Dr. Johnetta Cole (b. October 19, 1936) was the first Black woman to serve as president of Spelman College, leading the institution from 1987 to 1997. From 2002 to 2007, she was president of Bennett College in Greensboro, NC. Prior to her work as a university president, she taught at a number of schools, including the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Hunter College, and Emory University. Today, Dr. Cole serves as the director of the Smithsonian Institute's National African Art Museum.
American lawyer and civil rights activist who founded the Children’s Defense Fund in 1973. Edelman attended Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga. (B.A., 1960), and the Yale University Law School (LL.B., 1963). After work registering African-American voters in Mississippi, she moved to New York City as a staff attorney for the Legal Defense and Educational Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles founded the first college for black women in the United States in 1881. The school was named Spelman College after Laura Celestia Spelman Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller, who made a sizeable donation to the school.