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Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin will begin a one-year professorship at Spelman College starting in January, college officials announced Monday.

Franklin will serve as a Cosby Chair, an endowed professorship program started by the comedian and activist Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille. The program supports professorships in humanities, fine arts and social sciences, according to the college.

“We draw on leaders in the community to come to campus for a year and share their expertise,” Spelman spokeswoman Angela Johnson told the AJC. “It’s a way to provide an out-of-the-box education for our students.”

Franklin, 63, was elected Atlanta’s mayor in 2001. She was the city’s  first female mayor and the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of a major Southern city.

Franklin earned her bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Howard University and a masters of arts degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.