In Memoriam: Donald Stewart, 1938-2019

Donald Stewart, the sixth president of historically Black Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, passed away on April 7, 2019. He was 80 years old.

Before coming to Spelman, Dr. Stewart held several positions at the University of Pennsylvania, including associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, director of the College of General Studies, and counselor to the provost. He also worked in the Overseas Development Division of the Ford Foundation.

Dr. Stewart assumed the presidency of Spelman College in 1977. One of his most innovative initiatives as president was the establishment of the Women’s Research and Resource Center, the first of its kind on a Black college campus. The center provided courses in women’s studies, conferences, symposia, the publication of the journal, SAGE, and management of the college’s archives. During his tenure, he also established chemistry and computer science departments, an honors program, and a comprehensive writing program. While he was president, Spelman greatly strengthened its financial position; the college’s endowment grew from $9 million to $41 million.

In 1986, Dr. Stewart left Spelman College to become president of The College Board where he would serve for more than 12 years. He spent a year at the Carnegie Corporation of New York where he served as senior program officer of the Education Division and special advisor to the president before taking the helm at the Chicago Community Trust as chief executive officer and president from 2000 to 2005. He returned to the classroom as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies from 2005 to 2011. In 2010, he was appointed to the Commission on Presidential Scholars by President Barack Obama

Dr. Stewart was a graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa where he majored in political science. He held a master’s degree in political science from Yale University, and a master’s degree and doctorate both in public administration from Harvard University.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Report Established by State Senator Art Haywood Uncovers Racism in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

"Ultimately, Pennsylvania's leaders and institutions should respect the dignity of all students," says Senator Art Haywood. "The work to ensure that dignity is intact for Pennsylvania's Students of Color continues with this report in hopes that one day the work will no longer be required."

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman Appointed President of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

"I appreciate the support I have received from my faculty and trainee colleagues here at UC San Diego along with colleagues from around the world," says Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman. "Together we will work to advance our field and our reach, improving patient outcomes and eliminating health disparities."

Rate of Black Homeownership in America Remains Virtually Unchanged Since 2012

The National Association of Realtors has found that although homeownership rates in American are steadily increasing, the rate of Black homeownership has experienced significantly less growth than White, Asian, and Hispanic homeownership since 2012.

Safiya George Named President of the University of the Virgin Islands

“As a servant leader, I am confident I will be an effective President for the University of the Virgin Islands and will remain humble and grounded with a sincere desire to improve outcomes and the lives of students, faculty, staff, and the community," says Safiya George, who will assume the role of president of the University of the Virgin Islands this summer.

Featured Jobs