Six top scholars at Spelman College will get scholarships, and the school will begin planning for an innovative center for arts thanks to a $1 million gift from the founder of Barnes & Noble. (Special/John Amis)

$1 million gift for Spelman: new center and scholarships

Leonard and Louise Riggio are giving $1 million to Spelman College to establish the Riggio Scholars Program and support the college’s planned arts and innovation center.

Leonard Riggio is founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble.

Half of the gift will underwrite six Spelman students who have demonstrated stellar academic achievement and who are engaged in community service. The remaining $500,000 will go to the design and construction of an arts and innovation center that will house the college’s arts programs and Innovation Lab. The lab will encourage creative collaborations at the intersection of the arts, technology, science and other liberal arts. 

“From the moment I was surrounded by its warm embrace, I was head over heels in love with Spelman College, and especially with the beautiful people who study and teach there,” said Leonard Riggio. 

The following students have been selected as 2016-2017 Riggio Scholars:  

· Joy Milner, a health science, dual degree nursing major, volunteers at Morehouse School of Medicine’s microbiology, biochemistry and immunology research laboratory and as a peer tutor at Clayton State University. 

· Chanara Andrews, an English major, graduated in the top 5 percent of her high school class and volunteers as a Spanish/English tutor and peer counselor. She plans a career as a college professor. 

· Jordan Brown, a history major, has completed more than 300 service hours as a volunteer with several nonprofit organizations including the Girl Scouts. She is interested in multiple careers, including being a museum archivist, documentary filmmaker and college professor. 

· Karchia Wallace-Warthon, a political science major, plans to attend law school and work in public service. She is a peer leadership assistant at Spelman. 

· Jenai Bostic, a biology major, plans to attend medical school with the goal of establishing a dental practice to provide children and their families with affordable services. She is a peer tutor, resident advisor and student ambassador at Spelman. 

· Miriam Metze, an English major, has interned with the United Negro College Fund and aims to pursue a career as an attorney in the area of social justice. 

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