A Choice To Change The World, Funeral Set For Spelman Archivist

May 31, 2013

Funeral services are taking place Saturday, June 1, for longtime Spelman archivist Taronda Spencer.

Credit Spelman College

Also an alumna, Spencer was more than just the keeper of the college’s history and archives.

Taronda Spencer was a second generation archivist.

And when she talked about Spelman, there was passion and a sense of pride in her voice.

“Being in that sacred space in Sister’s Chapel and King Chapel and hearing these young men and women bring forth such richness in the sound and the message of the music,” recalls Spencer in a 2009 interview with WABE.

She was talking about the annual Spelman/Morehouse Christmas concert.

As a student, Taronda Spencer was assigned to the Spelman College Archives.

In 1980 she graduated from Spelman with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.

Spencer returned to Spelman as the school’s archivist and then was appointed school historian in 2000.

Dr. Beverly Guy Sheftall is the founding director of Spelman’s Women’s Research and Resource Center.

“We were the first college to have a summit on LGBT issues in the black community and the archives and the women’s center were very important in that regard.”

She credits her former student and then colleague, Taronda Spencer, has a crucial part of the 1st Women's Studies Program at an HBCU.

“I like to think of Taronda in a much broader way and think of her as being intimately connected and helping us to make Spelman small and evolving repository for black women who associated themselves with the women’s movement and feminism.”

On Sunday, May 19th Spelman College held its 126th Commencement.

Taronda Spencer died the same day.

She was 54 years old.