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W Orld of Our dreams



John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79


d ep ar tme n t s 6 INSIDE THE HOUSE

f e atur e s 22

FIRST LADY CAROL ESPY-WILSON: FULL CIRCLE The College’s new first lady returns not just back to her native home, Georgia, but also back to Morehouse, where two of her brothers graduated, and back to a focus on educating black males: she and President Wilson were housemasters for 12 years in an all-male dorm at MIT. Dr. Carol Espy-Wilson is also closing the circle with her company, OmniSpeech LLC, which she launched in 2009. She plans to use the research and knowledge from the business to enhance STEM programs at Morehouse.


2014 FOUNDER’S DAY OBSERVANCE This year’s Founder’s Day observance featured all the usual celebrations—Crown Forum, Reflections of Excellence, the “A Candle in the Dark” Gala and a concert—plus an historic addition: the inauguration of the College’s 11th president. Despite inclement weather and a debilitating snowstorm, alumni, delegates and College supporters from around the nation came to give a warm welcome to President Wilson.


INAUGURAL ADDRESS: THE WORLD OF OUR DREAMS President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79 shares his vision of a Morehouse College that achieves both capital and character preeminence in his inaugural address. Achieving both, he said, would make the College the first ever to do so.


IT TAKES A VILLAGE It will take a village of educators, businessmen, philanthropists, clergy and parents to solve the intractable issues that have resulted in the ever-widening achievement gaps for African Americans—particularly men. Morehouse is poised to lead the national conversation on best practices and ideas to help black men stay on track from secondary school to college, and on to productive careers and lives.


ON THE COVER President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79 delivers his inaugural address, “The World of Our Dreams.” Photo by Philip McCollum





“We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character— that is the goal of true education.” Martin Luther King Jr. ’48

Morehouse College has always been committed to producing leaders who will change their communities, the nation and the world. Not only do Morehouse students receive a rigorous liberal arts education, but also an awakening to their capacity for integrity, compassion, civility and leadership.

Toward Character Preeminence Give online at MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



Realizing the World of Our Dreams


ince my arrival in January 2013, I have articulated my vision for Morehouse College—a vision predicated on the quest for both capital and character preeminence. Capital preeminence can be defined as the financial health of the College, the state of its physical plant, and the adequacy of its endowment to support student scholarships, faculty salaries and the like.

Morehouse College has always identified itself as a “character-building” institution—a place where positive and life-affirming personal and communal values are consciously and carefully cultivated. In fact, from our inception to this very day, the axis around which our strength, voice and brand have turned is a character-driven educational experience. But we must strengthen that experience to the point of preeminence! During the past year, I have been pleased to observe that the capital improvement dimension of our vision is well underway, as evidenced by recent fund-raising developments. First, we received a grant of $5 million from the Woodruff Foundation to support the long-awaited renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. Second, we received a $1-million grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to support African students who will matriculate at Morehouse beginning fall 2014. These and other encouraging developments give us cause for a grounded optimism. However, Morehouse, like any other viable college, must always measure its worth by the success of its students and alumni—all of whom we expect to emerge as dynamic servant leaders in their chosen professions and communities. That is why we are particularly proud of the recent accomplishments of some of our most promising young men. For example, Corey Hardiman, a Gates Millennium Scholar, used his spring break to partner with a number of neighborhood organizations in inner-city Chicago to promote positivity and hope among African American males. Also, consider the personal initiative of Taku Machirori (from Zimbabwe), a senior accounting major who is the founder and executive director of a non-profit that recently participated in the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative. Taku founded Emergination Africa (www. in 2012 during his junior year at Morehouse. This organization leverages technology to connect high school students in Africa with college students at six different institutions in the United States via social media and weekly online video calls. Their achievements represent the fulfillment of our distinctive mission to educate and inspire Morehouse Men to be forces for good in the world. In so many ways, they exemplify the best in us and assure us that our proud character-building traditions will have everything to do with how and why we will indeed realize and sustain the world of our dreams both on campus and on earth!

From our inception to this very day, the axis around which our strength, voice and brand have turned is a character-driven educational experience. But we must strengthen that experience to the point of preeminence!

