It’s only the fourth time in Spelman’s 142-year-history! Spelman College is a prestigious historically Black women’s liberal arts school located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia. Recently, the college announced a number of distinguished honors for their recent commencement ceremony, including a keynote speech from Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah Jones and a special honorary doctorate to be awarded to actress Tracee Ellis Ross. “What a lovely honor. Excited to be a Spelmanite!,” Ross wrote via social media.
While the honors were significant, they weren’t the only ones, Spelman also celebrated four young women who all made history as valedictorians for the Class of 2023, 11 Alive news reports. This is only the fourth time in the school’s century-plus history that they have honored multiple valedictorians and a momentous occasion for the students. The valedictorians for the Spelman College Class of 2023 include Maya Blasingame, Amaia Calhoun, Sydney DuPree, and Chandler Nutall.
Blasingame graduated with her degree in biology on a pre-med track, pushing through the challenges of COVID-19 and the switch to virtual learning to excel in spite of. Now that she’s earned her undergraduate degree, she has plans to head to medical school in the fall with hopes of one day serving underserved communities as a physician. “I feel just really excited and grateful. I think for me, coming in as a biology major, I was like, I’m just trying to make it through,” said Blasingame.
Also leading the class is Calhoun, who earned her degree in economics with a double minor in Spanish and Management & Organization. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and is now leaving the “A” for a career at Princeton University’s Investment Company (PRINCO) as an investment analyst with goals of becoming a bridge between capital and historically underrepresented groups.
DuPree holds a 4.0 GPA and earned her degree in theater. Currently signed as a television/film actress with Atlanta’s Forward Agency, she has plans to stay in Atlanta to pursue her dream of becoming a casting director. Rounding out the group is Nutall, an English major who also served as a Spelman Social Justice Program Fellow and the 81st president of the Spelman Student Government Association.
Nutall will spend her time in New York completing a public affairs fellowship before heading back to school to pursue her Juris Doctorate degree. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the four girls were also joined by Maya Phillips, salutatorian of Spelman’s Class of 2023 who earned her degree in sociology and will head into the workforce as a strategy analyst.