Today in History: $20 Million Gift Made to Spelman College by Bill and Camille Cosby in 1988

On this day in 1988, Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, donated $20 million to Spelman College, the elite black women’s college in Atlanta.

The gift is the largest single contribution ever made to a black college and one of the largest donations to any school.

The gift was announced by Johnetta B. Cole, Spelman’s new president, at a dinner that began a three-day celebration of her inauguration.

At the donation Mr. Cosby said Mrs. Cosby and I have been blessed because I found a vein of gold in the side of a mountain, which he said to an amazed, applauding audience of 2,000 at the black-tie dinner off campus in Atlanta.

Referring to Dr. Cole, he added, Mrs. Cosby and I wanted this woman to know how much we love this school.

Dr. Cole and others who were at the dinner said Mr. Cosby made it clear that, he and his wife considered the donation not only an expression of their support for Spelman, but also a challenge to other black Americans to support black colleges.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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