Spelman College announced Saturday it plans to start an endowed scholarship it intends to name after John Lewis, the late congressman and civil rights activist.
Lewis, whose congressional district included the Spelman campus, died late Friday at the age of 80.
Spelman, a historically Black college for women near downtown Atlanta, will award a scholarship to five students of its Social Justice Fellows. Each student will receive a one-time award of $10,000.
“We believe that the best way to honor Congressman Lewis is to lift up those who are carrying out his work,” Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell said in a statement.
Campbell said Lewis frequently visited the college to speak to students. Campbell recalled Lewis spoke to Spelman’s Social Justice fellows last spring, encouraging the students to remain vigilant on issues important to them.
“Congressman Lewis brought his heart, body and soul to his life’s work. As a young man, he was a global ambassador for nonviolent protests as a path to eradicate injustice. As a Congressman, he never lost an opportunity to champion equity for all of his constituents,” Campbell said.
The college’s student government association tweeted Lewis was a “true hero to us all.”