Meet the Founders of Spelman, the First College Created Just For Black Women

First Graduates of Spelman College

Now known as a liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia, Spelman is a college that has been around since 1881, at least one hundred years after the founding of Ivy League schools such as Yale and Harvard. What makes this schools stand out, however, is its target alumni. Spelman College was the first all-female school in America for Black students. 
A surprising fact regarding the origins of this school lies in its founders. Their names were Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles, two white women from Salem, Massachusetts. According to Harry G. Lefever, although the school was founded by these women for Black females, it took over a century before a Black woman was named the college president.

Of course, today Spelman carries the high regard of many as a highly prestigious institution. Its alumnae include a roster of women like actress Esther Rolle, singer Cassi Davis, and writer Alice Davis. Every year, on the anniversary of its founding, Spelman celebrates a day for its founders in commemoration of their commitment to empowering future leaders.