AMHERST, Mass. - Johnnetta B. Cole, the first African-American woman to serve as president of Spelman College since its founding in 1881, has been named this spring''s University of Massachusetts Eleanor Bateman Alumni Scholar in Residence. She will visit the campus April 27-May 1 to lecture, speak to classes, and meet informally with faculty and students.
Cole received an honorary degree from the University in 1989. She taught anthropology at UMass from 1970-83 and was associate provost for undergraduate education from 1981-83. Cole will deliver a lecture titled "What''s Wrong with Affirmative Action!?" Wed. April 28 at 4 p.m. in Bartlett Hall, Room 65. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception in Memorial Hall.
During the reception, Cole will sign copies of her most recent book, "Dream the Boldest Dreams: And Other Lessons of Life." Well-known throughout the world as an advocate for people of color and women, Cole was president of historically black Spelman College from 1987-97. She is currently Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women''s Studies and African American Studies at Emory University, a post she has held since leaving Spelman.
A graduate of Oberlin College, Cole earned her master''s and doctorate degrees from Northwestern University. She has received 41 honorary degrees and has published widely for scholarly and general audiences. She serves on numerous community, civic, and corporate boards and organizations. Last year, the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta renamed one of its Leadership Giving societies The Johnnetta B. Cole Society.
The Eleanor Bateman Alumni Scholar in Residence program at UMass was established in 1989 in honor of Eleanor Willard Bateman ''23, and brings two distinguished alumni to UMass each year for lectures and interaction with students and faculty.