Spelman College Receives Historic $100 Million Donation

ATLANTA (January 18, 2024) — Spelman College is honored to announce a $100 million historic gift – the largest single donation ever to an HBCU.

The donation is from businesswoman and philanthropist Ronda Stryker and her husband, William Johnston, Chairman of Greenleaf Trust.

Stryker has been a Spelman College Trustee since 1997. She has worked for decades to empower women through higher education and advance opportunities for additional marginalized groups.

The $100 million comes as Spelman College marks 100 years since its official naming in 1924.

$75 million of the $100 million will go to endowed scholarships for future students, helping Spelman College continue to attract the best and brightest students, while working to remove any financial barriers that prevent qualified students from enrolling at Spelman. The remaining $25 million will be used to develop an academic focus on public policy and democracy, improve student housing and provide flexible funding to meet critical strategic needs.

“We are invigorated and inspired by this incredible act of generosity,” said Dr. Helene Gayle, president of Spelman College. “This gift is a critical step in our school’s mission to eliminate financial barriers to starting and finishing a Spelman education. We can’t thank Ronda Stryker enough for her selflessness and support as both a trustee and friend. There’s no doubt that Spelman College is better because of her.”

Today, students are celebrating the generosity of Stryker and Johnston at a ceremony commemorating the gift.

To view a recap video of the day's celebration, click here.


100 million donation



Media Contacts:

Ashley Thompson
Jackson Spalding
M 770-695-2640
W jacksonspalding.com

Denise Ward
Spelman College
M 770-862-4028
W deniseward@spelman.edu

About Spelman College

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,300 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.Ds. in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.Ds. in economics. New majors and minors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, data science, refugee studies and gaming. Collaborations have been also established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning, among others.

Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, former Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, Federal Reserve Governor Lisa D. Cook, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard University professor and former Dean Evelynn Hammonds, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones.

To learn more, please visit spelman.edu and @spelmancollege on social media.