Spelman College has announced a $100 million historic gift — the largest single donation ever to a historically Black college and university (HBCU).

The donation is from businesswoman and philanthropist Ronda Stryker and her husband, William Johnston, Chairman of Greenleaf Trust.

Stryker has been a Spelman College Trustee since 1997. She has worked for decades to empower women through higher education and advance opportunities for additional marginalized groups, according to a press release from Spelman.

The $100 million comes as Spelman marks 100 years since its official naming in 1924. The gift is an important first step on Spelman’s path to become need-blind, helping to attract the best and brightest students by eliminating potential barriers to admission, the release said.

$75 million of the $100 million will go to endowed scholarships for future students, helping Spelman College continue to attract the best and brightest students, while working to remove any financial barriers that prevent qualified students from enrolling at Spelman.

The remaining $25 million will be used to develop an academic focus on public policy and democracy, improve student housing, and provide flexible funding to meet critical strategic needs.

“We are invigorated and inspired by this incredible act of generosity,” said Dr. Helene Gayle, president of Spelman College, in the press release. “This gift is a critical step in our school’s mission to eliminate financial barriers to starting and finishing a Spelman education. We can’t thank Ronda Stryker enough for her selflessness and support as both a trustee and friend. There’s no doubt that Spelman College is better because of her.”

This story comes to GPB through a partnership with Rough Draft Atlanta.