Lehman Brothers, the global investment bank, and Spelman College, the No.1-ranked institution among all historically black colleges and universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report, recently announced a groundbreaking corporate-academic partnership to establish and develop the Lehman Brothers Center for Global Finance and Economic Development at Spelman College. As part of this endeavor, Lehman Brothers has committed $10 million to make possible the development of an interdisciplinary curriculum and courses, the creation of a new scholarship program and the recruitment of new faculty.
"We believe it is our responsibility to leverage our institutional knowledge, expertise and capital to address today’s challenging issues," said Richard S. Fuld, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Lehman Brothers. "There is a clear need to increase participation of historically under-represented groups in the global financial industry. We are in a unique position to partner with Spelman College to create a new model that will prepare women of African descent for successful careers and leadership in the corporate world."
Lehman Brothers and Spelman will work together to prepare Spelman women for active participation in the global marketplace and increase the pipeline of women ready to enter the financial sector. The Center, which will be housed in Spelman’s Milligan Building, will develop a rich interdisciplinary curriculum by leveraging Spelman’s current faculty expertise, hiring finance and economics professors and prioritizing core subjects not currently offered by Spelman.
The Center will complement its course offerings with programs and events designed to provide valuable preparation to Spelman women for future careers in business. It will also establish a Lehman Brothers Scholars Program to provide development and scholarship opportunities. In addition, the partnership will bring together finance professionals and academics to drive thought leadership in U.S. urban economic development.
"Like Lehman Brothers, Spelman College recognizes that we can and should do more as an institution to prepare women to enter the financial sector and participate actively in the global marketplace as corporate leaders and entrepreneurs," said President Beverly Daniel Tatum. "The interdisciplinary curriculum and programs of the Center will be rooted in our core strength as an excellent liberal arts college and focused on critical thinking, problem solving, quantitative reasoning, the ability to communicate ideas with clarity and to demonstrate socio-cultural understanding. These are skills that will be necessary to confront the challenges of a global economy and the social, political andeconomic implications of living in a ‘flat world.’ I cannot imagine a better partner than an industry leader like Lehman Brothers to help us prepare our students to successfully enter an arena where they have been historically underrepresented. We are veryexcited about this wonderful opportunity and grateful for this very generous gift."