ATLANTA, May 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- During a time of year when colleges and universities around the nation are traditionally honoring their graduates, many of the halls that once filled with celebratory families are shuttered as students across the nation shelter in place.
To celebrate the stellar work of the Class of 2020, Spelman College will host virtual events organized to honor its more than 480 graduates.
The weekend of celebrations will kick-off at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 15, with a discussion between Spelman Student Government President Nia Page, C'2020, and two-time Grammy-nominated recording artists Chloe x Halle on @Spelman_College, the institution's official Instagram channel. At 7 p.m., the event will segue from a conversation to a live performance by the duo in tribute to Spelman students on the @ChloexHalle Instagram platform, where they will perform a set, including new music from their upcoming album.
The virtual celebration will continue on at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 16, with the Spelman Senior Salute live streamed on Spelman.edu and the College's official Facebook page. Filled with tributes and surprises, the live stream is an opportunity for the entire Spelman community to commend the graduates via #SpelmanGrad20 and #SpelmanSeniorSalute.
"We are extremely proud of our graduating seniors, who have been undeterred in their pursuit of a Spelman degree," said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. "They step into a world, changing by the month, by the week by the day, armed with skills, experiences and relationships that will serve them well in the days ahead. Already we see them entering top graduate programs, accepting prestigious fellowships, and filling critical roles in corporate and nonprofit organizations. They bring a spirit of innovation and creativity, finely honed critical thinking skills and a grasp of technological skills, all developed during their years at Spelman. The entire Spelman community applauds our outstanding graduates. Class of 2020 you are truly a class of vision."
After receiving their degrees, members of the graduating class have shared their plans, which span the gamut of opportunities. They'll be working in software engineering and policy at Facebook and Google, in nursing at Kaiser Permanente and in video production at ESPN. Some will teach elementary school through Teach for America, enter management consulting programs at Accenture and Deloitte, and analyze data at JPMorgan Chase & Co, the National Women's Law Center, PBS and Dell Technologies. Spelman's newest alumnae will engage in research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, acting and screenwriting, and teaching language at the Council on International Educational Exchange, Inc.
More than 100 graduates plan to enter graduate programs in a variety of disciplines. They will study marriage and family therapy at Mercer University, journalism at Columbia, veterinary medicine at Ohio State and computer engineering at North Carolina A&T. They'll pursue graduate degrees in environmental science and law at Emory, linguistics at Georgetown, neuroscience at Morehouse School of Medicine and social work at New York University. As well, Spelman graduates are enrolling in programs in pastoral counseling at Harvard, business analytics at Wake Forest, and creative writing, political science and entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of California.
Spelman will celebrate the success of the Class of 2020 at a formal in-person Commencement ceremony, which will be held at a later date.
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College's picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College's status is confirmed by U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 57 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 22 for undergraduate teaching and No. 6 for both innovation and social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 13th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT's Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman's first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.