Spelman College Receives Record Gift of $37 Million
Spelman College officials announced last week that they will receive the largest gift ever made to a predominantly black college.
The $37-million gift from the DeWitt Wallace/Spelman College Fund, created in 1981 with a $1-million donation by the founder of Reader's Digest, surpasses the record $20-million gift presented to Spelman three years ago by the actor Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille.
The current endowment of the 111-year-old woman's college in Atlanta is $51 million, and the new gift will be added by the end of the year.
"I keep thinking that this gift has come at a time when it is not so easy [to pay for] higher education,'' said Johnnetta B. Cole, the president of Spelman College. "It's not so easy anymore to say, 'Of course, she's going to college.' ''
Part of the new endowment, $8 million, will be used to revamp the college's honors-program curriculum.
But the bulk of it, $29 million, will be used for a variety of new scholarships:
- Presidential scholars will receive full, four-year scholarships and must show outstanding academic promise, leadership, and community service in high school.
- Dean's scholars will receive full or half scholarships for four years and must rank in the top 10 percent of their high-school class.
- Achievement scholars will allow Spelman students with a 3.5 grade-point average on a scale of 4.0 to apply for full or half scholarships.
- Merit scholars will receive awards based more on need, although they must also show a strong student record, Ms. Cole said.
- International scholarships will bring in students from around the world.
Spelman is one of two historically black colleges in the nation that serve women.
Vol. 11, Issue 34, Page 5Published in Print: May 13, 1992, as Spelman College Receives Record Gift of $37 Million