John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79




“It’s all about possibilities.” architect or activist educator or engineer poet or pastor surgeon or senator

When you give to Morehouse, anything is possible.



Toward Character Preeminence Give online at


If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. -Henry David Thoreau

Where Dreams May Lead


othing speaks so simply, yet powerfully to the potency of a dream quite like Langston Hughes’ “A Raisin in the Sun.” In it, the explosion that happens should a dream be deferred gives us a reasonable understanding of what happens should it be realized: an equally powerful force of new ideals, new results, a new world. Dreams are not for the faint of heart or weak of character. Dreamers don’t end up being our heroes and legends necessarily because of their visions, but because of the conviction and courage, fortitude and faith required to actualize them. As you read about the dreamers featured throughout this commemorative issue of Morehouse Magazine, know that it is the path that takes them from dream to reality that will earn them a page in the annals of history. The actual dream is nothing more than a starting bell signaling the beginning of a rugged and rigorous, but utterly rewarding journey. For John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79, that bell rang when he was a student here and dreamed of a better Morehouse College. His three-decade path has winded through the halls of some of the nation’s greatest learning institutions, crossed the highest house in the land, and now has circled back to this ’House—where his dream, administrative and fund-raising experience, and his new presidency have converged at a riveting intersection. This issue commemorates Dr. Wilson’s inauguration as the 11th president of Morehouse and his vision of “The World of Our Dreams” (see page 28). Which brings me to another big point about dreamers. Actually, it’s that little word “our.” Real dreamers have panoramic and inclusive, rather than myopic and individualized vision. They work for the common—better yet, greater—good rather than the rich or pandering minority, or even the status quo.



John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79 President Garikai Campbell Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs John P. Brown ’72 Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement Toni O’Neal Mosley Executive Editor and Director of Public Relations Vickie G. Hampton Editor Add Seymour Jr. Communications Writer STAFF In the News Administrative Assistant Web Services CONTRIBUTORS Writer Photographers Graphic Design

Elise Durham Minnie Jackson Kara Walker Kai Jackson Issa David Collins Wilford Harewood Taun Henderson Philip McCollum Add Seymour Jr. Ron Witherspoon Glennon Design Group

Morehouse Magazine is published by Morehouse College,

Office of Communications, Office of Institutional Advancement. Opinions expressed in Morehouse Magazine are those of the authors, not necessarily of the College. LETTERS AND COMMENTS: Letters must be one typed page in length and signed. Please include complete contact information.

Morehouse has been and continues to be a dream-incubator for this type of dreamer—from the late R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr. ’66, who envisioned more effective work places for everyone when he was the first to expand the definition of diversity in Corporate America (see page 49), to Louis Sullivan ’54, who writes about how he started from a small town in Georgia and ended up in the nation’s capital as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine (see page 18).

SEND TO: Morehouse Magazine Editor, Morehouse College, Office of Communications, 830 Westview Dr., S.W., Atlanta, GA 30314 E-mail: Fax: 404-215-2729

So, wherever you are on your journey, keep dreaming.

Morehouse College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Atlanta University Center consortium of four schools. Morehouse does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, handicap, or national or ethnic origin in the recruitment and admission of its students, in the administration of its educational policies and programs, or in its staff, as specified by federal laws and regulations.


Vickie Griffin Hampton Editor






Chemistry Professor Developing Long-Term Relief for Arthritis By ADD SEYMOUR JR.


CIENTISTS HAVE BEEN trying for years to figure out a way to replace the cartilage that degenerates in joints due to injury or arthritis. There have been temporary fixes, but no long-term relief for sufferers. That could change soon due to cutting-edge research at Morehouse. Chemistry professor Juana Mendenhall is developing an injectable antioxidant gel that she believes will do what researchers and doctors worldwide have been unable to do: allow cells in the joint area to thrive and regenerate cartilage. “It looks very promising,” Mendenhall said. “Every time I mention this to people who have been working in this field for years, they get excited. They are like, ‘Wow, this is fascinating.’” Mendenhall first thought about the idea while doing post-doctorate work at Clark Atlanta University. She noticed the statistics

I’m a Survivor! Several breast cancer survivors joined more than 500 other participants for the College’s 14th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk on October 19, 2013.

