The William and Camille Cosby Endowed Professorship Program
In 1987, Drs. William and Camille Cosby gave Spelman College a $20 million gift to construct a 69,000 square foot facility that would provide an intellectual nucleus for faculty in the humanities and women's studies. Dedicated in 1996 as The Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Academic Center, this facility houses the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and a state-of-the-art College Archives.
This gift, the largest from an African American to a historically Black college, also established the William and Camille Cosby Endowed Professorship Program. Endowed at $4 million, this program supports professorships in the fine arts, humanities and the social sciences. It is a multidisciplinary initiative designed to enhance the intellectual, cultural and creative life of Spelman College and its surrounding community.
Through education, research, public performance, youth-based programs, and international linkages, the Endowed Professorship Program positions Spelman as a repository for the rich artistic expressions of the African Diaspora and other cultures of the world. Its goal, to enlarge and revitalize the unique interrelationship of scholarship, education, culture and service, is firmly rooted in the distinctive missions of Spelman College.
The ultimate goal of the program is to elevate the fine arts and humanities at Spelman College to a high level of recognition that is consistent with the College's historic legacy, and the vision and life work of Drs. William and Camille Cosby. Internationally acclaimed entertainer and philanthropist Dr. William H. Cosby and his wife, Dr. Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, have enjoyed many ties with Spelman College over the years. Dr. William Cosby received an honorary degree from Spelman College in 1986, Dr. Camille Cosby received an honorary degree from the College as well in 1989, and two of the Cosby daughters attended the College.
Qualifications for Endowed Professorship Program
To qualify for the William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship, candidates are expected to have achieved the pinnacle of success in their careers. They must also utilize their experience to help expand intra- and inter-disciplinary curricular offerings, design a course rooted in their research fields, and facilitate joint initiatives with similarly focused colleges, universities, educational organizations and cultural institutions.
Each Cosby Endowed Professor brings a unique background to Spelman that will help accomplish these objectives. Read more about Spelman College's Past and Present Endowed Professors.