Spelman Receives $2 Million Gift

Spelman College sign with campus building in the background

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Spelman College has received a $2 million gift from the Karsh Family Foundation — money that will fund annual and endowed scholarships that support graduates of the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) schools, a nationwide network of open enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools. 

At the time of the Foundation’s first gift to the school in 2012, Spelman became a KIPP College Partner, an alliance with KIPP Schools that is designed to identify strategies that can be implemented by colleges and universities to help close the achievement gap for first-generation college students and students of color. The KIPP College Partners program highlights KIPP’s commitment to the entire educational journey of their students and to a choice-filled life.

 “Financial support and strategic partnerships are critical to delivering the Spelman Promise — preparing students for life and career and ensuring that all Spelman women graduate with a competitive edge,” says Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.

“The partnership between Spelman and KIPP supports our goal of guaranteeing more students not only get into college, but succeed in college and beyond. The generous gift from Martha and Bruce Karsh will help make a Spelman education more affordable and expand the number of high-achieving scholars the college is able to support. We applaud the Karshes’ longstanding commitment to educational excellence.”

The Karsh KIPP award will be funded in four annual installments of $500,000 each, beginning June 2018. Only KIPP alumnae are eligible to receive the award; and to qualify to be a KIPP alumnae, students must have completed 8th grade at a KIPP middle school or be a KIPP student who is expected to graduate from a KIPP high school.

 The non-profit network of 209 tuition-free, college-preparatory, public charter schools is educating early childhood, elementary, middle and high school students has nearly 90,000 enrolled. Spelman has committed to providing work-study opportunities for Karsh KIPP Scholars per cohort, as well as offering the recipients access to faculty and student advisors as part of their undergraduate experience. 

“The KIPP Karsh Scholarship has given me the resources to take full advantage of every opportunity that comes my way at Spelman,” says Nzali Scales, a sociology major who plans a career as a college professor. “Without having to stress about my financial situation each semester, I am able to focus on my academics and extracurricular activities. This scholarship has also allowed me to tap into my KIPP network on the collegiate level, which has been beneficial.”