Among the survivors is Mary Peaks (pictured at podium), administrative assistant for the Counseling Resource Center and co-founder of the walk. The amount donated to The American Cancer Society for 2013 is $7,609.60. Since the walk’s inception in 1999, the College has contributed a total of $206,676.60. MOREHOUSE MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE


of 12 percent of the U.S. population suffering from osteoarthritis and more than 13.5 million people experiencing daily joint pain. When Mendenhall joined Morehouse five years ago, she started looking deeper into the issue. “Basically, when people have knee problems, the knee joint cavity where the ACL and meniscus are contains something called synovial fluid,” she explained. “It acts as a shock absorber. But when you fall or hurt your knee, or from running over time or you get osteoarthritis, you start losing this synovial fluid.” Mendenhall said doctors and surgeons now inject patients with a synthetic filler that helps for up to six months. “It’s not healing anything,” she said. “It’s just basically a filler for the moment. But what I’ve developed is essentially an alternative to that. What my alternative is designed to do, and what we’ve shown preliminarily, is that it can actually start

to heal the cells and can actually start to regenerate cartilage.” The next step in the gel’s development is to inject animals with osteoarthritis to see how they respond. Mendenhall hopes Juana Mendenhall works with students on her cartilage research.

to work with orthopaedic surgeons in the U.S. and abroad.” Students in Mendenhall’s Merrill Hall lab have been vital to her work. They’ve been part of papers published on the topic and have conducted research at Morehouse and at collaborating research institutions. But there are no hard and fast time lines. Mendenhall is enjoying the process and taking it all one day at a time. “We’re definitely making progress here,” she said. “I’m not there yet, but I see the promise and potential.” n


Morehouse Hosts Citywide Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

ON THE SAME Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel stage where Nelson Mandela spoke just months after he was released from 27 years in prison in 1990, a diverse string of religious, political and academic figures remembered him during a spirited citywide memorial service on Dec. 11, 2013. An estimated 1,500 people attended. The event was co-sponsored by Morehouse and the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79, who visited Mandela in 1992, was among the many who talked about their experiences in meeting Mandela or being touched by his work in ending apartheid and uniting a divided South Africa. “There was a certain greatness about him,” Wilson said. “Not an air of authority, but an air of authenticity. His vibe was transcendent. I say without fear of exaggeration … this was a holy man.” Martin Luther King III ’79 said, much like his father, Martin Luther King Jr. ’48, Mandela operated in a spirit of love and Nelson Mandela at the College in 1990 forgiveness. The Rev. Bernice King, who spoke after her brother, said that was the key to Mandela’s greatness. “He refused to be a bitter man,” she said. “He opted to be a better man than those who sought to destroy and deny him.” After the many remembrances and songs, the night ended in dance as the South African a Capella Choir led the crowd in various chants and songs while parading across the stage. “As our nation mourns the passing of our dear Madiba, the whole world mourns the passing of an icon, the passing of a hero,” said the Rev. Mokgabo Senatle, a member of the ministerial staff at Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta and a South African native. “He was a man full of love for all.” n

Singer Ashanti performs during unveiling of the Ray Charles Forever Stamp.

Morehouse Hosts Unveiling of USPS “Forever” Stamp Honoring Music Icon Ray Charles IN THE BUILDING that sprung from his vision to develop future musicians, music icon Ray Charles was honored by the United States Postal Service for a lifetime of performance and philanthropy. Charles was the third person in the Postal Service’s Music Icon Series honored with a “Forever” stamp, unveiled on September 23, 2013—which would have been the native Georgian’s 83rd birthday. “I can’t think of a more perfect place to dedicate our new Ray Charles commemorative ‘Forever’ stamp than this performing arts center named in his honor,” said William Campbell, judicial officer for the United States Postal Service. The unveiling was held in the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center’s Emma and Joe Adams Concert Hall. Charles had a long-standing relationship with Morehouse and gave millions of dollars to invest in the education of young musicians. A few months following his death in June 2004, the College, with host Bill Cosby, celebrated his extraordinary life with “A Tribute to Ray Charles” on September 29, 2004, in Beverly Hills, Calif. The star-studded tribute featured many of Charles’ friends and protégés in the entertainment industry and launched the $20-million fund-raising campaign that led to the building of the Center. “With his generous investment in us, he put his stamp on Morehouse College, in this building, and that has strengthened us to put our stamp on so many young men in this country,” said Morehouse President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79. n COMMEMORATIVE INAUGURATION INAUGURATION ISSUE ISSUE 2014 2014 COMMEMORATIVE




