Spelman College was founded 135 years ago today. Initially funded by the John D. Rockefeller family, the school was opened as a place of higher learning for Black women in Atlanta. Since it’s opening on April 11, 1881, Spelman College has served as one of the top private colleges in the nation.
In honor of Spelman’s Founder’s Day, we highlight 10 powerful women who attended Spelman College.
Before beginning an accomplished career as a writer, Alice Walker received a full scholarship to Spelman College in 1961. She eventually became a vocal member of the burgeoning Civil Rights movement in Atlanta before finishing her college career at Sarah Lawrence College.
Rosalind Brewer earned a degree in chemistry from Spelman in 1984 before attending Stanford Law School. She began her career as a scientist before becoming the president of Walmart East. She is currently the CEO of Sam’s Club and the first Black woman to ever hold such a position.
Actress Esther Rolle began her college studies at Spelman College in 1942. She eventually transferred to Yale before becoming a staple on Broadway and starring in the TV classic, “Good Times.”