This presentation was delivered at the annual meeting of the American Anthropology Association on November 15, 2012 in San Francisco, where several sessions and panels were held to honor Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole. She is best known as the only woman to have served as President of two historically Black women’s colleges—Spelman College in Atlanta, GA (1987-1997) and Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC (2003-2008). 

Upon retiring from Spelman, Dr. Cole went on to become an intellectual figure who crossed borders in three disciplines at Emory University as the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women’s Studies, and African-American Studies from which she retired with emerita status (1999-2002). She was recruited out of retirement and served as President of Bennett College for women from 2003-2008. “Sister Prez,” as Dr. Cole is affectionately known, does not do “retirement” well. In 2009, Cole, who in her own words “flunked retirement” once again, became the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum for African Art. 
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Original Posting: 07 Dec 2012, Insight News