Yesterday my brother wrote in his blog about my decision to attend Spelman College. Now, his blog wasn’t all about me. He was using it as an example. But as my day went on, and I prepared to write today’s blog, it brought back a lot of memories.
Anyone who knows me knows I love my alma mater. Spelman College was a place that I dreamed of attending from the time I was 12 years old, and that dream came true when I graduated cum laude with a BA in English in May 1999. Many people ask me why I love Spelman so much. Spelman is the place where I learned to be me. It was a safe place where others looked liked me, but didn’t necessarily think like me. That challenged me to dig deeper and discover my own truths, as Judy Gebre-Hiwet taught me. It was a place where I didn’t have to be reminded of my race or gender. Instead, I could focus on my values, my thoughts, my beliefs and my character. I went to Spelman a girl, and emerged a woman, empowered, and ready to take on the world and all it had in store for me.
Spelman also gave me a true sense of sisterhood, and ultimately family. You may have heard the term, “SpelHouse.” It’s a reference to the very close bond between the women of Spelman College and those wonderful brothers across the street on that red clay hill; the brothers of Morehouse College. SpelHouse love is something else. It is a deep bond that, when embraced, can hardly be broken. Simple use of the term SpelHouse encompasses friendship, family, support, encouragement, and all things in between. It is that space between the friends that become family, those that you “ride or die” for. To outsiders, it sounds like an exclusive organization. But, at its core, SpelHouse is a family.
I am grateful that God placed in me, at a young age, the desire to attend Spelman College. I am even more grateful for the manifestation of that desire, and for the friends, excuse me, family, that I’ve made as a result of that journey. You can’t take these experiences for granted, because they only last for a season, but their impacts last a lifetime. So to my SpelHouse family, I say thank you. Thank you for pushing me, challenging me, supporting me and helping me to be the woman I am today. I am so proud to be a part of you, and I pray that these words continue to reign true: “To my beloved Spelman, may her reach exceed her grasp.”*
*Plaque outside of Sister’s Chapel at Spelman College, presented to Spelman College from the Class of 1986.