Pathway to Preeminence By VICKIE G. HAMPTON


S A STUDENT, President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79 spent time dreaming—not about personal aspirations, but about Morehouse College. “I remember that I used to dream about this being a better place. I used to imagine and envision this campus as already whole,” he said. “Seriously, I saw it in my mind’s eye.” Now, more than three decades later, he has returned to Morehouse to create change and do what no other school has been able to do – achieve character and capital preeminence. “As your 11th president, I insist that Morehouse College was created to be preeminent,” Wilson told more than 2,000 students, faculty and staff during his inaugural Opening Convocation in September 2013. “And I first saw that as clear as day, when I sat where you now sit,” he said. “I saw a better Morehouse. Now I stand here to make a better Morehouse.”

Freedom Bound

Admittedly, the College has traversed some rocky As your 11th president, I insist that patches recently, including a reduction in staff that saw the elimination of 75 full-time jobs; a decrease Morehouse College was created to in enrollment precipitated by an economic climate that makes a college education more difficult to be preeminent,” Wilson told more afford; and cooled philanthropic giving. than 2,000 students, faculty and But President Wilson insists that the pathway to preeminence releases Morehouse staff during his inaugural Opening from the shackles of “insufficiencies.” “But unshackled by such insufficiencies, we Convocation in September 2013. can do amazingly more. We can advance our “And I first saw that as clear as day, mission to a higher level, we can operate more optimally, and we can produce more and better when I sat where you now sit. I saw a Morehouse Men to lead, serve and transform this world,” he said. “Capital preeminence, at better Morehouse. Now I stand here its heart, is a vision of freedom.” And until then, he said, “We are not yet free.” to make a better Morehouse. His step-by-step plan down the path to preeminence involves recovering, uncovering and discovering. The College recovers, he said, by taking a Dream On look at what is not working and fixing it. Wilson said the presidency gives him the platform to elevate his “We will look at academic processes and systems, infrastructure, 34-year-old dream into a shared and collective vision. And his customer service…. None of us can honestly say these are operating vision is as panoramic—folding in elements of the past, present optimally to produce Morehouse Men,” he said to applause. and future—as it is rare. The second step, uncovering, will entail finding what has worked Wilson explained that some schools have capital in the past and making the best use of it now. Besides the exceptionally preeminence, including large and growing endowments; strong Morehouse Man brand, the College has earned laurels for student infrastructure with state-of-the-art facilities; and numerous and development—laurels that, today, the College may be resting on. generous scholarships packages. To strengthen what Wilson described as “not as robust” student Others, however, possess character preeminence: a calling development performance, the College will embrace new approaches to cultivate distinctive values so that they produce students who to teaching and learning; support and develop faculty; enhance serve their community. curriculum; ensure affordability; and increase the graduation rate. Morehouse is among these institutions. Finally, the College will discover—or become aware of “Through our character preeminence, we have contributed something for the first time. mightily to this society,” said Wilson, adding that many Discovery, he said, will include strengthening the College’s institutions have not produced a transformational leader like research capacity; creating new administrative systems with a King; an Olympian like Edwin Moses ’78; an award-winning higher grade of professionalism; and assembling a world-class filmmaker like Spike Lee ’79; a disease-eradicator like Donald administrative team. Hopkins ’62; or a political analyst like Jamal Simmons ’93. “We must discover new ways for Morehouse to be But Wilson’s vision is not of capital or character Morehouse—especially operationally,” said Wilson. preeminence. It’s of capital and character preeminence. As the College celebrated the 100th anniversary of being “It’s not an either-or proposition. At Morehouse, we can named Morehouse, Wilson said, “This is the ideal time for us to have both. At Morehouse, we must have both,” he said. surge again to be what we were created to be.” n




