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HomeUncategorizedRonda Stryker contributes $100M to Spelman College

Ronda Stryker contributes $100M to Spelman College

A donation of $100 million has been made to an Atlanta college by the Kalamazoo businesswoman and philanthropist Ronda Stryker and her husband, William Johnston, the chairman of Greenleaf Trust. 

Ronda Stryker, Stryker Corp. Credit: Courtesy file photo

The couple bestowed $100 million upon Spelman College, where Rhonda Stryker has been a trustee since 1997. Stryker also holds a director position at Kalamazoo-based Stryker Corp., where she is the largest individual shareholder, and serves as vice chair and a director at Greenleaf Trust. 

Founded in 1881, the Atlanta-based private, historically Black women’s liberal arts college currently enrolls about 2,300 students. 

Lovette Russell, the college’s board chair, stated that the donation is the largest ever to be received by Spelman College and among historically black colleges and universities. 

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“We are invigorated and inspired by this incredible act of generosity,” stated Spelman College President Helene Gayle. “This contribution is a crucial step in our school’s mission to overcome financial barriers for commencing and completing a Spelman education. Ronda Stryker deserves immense gratitude for her selflessness and support as both a trustee and friend. There’s no doubt that Spelman College has greatly benefited because of her.” 

Of the $100 million, Spelman College will allocate $75 million to sustain endowed student scholarships, and the remaining $25 million will be used “to establish an academic concentration on public policy and democracy, enhance student housing, and provide adaptable funding to address critical strategic needs,” according to a statement. 

Russell described the contribution as a “groundbreaking gift to any institution, period.” 

“We are extremely thankful, proud, and inspired by this extraordinary donation,” she announced to Spelman College students this morning. 

This donation adds to the extensive history of philanthropic endeavors by Stryker and Johnston. Rhonda Stryker was ranked 128th on Forbes’ 2023 list of the wealthiest Americans with a net worth of $7.4 billion. 

A decade ago, the couple gifted a $100 million grant to the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, named after Stryker’s grandfather. 

In 2019, their Stryker Johnston Foundation donated $57.7 million to the Foundation for Excellence, and an additional $28.2 million in 2020. The Foundation for Excellence was established in 2017 to create a connection between philanthropy and municipal finance in Kalamazoo. 

The donation to Spelman College “truly serves to secure the futures of young women aspiring to attend Spelman for years to come,” remarked Gayle during an appearance this morning on the CBS Mornings show. 

For 17 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Spelman College as the top historically black college and university. Spelman College also produces the highest number of Black women who progress to earn a doctoral degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. 

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