Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

  • Interim President
Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, is a clinical psychologist widely known for her expertise on race relations and as a thought leader in higher education. Her 13 years as the president of Spelman College (2002—2015) were marked by innovation and growth, and her visionary leadership was recognized in 2013 with the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award. The author of several books including the best-selling “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race” (now in a new 2017 20th anniversary edition) and “Can We Talk About Race?: And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation” (2007), Tatum is a sought-after speaker on the topics of racial identity development, the impact of race in the classroom, strategies for creating inclusive campus environments and higher education leadership. In 2005 Dr. Tatum was awarded the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education for her innovative leadership in the field. A fellow of the American Psychological Association, she was the 2014 recipient of the APA Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology.

A civic leader in the Atlanta community, Dr. Tatum is engaged in educational initiatives designed to expand educational opportunity for underserved students and their families, as well as to connect communities across lines of difference. Locally she serves on the governing boards of the Westside Future Fund and Achieve Atlanta. Her national service includes her membership on the board of the Educational Testing Service, and she also serves on the board of Sesame Workshop.

Dr. Tatum holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Wesleyan University an M.A. and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in religious studies from Hartford Seminary. Over the course of her career, she has served as a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Westfield State University and Mount Holyoke College. Before her 2002 appointment as president of Spelman, she served as dean and acting president at Mount Holyoke College. In spring 2017 she was the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor at Stanford University. She is married to Dr. Travis Tatum; they are the parents of two adult sons.


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • M.A., Hartford Seminary
  • B.A., Wesleyan University

Happening at Mount Holyoke

Recent campus news

At a Launching Leadership event on Mount Holyoke’s campus, alum and award-winning author Tahmima Anam ’97 discussed anthropology, intense connections and the perils of writing satire.

In what has become a signature College tradition, four Mount Holyoke faculty members were honored for their scholarship and teaching at a March 2 ceremony.

Mount Holyoke alums Kira Banks ’00 and Charisse Pickron ’08 are researching race’s and racism’s impact on young children. During a recent visit to campus, they spoke about transformational faculty, stepping into who you are and being true to yourself.