Mentors Inspire Zimbabwean Morehouse Students to Start Global Mentoring Organization By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

TAKU MACHIRORI had just failed his high school in Zimbabwe. Two Ds and an E (the grading scale in Zimbabwe includes an E as a failing grade, as well as an F). “That’s when I realized I really needed someone who can guide me and advise me on what I could do with that situation,” the Morehouse senior said. “I didn’t know what to do.” His mother’s friend in Oakland offered to take him in for two years while he attended a community college and serve as his mentor. He graduated as class valedictorian and then earned a scholarship to attend Morehouse. “I was like, ‘Wow! I went from two Ds and an E to a scholarship at Morehouse, all because I was able to talk to someone who told me there are still options and opportunities,’” he said. Machirori turned that thought into a full-fledged mentorship program, Emergination Africa. As the organization’s founder, he pulled in other students, including Prince Abudu, a sophomore computer science major who is also from Zimbabwe. Abudu, who is the operations manager, is one of 10 inaugural Ambassador Andrew Young International Scholars, a group of students from Zimbabwe and Burundi who lost one or both parents, but were among the top students in their nations. Emergination Africa’s goal is to find American mentors at colleges around the country who will work with Zimbabwean high school students to guide them through developing career goals and getting into college. Following a successful pilot program last year, 40 new Emergination Fellows joined the program in June and will use social media and webbased applications such as Skype to talk frequently with mentors who share the

Taku Machirori (left) and Prince Abudu (right)

same career and academic interests. “We have basically come up with a curriculum to mentor the students,” said Abudu. In March, Abudu and Machirori were invited to Arizona to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which brings college students together to share their social ventures, such as teaching or mentoring. Emergination Africa was such a hit that it was one of 11 teams out of 300 chosen by CGI’s Resolution Project Social Venture for funding. The program received $4,000 and will be assigned social entrepreneur mentors, potential partners and help from the Resolution Project. “This opportunity was definitely an eye-opening experience for us into the world of non-profits and social entrepreneurship, as well as to how to pitch

an idea,” Machirori said. That will help the group to build on what they’ve started in Zimbabwe to include students across the African continent,” he said. Abudu and Machirori both see it as reaching back to help others. “Now that I am empowered, I can empower somebody,” Abudu said. “It just makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something and I’m part of a greater movement that’s much bigger than me.” Machirori agreed. “It feels really good,” he said. “Just seeing the students we worked with during the pilot who are now applying to universities, with some of them volunteering now to become coordinators, I just feel like I’m doing something by using the skills and talents that I’ve learned to make a positive impact.” n COMMEMORATIVEINAUGURATION INAUGURATIONISSUE ISSUE2014 2014 COMMEMORATIVE




everal times each year, the Morehouse College Office of Institutional Advancement invites senior-level executives from the world of business to participate in the Leadership Lecture Series. These executives share their experiences and expertise with a select group of business students and other members of the campus community. The visiting professionals give a short presentation and then have the opportunity for informal interaction with students. Stephen A. Roell (left), retired chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls, November 7, 2013

Ratanjit Sondhe, founder and former chairman and CEO, POLY-CARB, Inc., January 21, 2014

E. Roe Stamps IV, Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, November 1, 2013

Dwight Smith ‘82, vice president, Finance and Accounting North America, Proctor & Gamble, September 19, 2013

Hugh S. “Beau” Cummins III, head of Commercial & Business Banking, SunTrust Banks, Inc., October 8, 2013 MOREHOUSE MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE


Jon M. Huntsman Jr., Former U.S. Ambassador to China and Singapore, 16th Governor of Utah (2009-2011), October 29, 2013






