Spelman Receives Historic $30 Million Gift from Board Member

Spelman College today announced the receipt of a $30 million donation to support construction of a new academic facility, the first for the campus since 1996.

The gift, made by Board of Trustees member and medical supply entrepreneur Ronda Stryker and her husband, investment bank chair William Johnston, is the largest made by a living donor in the history of the college, and the latest standard-setting gift for the historically black college and university community.

“Ronda Stryker has been staunchly committed to the mission and ideals of Spelman College for more than 20 years. She has been an unstinting advocate for our students and has supported a wide range of strategic initiatives, critical to Spelman’s long term sustainability and the success of our students,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman.

“With this historic gift, yet again, Ronda’s support will be transformational. 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 (also known as STEAM).”

The gift is one of several contributions the couple has made to Spelman in support of arts programming and student scholarships. It also represents one-third of the total $86 million cost associated with the construction and outfitting of the building with technology and equipment, along with an operating endowment.

“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,” said Stryker, a director of the medical equipment company Stryker Corp., as well as vice chair and director of Greenleaf Trust, an investment bank chaired by Johnston.

“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.”

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