Dear Commons Community
Spelman College’s President Mary Schmidt Campbell sent out a statement to students last week announcing that starting in 2018, transgender students will be accepted for admission. The statement read in part:
“Spelman College, a Historically Black College whose mission is to serve high-achieving black women, will consider for admission women students including students who consistently live and self-identify as women, regardless of their gender assignment at birth. Spelman does not admit male students, including students who self-identify and live consistently as men, regardless of gender assignment at birth. If a woman is admitted and transitions to male while a student at Spelman, the college will permit that student to continue to matriculate at and graduate from Spelman…
…In adopting this admissions policy, Spelman continues its fervent belief in the power of the Spelman Sisterhood,” her letter states. “Students who choose Spelman come to our campus prepared to participate in a women’s college that is academically and intellectually rigorous, and affirms its core mission as the education and development of high-achieving Black women.”
Spelman College, founded in 1881, isn’t the only all-female college opening its doors to transgender students. This year, Wellesley will admit transgender students for the first time. Smith College began to accept transgender students in 2015, as did Bryn Mawr, Barnard, and Mills College, and Mount Holyoke is open to transgender admissions as well. Spelman will become the second exclusively for women Historically Black College and University to admit transgender students. Bennett College was the first to do so in January 2017.