AIMINGHIGHER Ambitious ForeverMOREhouse campaign pushes alumni giving to record-breaking levels



resident Barack Obama’s historic visit to Morehouse College for the 2013 Commencement exercises helped inspire history making of another kind: ForeverMOREhouse, the alumni giving campaign that will provide much-needed scholarship dollars for students and ensure the College’s capacity to thrive well into the future. Coming out of the gate, President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79 set the bar high—$10 million and 65% alumni participation by June 30, 2013. “We must thrive rather than merely survive in the years to come. We must realize the College’s full potential as the only institution of its kind in all the world,” Wilson wrote to alumni on February 22, the first day of the ForeverMOREhouse appeal. Having the financial base and becoming “operationally excellent” were keys to achieving this, he wrote, and Morehouse alumni would have to lead the way. “And the world will be watching,” he reminded them in that same email, referring to President Barack Obama’s visit to the campus as Commencement speaker. When the appeal culminated at the end of the fiscal year, alumni had given a total of $5.2 million in cash and pledges at a participation rate of 46 percent. Although the numbers fell short of what Wilson envisioned, many of the College’s alumni giving records were broken. Within the last 10 years, the largest dollar total given by alumni in any one year had been $3.7 million, and the highest alumni participation occurred in 2011 with 38 percent. By comparison, in 2011 alumni giving at private HBCU’s averaged 11 percent, and about 20 percent at primarily white, small liberal arts colleges similar to Morehouse. “[The appeal] pushed us to exceed



what we would have done in one year,” said Henry M. Goodgame ’84, director of Alumni Relations. Reaching Morehouse alumni across generations and regions in a short span of time was one of the appeal’s greatest challenges. Alumni Relations and the Office of Institutional Advancement employed a wide variety of channels, from direct mail, to student phone-a-thons, to e-blasts, to social media tools such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to reach alumni, including many who had been presumed lost. The College relied on class reunion agents for graduation years ending in 3 and 8 to spread a singularly focused message: $10 million by June 30. “We set up bi-weekly phone conferences with all of our class agents, one at 11 a.m. and at 3 p.m. to accommodate brothers on the East and West coasts,” said Goodgame. By the time the phone conferences started, the class of 1963, Golden Tigers for 2013, were already months into their 50threunion gift planning. They started in October during the 2012 Homecoming, establishing several committees, one of which focused on locating each of the 117 men in their class. ForeverMOREhouse inspired them to kick their efforts into even higher gear. “We made sure we contacted every member of our class. We must have revised our class roster more than 10 times,” said Billy J. Evans ’63, class reunion agent and professor emeritus of chemistry at the

University of Michigan. “We wanted to reach out to them in a personal way.” Though mail and telephone were their primary means of locating classmates, they also used e-mail and online resources to successfully locate all 117. “We were surprised that 45 members of our class were deceased,” said Evans. A much nicer surprise, however, was the magnitude of gifts made by the 72 remaining members of the class. One Golden Tiger made a contribution of $100,000; two others made individual pledges of $100,000 or more. “Several classmates threw down challenges to one another,” said Evans. In the end, the class raised $621,035 and achieved 68% participation, breaking Morehouse class giving rates across the board. “If President Wilson had not put the bar so high, we wouldn’t have worked so hard,” said Evans. The Golden Tigers lived up to their motto, “noblise oblige”—to whom much is given, much is required—a phrase that E.B. Williams, the legendary Morehouse economics professor, instilled in his students. “Give ‘til it hurts” was a phrase coined by members of the class of 1998 to motivate their 15th-year reunion giving. “Give and then give some more. Giving must become a strategic norm for us,” said Myron G. Burney ’98, the class reunion agent and vice president for the North Carolina Triangle Alumni Association. A career administrator in higher education who once served as assistant director of Admissions at Morehouse, Burney understands the importance of reaching alumni—early and often.


“PWI’s [predominantly white institutions] start very early, asking their alumni for five, 10 dollars. They also have robust teams of researchers who capitalize on certain areas and segments where giving is strong,” said Burney, who now serves as director of student success for the entire university system of North Carolina. In his senior year, Burney began building a database of all men in the class of 1998, which became the base for a highly effective communication structure that includes a class website, Facebook pages and a Twitter presence. To maximize ForeverMOREhouse and reunion giving, the class organized by subgroups according to professions, including physicians, businessmen, ministers and educators. A class leader was appointed for each. They also posted weekly messages on all their social media platforms. The night of June 30, class members tweeted to their brothers on the West Coast, reminding them to give by midnight. When all the numbers were in, the class of 1998 ranked second in the number of alumni who gave from a single class—94 out of a total class of 253—and a giving total of $48,609. The class of 2008, with 100 participants, was first place. Burney appreciates the challenge of stretching to reach the goals of the ForeverMOREhouse challenge. “There’s nothing wrong with falling short of our goal,” he said. “We’ve got to keep setting these high goals during regular times. We have to keep asking, what’s next for us?” What’s sure to be next on the horizon, thanks to heightened alumni giving and the

