman Class of 1900 is on display
  • Retired Assistant Professor Bobbye Booker Coleman donated paintings by her uncle Earle W. Richardson to the Museum collection [Washington Post]
  • The Museum collection includes "Chadwick Home" and "Sisters Chapel," two linocut prints by Hale Woodruff, a former faculty member of the Spelman College Department of Art. [NMAAHC]
  • President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., chaired a Smithsonian advisory board that made the 1991 recommendation for the development of a national museum on African-American history to be created
  • Jacob Lawrence's 1962 painting "Praying Ministers," a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Besle in the permanent collection of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, is featured in the NMAAHC's Visual Art and the American Experience exhibition
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Shared Socially: Ruth Bonner, a relative of Spelman alumna Rukiya Bonner, C'96, witnesses the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture