On Thursday, Spelman College formally installed Helene D. Gayle, M.D., MPH, as its 11th President at the investiture ceremony, at the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel. The ceremony focused on honoring the great leaders who have led the college and introduced the vision of Dr. Gayle for Spelman. During her inaugural speech, Dr. Gayle had thanked the past four Spelman presidents in attendance and many individuals who have played an important role in her life.

Dr. Gayle previously served as President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust from 2017 to June 2022. Dr. Gayle has spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS, and led the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.

“I am here to honor the vision and mission of the founders,” said Dr. Gayle. “I am here to continue the legacy of all the past presidents who made it possible for me to inherit an institution with few problems and many possibilities. I am here for the same reason this institution has always been here: to ensure there is a special place – that there will always be a special place – where a young Black woman with a dream of making the world better will be nurtured and affirmed, educated wholly, and encouraged to be and become her best and authentic self. It is an amazing calling. And I am humbled to accept this mantle of leadership.”

Dr. Gayle began serving as the 11th president of Spelman College on July 1, 2022, following an extensive national search led by the Board of Trustees. She succeeded President Emerita Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., who served asPresidentt from 2015 – 2022.

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