Tuesday, August 17, 2021
by Jazmyn Burton
ATLANTA (August 17, 2021) — Today, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., announced that she will retire as president of Spelman College at the end of this academic year, effective as of June 30, 2022.
During Dr. Campbell’s tenure as the 10th president of Spelman, she has led the college through transformative change and the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic.
Since Dr. Campbell joined the Spelman community, major investments have been made in academic programs, technology infrastructure and the renewal of critical facilities on campus to provide students with enhanced learning opportunities and the best environment to support their growth. The college continues to be ranked by U.S. News and World Report as No. 1 among historically Black colleges and universities, No. 54 among national liberal arts colleges, and No. 4 among top performers in social mobility, and, according to the National Science Foundation, it has maintained a reputation as the nation’s leading producer of Black women scientists.
“When I joined Spelman in 2015, I felt called to come and do my part to make a meaningful contribution to the 140-year history of this extraordinary College,” said Dr. Campbell. “I have loved every minute of serving as the president of this phenomenal institution and am proud to retire having made meaningful impacts on our academic strength, financial future and physical campus. While the decision to retire was not easy, I feel confident that Spelman is well-equipped to continue the work of building this community of purpose and preparing Black women to become global leaders who will choose to change the world.”
Dr. Campbell gained a national presence in the course of her tenure at Spelman and was recently ranked among CollegeCliffs.com’s top 50 college and university presidents in the country. As a result of Dr. Campbell’s leadership, Spelman has:
- Attracted and retained some of the best talent in academia to its faculty and leadership team
- Added five new endowed professorships to continue faculty retention and recruitment of outstanding faculty
- Reached more than 100 percent of its capital campaign goal to raise $250 million in only four years
- Experienced impressive endowment growth, with it now approaching $500 million
- Secured funding for upgrading existing facilities and building the College’s first new academic facility in more than 20 years.
- Expanded Spelman’s reach into the West End community with its programs in the Atlanta Public Schools to enhance literacy and math proficiency.
“I speak on behalf of the entire Spelman College Board of Trustees when I say we deeply appreciate Dr. Campbell’s leadership of the Spelman community,” said Rosalind Brewer, Chair of the Spelman College Board of Trustees and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. “The Board has enjoyed an endearing and fruitful partnership with Dr. Campbell, making this transition bittersweet. While we understand and accept Dr. Campbell’s assessment that this is the right time to return to retirement, we will greatly miss her impactful and compassionate leadership.”
In the coming months, the Board of Trustees will lead a formal and comprehensive search to determine the College’s 11th president. The Board aims to announce the next president by this spring and welcome the new president to campus by the start of the 2022-2023 academic year.