Coca-Cola Foundation Gives $1 Million to Start Last Mile Scholarships for Juniors and Seniors

Billy J. Evans ’63

ForeverMOREhouse challenge, is increased scholarship dollars for Morehouse students, a high priority for the College given the numbers of students with need unmet by financial aid and family contributions. In 2008, the average unmet need for students hovered at $7,000. With a difficult economy and changes to federal financial aid, that amount in 2013 has nearly tripled to $20,000. “We simply can’t send our brothers home for unmet need. It’s up to us to close the gap and take care of them,” said Goodgame. “Some of us needed a cause like President Obama’s visit to get us motivated. Now the question is, what do we do postObama? This has shown us how far we can reach when we aim higher.” n

$5 Million Woodruff Foundation Gift Starts Chapel Renovation Campaign FOR THE FIRST time in its 36-year history, the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel is getting some needed upgrades, with work slated to begin in 2015. The Woodruff Foundation is giving the College $5 million to spruce up the Chapel and start an $8-million campaign to improve the facility. Renovation will involve infrastructure work, such as replacing the aging 2,501 seats, fixing cracks that have formed in the floor, replacing the acoustic shell on the stage and upgrading audio/visual equipment. n

ACCOMPLISHED Morehouse juniors and seniors who fall short financially in completing their degrees are getting help from The Coca-Cola Foundation. The Foundation gave $1 million to start the Coca-Cola Last Mile Scholarship for students with a 3.2 or better grade point average and demonstrated academic achievement, but who aren’t able to graduate without financial assistance. “We are honored to support deserving students and help them to continue to matriculate at Morehouse and graduate,” said Helen Smith Price, executive director of The Coca-Cola Foundation. President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79 said the new scholarship enables promising young men to graduate and become assets to their professions, their communities and to broader society. “We are truly grateful for this latest gift, which is reflective of Coca-Cola’s longstanding support for Morehouse College. This targeted contribution will reinforce our efforts to retain academically worthy, but financially needy students who aspire to be Morehouse Men.” The Foundation also gave $250,000 to help strengthen and expand the capabilities of the Office of Institutional Advancement. “By supporting the development function, we hope to help advance [Morehouse’s] fundraising efforts and better position Morehouse for the future,” Price said. n




3M Company’s Front Line Sales Program Funds College’s New Sales Minor

(L-r) D. Cooper, D. Rodgers ’96, B. White, C. Allen, E. McMillian, President Wilson, J. Hamilton ’91, Provost G. Campbell, C. Wells, T. Murdock-Sistrunk, E. Hudson


OREHOUSE has become one of only four historically black colleges and universities to be part of 3M Company’s Front Line Sales Program, an initiative to boost college students’ knowledge of sales as a profession. 3M officials presented Morehouse with a check for $93,000, which will be used to develop a minor in sales within the Division of Business Administration and Economics’ marketing department. “Morehouse is about creating leaders,” said Jerome Hamilton ’91, 3M’s vice president of Lean Six Sigma Operations. “3M is interested in attracting leaders. We are

really honored to partner with Morehouse in this sales initiative because, for us, it’s really about creating a pipeline of top talent. And we want to win at business, and if you want to win at business, you need to have great leaders. So that’s why we chose Morehouse.” Altogether, 12 institutions are part of the Front Line Sales Program, which was designed to increase the amount of sales education content at universities with the goal of elevating sales as a discipline and a profession. By collaborating with universities and faculty, as well as aligning 3M sales leaders and resources, 3M has had a hand in helping

a number of universities develop their professional sales programs. 3M’s Dedrick Rodgers ’96 and Eric McMillian will work directly with students and help associate professor and Marketing Program director Cassandra Wells put together the interdisciplinary, 18-hour sales minor. Courses in the minor will be offered in fall 2014. “I’m very excited,” said Wells, who will oversee the sales minor. “When I came to Morehouse, one of the things I was hoping we could do is increase the opportunity in sales for our students. I’m just excited that I’ll be able to expose the students to that.” n

