Spelman College recently received a major gift to push the institution’s educational initiatives forward. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that Atlanta-based HBCU was given a $30 million donation from one of it’s trustees and her husband.
The donation—which was made by Ronda Stryker and William Johnston—was the largest contribution from living donors in the school’s 137-year history, the news outlet writes. It will go towards the creation of Spelman’s new Center for Innovation & the Arts. The facility will serve as a hub for programs related to art, film and photography, digital media, and dance. It will also include a theater, café, and an expansion of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts.
Stryker—who is an executive at the Fortune 500 Company Stryker Corporation—joined Spelman’s board of trustees in 1997. She’s now the vice chair of the Spelman College Board of Trustees and leads the board’s Arts, Innovation & Technology Committee. Throughout the years she’s made several contributions to the institution; helping it to grow its study abroad program, providing funding for STEM initiatives, helping out with the expansion of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts and growing the school’s annual fund.
“As former educators who believe strongly in social justice, Bill and I have great appreciation for how Spelman provides a superior education for students that encourages them to be global change agents,” Stryker said in a statement. “Spelman alumnae are leaders across every field imaginable, breaking new ground, while tackling some of the world’s most challenging issues from health disparities to the digital divide. We are thrilled to support a building that will encourage students to master technology, innovation and the arts.”
Spelman College president Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D. expressed her gratitude for Stryker and her husband’s contribution, stating that it will ensure that students will “be prepared to tackle the challenges of our changing world through innovation, creativity and the dynamic intersection of science, technology, engineering, arts and math.”
Several donors have been stepping up to further programs at HBCUs. In March, Howard University alumnus Wendell E. Mackey, CFA made a $250,000 donation to the institution’s business school.
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