ATLANTA (April 5, 2011) – On April 7, Spelman College will observe a special anniversary commemorating its legacy of educating women for leadership and service during its 2011 Founders Day celebration. Notable actors and entertainers will lend their voices and talents to uplift the rich history of the institution and through them “The Sustaining Vision: 130 Years and Leading.”
The day of festivities will begin with the traditional Founders Day Convocation which will include an honorary degree presentation to novelist and publisher Tina McElroy Ansa, C’71, a tribute to artist Varnette P. Honeywood, C’72, a star-studded production, and a special performance by Jennifer Holliday and the Spelman College Glee Club. The celebration will continue on the Spelman Oval with games and an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people dancing with hula hoops in support of first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. In the evening, President Beverly Daniel Tatum will conduct a conversation with legendary singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder. Details include:
Founders Day Convocation
10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m., Sisters Chapel
Preceded by the pageantry of an academic procession in which members of the senior class wear their academic regalia for the first time, the event will include:
• Tina McElroy Ansa, C’71, novelist and publisher
• Dawn Lewis, actress and singer, star of “A Different World”
• Kenny Leon, artistic director, True Colors Theatre Company
• Lamman Rucker, actor, Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns”
• A.J. Johnson, C’85, actress and celebrity life stylist
• Lumumba Seegers, singer, actor, social commentator
• Toni Doctor, dancer, Atlanta Ballet Company and Lion King National Tour,
• Jennifer Holliday, singer and Tony Award winning actress
• Tia Fuller, C98, saxophonist, composer, member of Beyonce’ all-female band
This program will be streamed live at www.spelman.edu.
Hula Hoop Challenge
12:00 p.m. – Spelman College Oval
Spelman College faculty, staff, and students will attempt to break a Guinness Book of World Records by having the most people dancing with a hula hoop at one time. The current record stands at 342 people.
An Evening Conversation with Stevie Wonder
7:30 p.m. – Sisters Chapel
Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum will host a conversation with legendary, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Stevie Wonder. The conversation will focus on Wonder’s journey as a musical artist, humanitarian and philanthropic leader. Wonder is one of the most celebrated figures in the entertainment industry, having amassed 32 No.1 singles and more than 100 million worldwide album sales.
This event is free and open to the public.
About Founders Day
Founders Day is celebrated each April in honor of the College’s birthday, April 11, 1881. A major highlight is the Founders Day Convocation, a formal program first held in 1896. Convocation is preceded by the pageantry of an academic procession from Rockefeller Hall to Sisters Chapel, including the senior class, wearing academic regalia for the first time, and first year students, both observing the white dress tradition. Founders Day brings the College family and community together to honor the Founders, recognize Spelman alumnae and celebrate the legacy of academic excellence and service.
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a prestigious, highly selective, liberal arts college that prepares women to change the world. Located in Atlanta, Ga., this historically Black college boasts an 83 percent graduation rate, and outstanding alumnae such as Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; former U.S. Foreign Service Director General Ruth Davis, authors Tina McElroy Ansa and Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson. More than 83 percent of the full-time faculty members have Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees, and the average faculty to student ratio is 12:1. More than 2,100 students attend Spelman. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu