They contributed $5 million toward renovating the school’s John D. Rockefeller Fine Arts building, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The Fine Arts building is 57-years-old and “in desperate need of renovation,” The AJC stated. The outlet continues:
Asbestos, poor ventilation and a lack of handicap accessibility as well as an outdated theater, dressing rooms and bathrooms all warrant the recent decision by the college to renovate, with construction officially starting in the spring of 2022.
The donation will help update the facility. The updates would not have happened without the thespian couple, who “met for the second time in that building,” Spelman’s director of facilities Arthur E. Frazier III told The AJC.
LaTanya Richardson Jackson was a Spelman student when she met her now-husband Samuel L. Jackson, who was attending Morehouse. The two performed alongside each other in Morehouse and Spelman productions, including a play by Spelman alumni Pearl Cleage.
“The love that both LaTanya and Sam continue to exhibit for Spelman since their time on stage decades ago is heartwarming,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman, in a written statement. “These living legends met and acted together on stage on our campus. Their dedication to their artistry will leave a legacy that will inspire students in the Atlanta University Center for years to come.”
When renovations finish, “the theater, lobby and dressing rooms will be renamed the LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson Performing Arts Center, in honor of their donation,” as per The AJC.