A new multi-million dollar donation to Spelman College has broken a giving record.
Spelman trustee Ronda Stryker and her husband, William Johnston, donated $30 million to the historically Black women’s college, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The money is the largest single donation ever given to the institution by a living donor and is one of the largest donations to an HBCU ever.
The largest donation Spelman ever received came in 1992 when the estate of Reader’s Digest founder DeWitt Wallace gave $37 million.
Styker is the director of technology firm Stryker Corp; she joined Spelman’s board of trustees in 1997. Johnston chairs the investment banking company Greenleaf Trust.
The money will be used to develop Spelman’s Center for Innovation and the Arts. The center will be a base for the school’s art and technology programs. The center will also include an expansion of the college's museum of fine art. The project will cost about $86 million.
"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,” said Styker. “We are thrilled to support a building that will encourage students to master technology, innovation and the arts.”
“With this historic gift, yet again, Ronda’s support will be transformational,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Spelman’s president. “Her contribution ensures that Spelman 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.”
This isn’t the first arts-centered award Spelman has received this year.
The Walton Family Foundation bestowed $5.4 million to Spelman, Morehouse and Clark Atlanta University in September to help prepare Black students for museum careers, according to Nonprofit Quarterly. The Walton Family Foundation's gift will also go toward scholarships for students who are interested in art history.
“This grant to Spelman College and the Atlanta University Center will encourage and support greater diversity within the Arts, expand inclusion efforts in the museum community and inspire the next generation of art and museum leadership,” foundation board member Alice Walton said in a statement to The AJC.
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