A Message From the President

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Celebrating Excellence and Envisioning the Future

Spelman College has a history of attracting talented students, brilliant faculty, dedicated staff, and strong, stable leadership, resulting in recognition by U.S. News and World Report as the #1 HBCU for 17 consecutive years. The College now ranks among the top 40 liberal arts colleges nationwide, an acknowledgement of our institutional strengths and competitive student outcomes. Our growth in reputation reflects a commitment to continuous improvement, and importantly, brings with it increased opportunity for strategic growth and partnerships that further our goals.

President GayleAs we consider what Spelman College should emphasize in the coming decades, we contemplate how we might build on our accomplishments in innovative ways. Our focus remains education of women of African descent, but we seek to have a broader reach for that population and others who may seek the benefits of a Spelman education. We have historically remained a strictly in-person learning environment, but we confirmed  during the COVID-19 pandemic that we can deliver curricular content effectively via digital platforms. Maintaining our campus infrastructure is growing more challenging, with new building projects and specialized spaces. We now require a broad array of support services for in-person and virtual learning experiences. These are mere examples of areas where Spelman has become a more complex institution, outgrowing our traditional boundaries and processes. It calls us to consider what should be next to leverage the College’s mission and strengthen its influence on matters of great importance, consistent with democratic ideals and our commitment to social justice and the elimination of inequities and inequality.

Strategic Planning Context

Higher education in the United States is undergoing fundamental transformation, as institutions grapple with internal and external forces, such as the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on teaching and learning. Sometimes described as the most significant cultural shift in the past century, AI brings opportunities for individualized learning that could revolutionize our notions of the learning environment.

Spelman student group meeting

Strategic Planning Context (continued)

Other concerns about the future of higher education include growing uncertainty about the value of a college degree, especially considering rising education costs and concomitant rising student debt. Under these challenging circumstances, we embrace innovation in ways heretofore unimaginable. Spelman women continue to assume important  leadership roles and create meaningful impact in areas critical to social progress and national interests. Looking back on our record of accomplishments, we have much to celebrate. Yet, there is more work to do. The proposed strategic plan is a response to pressing, multifaceted issues with two thematic foci: Empowering Excellence and Inspiring Change. Within these framing concepts, we propose to lift Spelman to new heights supreme and true. Spelman’s future remains bright. It inspires this call to action—to reach even higher goals than we have ever achieved, to ensure the viability and growth of Spelman College. Join us on this creative journey!

Spelman College Mission

Spelman College, a historically Black college and a global leader in the education of women of African descent, is dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the intellectual, creative, ethical, and leadership development of its students. Through diverse learning modalities, Spelman empowers the whole person to engage the many cultures of the world and inspires a commitment to positive social change.