On Tuesday, Spelman College president Mary Schmidt Campbell announced that, starting next year, the all-women school would admit all students who “consistently live and self-identify as women, regardless of their gender assignment at birth.”
The change was announced in a a letter to students, faculty and staff sent from the HBCU after a task force of alumnae, students, and staff looked into the possibility of changing the policy, according to Campbell.
“In adopting this admissions policy, Spelman continues its fervent belief in the power of the Spelman Sisterhood,” the letter said. “Students who choose Spelman come to our campus prepared to participate in a women’s college that is academically and intellectually rigorous, and affirms its core mission as the education and development of high-achieving Black women.”
The letter continued on to address a few other questions, noting that housing arrangements would be decided on a case-by-case basis. Transgender students who identify as male would not be admitted. However, students who make the transition from female to male while enrolled in the school would still be able to obtain their degree from the college.
As one of the most prominent single-gender schools in the country, this decision is historic and has generated both support and backlash.