ATLANTA (January 18, 2024) — Spelman College is the recipient of a historic $100 million dollar donation, the largest single donation in the school’s history and the largest single donation to any HBCU. 

Philanthropist and businesswoman Ronda Stryker, who has served on Spelman’s board of trustees since 1997, is the generous philanthropist behind the gift along with her husband William Johnston, Chairman of Greenleaf Trust. 

The $100 million gift from the couple comes at a historic time for the school, as 2024 marks 100 yearssince Spelman Baptist Seminary became Spelman College in 1924. 

Ronda E. Stryker & William D. Johnsont (pictured) via HBCU money.

$75 million of the $100 million will go to endowed scholarships for future students, helping Spelman College attract the best and brightest students, while working to remove any financial barriers that prevent qualified students from enrolling at Spelman. 

The remaining $25 million will be used to develop an academic focus on public policy and democracy, improve student housing, and provide flexible funding to meet critical strategic needs. 

“We are invigorated and inspired by this incredible act of generosity,” said Dr. Helene Gayle, president of Spelman College. “This gift is a critical first step in our school’s mission to eliminate financial barriers to starting and finishing a Spelman education.

“We can’t thank Ronda Stryker enough for her selflessness and support as both a trustee and friend. There’s no doubt that Spelman College is better because of her.” 

Spelman College is dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the intellectual, creative, ethical, and leadership development of its students. 

For the 17th consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Spelman College as the best HBCU in the country, holding the No. 1 spot on its annual Best Colleges report.

Spelman students on campus via Empower Atlanta Magazine.

Spelman College also ranked No. 39 on the list of Best National Liberal Arts institutions and ranked No. 2 on the Top Performers in Social Mobility list.

It is the No. 1 producer of African American women who complete PhDs in STEM fields. 

Spelman admitted its largest class in history in September 2023 under President Helene. D. Gayle, M.D., MPH.