Looking Ahead at Spelman

In podcast interview, Beverly Daniel Tatum, preparing to wrap up her presidency, offers thoughts on fund raising, race relations, wellness and the state of historically black colleges.

July 28, 2014

In an era when some black colleges are straining financially and some women's colleges have struggled to attract enough applicants, Spelman College appears to be thriving. The historically black women's college in Atlanta just completed a $157.8 million fund-raising campaign, allowing the institution to double the scholarships it awards each year.

Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College since 2002, recently announced that she will retire in June. During her presidency, she has been a strong advocate for historically black and women's colleges, while continuing to speak out about the state of race relations in America. Her 1997 book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? is widely read in high schools and colleges -- and Tatum is planning to return to that subject after she leaves the president's position.

In this podcast interview, she discusses the importance of raising money at Spelman (where more than half of all students are Pell Grant eligible) and how -- after the fund-raising drive -- the college is "healthy, not wealthy."

She also discusses the progress of her initiative to eliminate intercollegiate athletics and instead focus on promoting wellness and fitness among students, and a range of issues facing black colleges and black students.


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