Spelman College, a historically Black, women's liberal arts college in Atlanta, announced Thursday that the school received a historic $100 million gift.
The donation is the largest single donation ever received by any Historically Black College or University (HBCU).
The record-breaking donation comes from businesswoman and philanthropist Ronda Stryker and her husband, William Johnston, chairman of Greenleaf Trust. Stryker has been a Spelman College Trustee since 1997 and holds a passion for empowering women through higher education and opportunities for marginalized communities, according to a press release.
Spelman explained that $75 million of the $100 million donation will go towards endowed scholarships for future students, and 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," the press release said.
The multi-million donation comes as Spelman College marks 100 years since its official naming in 1924. Spelman is ranked first among HBCUs by U.S. News World & Report. The college was founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, and is a member of the Atlanta University Center Consortium.
Located in the heart of Atlanta, the AUCC is the world's largest consortia of African American private institutions of higher education. With campuses just steps from one another, the consortium's members include Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Morehouse School of Medicine.
The school's mission statement states that the institution is "dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, and the intellectual, creative, ethical, and leadership development of its students." Spelman's student body comprises over 2,100 students from 43 states and 10 foreign countries.
"We are invigorated and inspired by this incredible act of generosity," Dr. Helene Gayle, president of Spelman College said. "This gift is a critical 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."