Spelman College Historian and Archivist
Spelman College Alumna


Spelman College alumna, archivist and college historian, Taronda Spencer’s story is the Spelman story. A native of New Orleans, Spencer was the second-generation archivist daughter of Emanuella Spencer.

Her mother’s hope that she’d attend college close to home was lost to the beckoning of Spelman, were she entered as a student in the fall of 1976 on a full scholarship. As a student, she remained greatly influenced by Spelman alumna and Professor Millicent Dobbs Jordan, who first introduced her to Spelman, and began studying alongside alumna Ernestine E. Brazeal, who was leading efforts to preserve the college’s history and memorabilia for its centennial celebration. Following her graduation from Spelman in 1980, Spencer earned a master’s degree from the University of New Orleans in 1985. In 1997, she was hired as Spelman College’s first full-time archivist, and was appointed college historian in 2000. Known for her lively, passionate and thorough oral presentations on Spelman’s history and traditions, she routinely helped researchers, students and anyone else who may have been looking, to not find out about Spelman’s past. She made them love the Spelman story.

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