Mary Schmidt Campbell, the tenth president of historically Black Spelman College, a highly rated liberals arts educational institution for women in Atlanta, has announced that she will retire at the end of the 2021-22 academic year.
“When I joined Spelman in 2015, I felt called to come and do my part to make a meaningful contribution to the 140-year history of this extraordinary College,” said Dr. Campbell. “I have loved every minute of serving as the president of this phenomenal institution and am proud to retire having made meaningful impacts on our academic strength, financial future. and physical campus. While the decision to retire was not easy, I feel confident that Spelman is well-equipped to continue the work of building this community of purpose and preparing Black women to become global leaders who will choose to change the world.”
Dr. Campbell became president of Spelman College on August 1, 2015. She is dean emerita of the Tisch School of the Arts and University Professor of art and public policy at New York University. Early in her career she was the director of the Studio Museum in Harlem and was cultural affairs commissioner for the City of New York. She joined the faculty at New York University in 1991 and served as dean for two decades.
Dr. Campbell is co-author of Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America (Harry N. Abrams, 1994) and Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden, 1940-1987 (Oxford University Press, 1991). She received the 2018 Hooks National Book Award from the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis for her book An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden (Oxford University Press, 2018).
Professor Campbell is a graduate of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where she majored in English literature. She holds a master’s degree in art history and a Ph.D. in humanities from Syracuse University.