Founded as Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary by Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles
School opens April 11 in basement of Friendship Baptist Church, the Rev. Frank Quarles, pastor
Two more teachers commissioned by the Woman's American Baptist Home Mission Society join Packard and Giles in "basement school"
Packard and Giles introduced to John D. Rockefeller who pledges $250 to the school
Moved to present site occupying nine acres and five frame buildings
"Model School" to train student-teachers opens
Name changes to Spelman Seminary in honor of Mrs. Laura Spelman Rockefeller and her parents Harvey Buel and Lucy Henry Spelman, longtime activists in the antislavery movement.
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By Patricia Graham Johnson, Class of 1973
SPELMAN MESSENGER - VOLUME 114 NUMBER 1 WINTER/SPRING 2000
Through examples of collaborative efforts, the development of Spelman College and the National Alumnae Association of the Spelman College are inextricably intertwined. The National Alumnae Association of Spelman College (NAASC) was not born in 1976 as the articles of incorporation suggests. In fact, the Alumnae Association began in May 19, 1892 with the encouragement of President Harriet Giles and Dean Lucy Upton. To move from the education of individual women to an organization of women poised for action and pointed in a common direction was simply the next phase of the evolution of alumnae leadership. It was the seed of collaborative leadership. The alumnae association was a unique model of women’s leadership and Negro leadership. Race and gender represented a unit through which such women’s organizations could exemplify the strengths of both. The alumnae association could be allowed to manifest itself by drawing on the best of both attributes.
The alumnae themselves would drive the organization by “promoting the interests of the school, fostering regard among the graduates and assist graduates in procuring vocations.” Early efforts in the development of the Alumnae Association focused on bringing together alumnae within local communities for the purpose of obtaining information on alumnae accomplishments and forwarding this data to the Seminary. The Association’s first alumnae club was comprised of graduates and was organized in Atlanta in August 1914 as The Spelman Graduates Atlanta Club. Most other alumnae clubs formed in Georgia and Florida during the 1920’s and growth continued throughout the decades.