Spelman College President Announces Retirement
Dr. Audrey Forbes Manley, the eighth president and the first alumna president of Spelman College, announced her retirement at a college convocation ceremony last month.Â
“When I accepted this position of honor, I identified a number of goals for a five-year tenure that I believed would enhance our distinctive legacy of excellence and service,” Manley told an audience of students, faculty, staff, alumnae and other members of the Atlanta University Center. “I have achieved those goals, and it is now my desire to rejoin the ranks of alumnae who serve the college in innumerable ways away from the gates of Spelman.”
Dr. June Gary Hopps, chairwoman of the board of trustees for the historically Black school in Atlanta, describes Manley as a “futuristic thinker,” establishing an unprecedented partnership with the neighborhood, organizations and other colleges affected by the community. Hopps also applauds Manley’s fund-raising efforts. “She has been an effective fund-raiser, generating more than $60 million during the past four years,” she says.
During Manley’s tenure, the Spelman endowment grew by more than $63 million in four years and physical plant growth by more than $50 million in four years. The college renovated several buildings, recruited the largest class in its history, strengthened its infrastructure, and completed fund raising for the $30.8 million Spelman Science Complex. The center, recently completed, will be dedicated in April 2002.
“Dr. Manley has done an outstanding job for our students, this community and this institution,” Hopps says. “She has taken Spelman to greater heights building on the legacy of seven earlier great presidents. We are sad to see her go, but we understand her wish to retire… from active duty. Dr. Manley promises to be around when Spelman needs her, and we can’t ask for more than that.”
Not everyone in the Spelman community will be sad to see Manley go, however. Some of her critics look forward to having a new president who will command a larger national profile and have a more team-oriented management style.
Upon her retirement in July 2002, Manley will begin work on a history of successful women scientists who graduated from Spelman. “The numbers are many,” she told the convocation audience of more than 1,200. “And the story is quite remarkable.
A presidential search committee, appointed by Hopps and chaired by trustee Yvonne Jackson, expects to identify Manley’s successor by the close of the academic school year.Â
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