Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum has dedicated more than 10 years of her life to the prestigious and highly selective Spelman College. While she is scheduled to conclude her tenure at the all-girls liberal arts college next year, Tatum has some loose ends to tie up before her departure
With the help of her cabinet, Tatum successfully finished a 10-year fundraising campaign. The initial goal was set to $150 million. However, over the course of 10 years Tatum exceeded her goal by nearly $8 million dollars.
The ninth president of Spelman College emphasized the success of the campaign could not have happened without the support of the community—more specifically alumni. This year alone, more than 7,000 of Spelman’s alumni donated to the campaign.
Of the money contributed, $17,000 has been distributed to Center for Global Education, which not only encourage, but also “reaffirms the college’s commitment to engage Spelman’s students with ‘many cultures of the world’ and to widen their socioeconomic and political horizons in an increasingly complex and interdependent global society.”
Thanks to the generous donations more than 400 students now have the opportunity to expand their horizons and travel abroad. Prior to the large endowment, only 50-70 students were able to participate.
Under Tatum’s leadership, Spelman alumni contributions increased by 41 percent.
In a statement Tatum said, “Whatever it is they’re doing, alumni are path-breaking. They are really demonstrating that the confidence and the empowerment that comes from the HBCU education they received at Spelman has served them well and continues to serve the community well. But at the same time, if those graduates leave and then don’t reinvest, the institution can’t thrive.”
Tatum’s future plans include returning to her love for writing. In 1997 the Wesleyan University alumna penned a book titled “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” She hopes to reflect on the last twenty years in the follow-up book.