First Gifts Make a Lasting Impression

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stacey douganA Spelman woman’s first gift to her alma mater is much like a first kiss – memorable and the mark of a new beginning in her life.  For Stacey Dougan, C’98, her path toward becoming a Spelman woman of impact came in  July after hearing President Beverly Daniel Tatum speak to a gathering of Spelman alumnae in Las Vegas.

As she listened to Dr. Tatum speak on the state of the College,  particularly on the Wellness Revolution and the rising need for scholarships, Stacey felt a call to action. She made out a check for her very first gift to the College that day and joined her Spelman sisters in a race toward achieving a 50 percent alumnae participation goal while helping the students who follow her.

“I should have given a long time ago. You just get so caught up in your life,” said Dougan.  And her life has been full since graduating in 1998 with a degree in sociology. Before the Detroit native  became a respected vegan chef, she worked in the Atlanta music scene.

Just two years out of college, Dougan had no idea that becoming a vegan would lead to her being the personal catering choice for A-list artists like Erykah Badu and Outkast’s Andre 3000.   Her transition into the raw and living foods industry resulted in an unexpected business venture, Everlasting Foods, which required some hands-on work in the kitchen. In addition, she was  able to return to Spelman, bringing her vegan fare to Reynolds Cottage for some of Dr. Tatum’s events.

Coconut jasmine rice, broccoli stir-fry, vegan spare rib cutlets in plum sauce.

Coconut jasmine rice, broccoli stir-fry, vegan spare rib cutlets in plum sauce.

Fifteen years later, Dougan  has traveled the globe and made her mark in the Las Vegas foodie world. And, she is more than ready to give back to her beloved Spelman in a variety of ways. While she’s interested in contributing to the Wellness Revolution and has ideas about teaching her Spelman sisters how to cook healthy food without compromising taste, Dougan said  she was especially moved to make her gift now when she heard Dr. Tatum say that there were students who couldn’t afford to be at Spelman.

“I would hate for a woman to come to Spelman and not finish,”  explained Dougan, adding that while she never experienced financial hardship as a student, Dr. Tatum’s speech  was a wake-up call for her.

Lifting up the timeless adage, “To those whom much is given, much is required,” Dougan was inspired by her  first gift to do more, including joining the Every Woman…Every Year! campaign by making an annual contribution to the College.

Make your mark by joining the Every Woman…Every Year! campaign. Contact DeShanna Brown in the Office of Annual Giving by telephone at 866-512-1690, or by email at giving@spelman.edu. — Written by Kristine Haskett, development writer, in the Office of Institutional Advancement.

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