Spelman College


Spelman College
Private, historically black, women's liberal arts college in Atlanta, Ga.

Its history is traced to 1881, when two Boston women began teaching 11 black women, mostly ex-slaves, in an Atlanta church basement. Donations from John D. Rockefeller, beginning in 1884, assured the school's growth; the school is named for Rockefeller's mother-in-law. Spelman offers bachelor's degrees in more than 20 academic fields. It is one of six African American institutions in the Atlanta area that share students, faculty, facilities, and curricula. Spelman's alumnae include attorney and children's rights activist Marian Wright Edelman and author Alice Walker.

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      private, historically black institution of higher learning for women in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. A liberal arts college, Spelman offers bachelor's degrees in more than 20 fields, including arts, sciences, psychology, computer science, economics, languages, philosophy, political science, religion, and sociology. It also offers an independent-major option, premedical and prelaw programs, and dual-degree engineering programs with a dozen other institutions. Total enrollment is about 2,000.

      The school's history is traced to 1881, when two Boston women, Sophia Packard and Harriet Giles, began teaching a small group of African American women, mostly ex-slaves, in an Atlanta church basement. Two years later the school moved to the site of Fort McPherson, which had been a Union training site during the American Civil War. Donations from industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller (Rockefeller, John D.), beginning in 1884, assured the school's security and growth in its early decades. The school was named Spelman Seminary for Rockefeller's wife's mother. It began awarding college degrees in 1901 and became Spelman College in 1924. In 1929 an agreement between Spelman College, Morehouse College (for African American men), and Atlanta University formed what would become the Atlanta University Center, which consists of Spelman and five other African American institutions in Atlanta sharing students, faculty, facilities, and curricula. Notable alumnae include lawyer and civil-rights activist Marian Wright Edelman (Edelman, Marian Wright), musician and historian Bernice Johnson Reagon (Reagon, Bernice Johnson), and writer Alice Walker (Walker, Alice).

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Universalium. 2010.

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