Originally meeting in a church basement, Spelman College was founded in 1881 specifically as a school for freed African American woman. Within two years, the school, originally named Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, received a $250 donation from John D. Rockefeller and moved to its present nine-acre site.
During the 1960s, students, including Pulitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker, were involved in the civil rights movement. In 1962, students were arrested following sit-ins, and Professor Zinn was dismissed the following year for supporting students’ efforts.
Spelman has been ranked the number one regional college in the South by U.S. News & World Report.