Barnes & Noble founder gifts Spelman College $1M

Leonard Riggio, the founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble, and his wife, Louise, are donating $1 million to Spelman College. The donation was made to establish the Riggio Scholars Program and to support Spelman’s arts and innovation center.

Half of the donation will go towards underwriting six Spelman students who have gone above and beyond to demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and who engage in community service.

The other half will help to design and build an arts and innovation center. This center will house the school’s arts programs and will also fund their Innovation Lab.

This lab is meant to inspire creative collaborations involving art, technology, science and other liberal arts.

“From the moment I was surrounded by its warm embrace, I was head over heels in love with Spelman College, and especially with the beautiful people who study and teach there,” Leonard Riggio stated.