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Spelman president awarded $500K Carnegie grant

6:19 AM, Dec 10, 2013   |    comments
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Spelman College president Dr. Beverly Tatum speaks at Powered By Service Day on August 5, 2010 in Atlanta. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

ATLANTA -- The Carnegie Corporation of New York on Monday announced that Spelman College president Beverly Daniel Tatum is one of four recipients of its 2013 Academic Leadership Award.

Carnegie said each winner is an exceptional president of a U.S. college or university, and that the award is in the form of a $500,000 grant to be used in support of each honoree's academic initiatives.

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The 2013 honorees are:

* Richard H. Brodhead, President, Duke University
* Michael M. Crow, President, Arizona State University
* John L. Hennessy, President, Stanford University
* Beverly Daniel Tatum, President, Spelman College

The Academic Leadership Award, established in 2005, builds on Carnegie Corporation's long tradition of developing and recognizing leadership in higher education, Carnegie said in a statement. The award honors university presidents who are not only resourceful administrators and managers, but also have a keen interest in the liberal arts and a commitment to excellence and access, curricular innovation, reform of K-12 education, international engagement, and the promotion of strong links between their institutions and their local communities, Carnegie said.

Carnegie said of Beverly Daniel Tatum:

Since being named President of Spelman College in 2002, Beverly Daniel Tatum has shown that, with vision and commitment, access and excellence in higher education do not have to be mutually exclusive. The college is known for admitting and graduating a large percentage of low-income, first generation students. During her tenure, the percentage of students qualifying for federal Pell Grants has risen from some 30 percent to over 50 percent, about 87 percent of all students receive some form of financial aid, and scholarship support has tripled. President Tatum, the first African American female college president to receive this award has:

* Championed women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math); almost a third of Spelman students earn degrees in those fields, defying what President Tatum calls "the low expectations for women and minorities in science." The National Science Foundation reports that between 1997 and 2006, Spelman prepared more African American women to earn Ph.D.s in STEM than Georgia Tech, Duke, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill combined.

* Cultivated community service; each year, Spelman students contribute a total of more than 40,000 hours of service to their community through programs such as Project Impact. Students volunteer within a designated 1.7 mile area surrounding the campus with activities that focus on education, economic development, health, and environmental sustainability in partnership with some 40 community organizations, including 15 schools and education programs.

* Dropped intercollegiate sports in favor of a focus on student health. Concerned over the fact that an alarming proportion of young black women are prone to having serious health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes, she invested the savings from the elimination of team sports in fitness and intramural programs that emphasize activities that career women are likely to maintain for a lifetime, such as tennis, golf, and yoga. Read Hall, the college's gymnasium built in the 1950s, is being renovated to serve as a state-of-the-art fitness facility.

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding," Carnegie said. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy, the company added.

(Atlanta Business Chronicle)

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