Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Acting Surgeon General Audrey Manley Named New President of Spelman

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Acting Surgeon General Audrey Manley Named New President of Spelman

Article excerpt

Atlanta -- It took 116 years for it to happen, but Spelman College alumnae finally got their wish: One of their own, graduate Dr. Audrey Forbes Manley, has been named as the eighth president of the all-women's college in Atlanta.

The acting U.S. Surgeon General, who begins work on July 1, faced steep competition alongside candidates Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, an anthropologist and vice-chancellor at the University of California Los Angeles, and Attorney Hazel O'Leary, former U.S. energy secretary. O'Leary withdrew her name in mid-April, officials said, without explaining why.

"I am deeply honored, delighted and feel extremely privileged to be selected as the eighth president of Spelman," Manley said in a written statement. "In addition to looking forward to meeting the challenges ahead with commitment and dedication, I feel confident that the college will continue to move forward in all areas."

While many alumnae said they were thrilled with the decision, Dr. Manley's appointment did not sit as well with some students, who walked out of class on April 21, just two days after the announcement, to protest Dr. Manley's appointment.

Some said they are concerned that the 1955 graduate's promise to restore many of Spelman's "traditions" will stunt the progress. Others are angered about the seven-month search process which, according to some students, lacked their involvement.

"It's pretty clear that they can't rescind the offer, but we want her to come to the school hear what we have to see and address our concerns," said student government member Heather Thompson. …

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