2012-13 YOUR GIVING AT WORK Donations to the College totaled $11,718,105. Special Projects, Programs and Events: $2,627,292 Unrestricted/Operations: $989,050 Endowment and Endowed Scholarships: $929,896 Faculty and Curriculum Development: $491,328




Capital (Construction/Rennovations): $3,494,879 Current-Use Scholarships: $3,185,659

The Morehouse College Annual Giving Report 2012-2013 has recently been published. To see the entire report, go to www. communications/ publications/


Buffett Foundation Gives $1 Million to Start Leadership Scholarship Program SOME OF THE WORLD’S largest and deepest ecologically diverse freshwater masses give name to the Great Lakes Region of Africa. But years of conflict over those natural resources, violent ethnic tensions and other issues have led to the destabilization of the area. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is looking to Morehouse for help in developing a new breed of leadership for the region. The Foundation has given Morehouse $1 million to establish the Rugari Scholarship Program to educate young men who live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Eventually, the future Morehouse Men are expected to help lead the region forward. “We’re working on peace and Morehouse has a legacy of peace,” Buffett said. “So we felt that what we wanted to do was build on that legacy. Plus, Julius Coles [executive director of the Andrew Young Center for Global Education] has this great program here and (Morehouse trustee) Ambassador Andrew Young is a

very unique individual. So we felt like Morehouse had all of the components to hopefully contribute to some success.” Selected by a Morehouse panel of faculty, staff and administrators, the first Rugari scholars will come to Morehouse in fall 2014 on full scholarships to focus on general education studies for their first two years and then a mix of political science, economics, sociology and history their final two years. They also will be strongly urged to minor in leadership studies. After graduation, the students will return to their home nations, where they will put their Morehouse education to work in bettering the region. “We are looking for leaders with vision, leaders with a purpose and leaders with a social mandate,” Coles said. “This is what I think Morehouse can bring. The Buffett Foundation was very pleased to be able to give us the funds because we have a proven record for training leaders, not only for the United States, but for Africa and the world.” n

Howard G. Buffett (center) is presented a Morehouse sweatshirt by President Wilson. Also pictured are (l-r) John Handy, Ambassador Andrew Young and Julius Coles ’64.

Uzee Brown, chairman of the Music Department, plays donated piano.

Rockley Family Foundation Gives New Grand Pianos to Music Department MOREHOUSE COLLEGE has become the first historically black college or university— and the first college in the Southeast—to participate in The Rockley Family Foundation’s Institutional Loan Scholarship Program. The Colorado-based, non-profit organization lends pianos to colleges and other non-profit organizations as their way of promoting music education. The pianos are loaned to organizations for a set period of time, then replaced with new pianos. Meanwhile, the older pianos are retrieved and sold at auction. That means instead of having one $125,000 Steinway grand piano, the Music Department has had—free of charge—several brand new, top-of-the-line grand pianos, including a 7-foot grand piano for the Emma and Joe Adams Performance Hall as an alternative to the 9-foot Steinway grand piano. “That’s about $80,000 worth of pianos we now have that are usable to the College, at no cost to the College,” said Music Department Chairman Uzee Brown ’72. “And it significantly improves the practice spaces for instrumentalists and vocalists,” he said. “It allows us to use a wonderful alternative instrument in the Performance Hall that does not put the kind of wear and tear on that 9-foot Steinway.” n COMMEMORATIVE INAUGURATION ISSUE 2014



Morehouse Men in SIAC Hall of Fame

Ellis, Clendenon Inducted

Harold Ellis ’92


Donn Clendenon ’56


Maroon Tigers Cross Country Team Wins Fifth Consecutive SIAC Title WINNING THE Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title was the main goal this year for the Morehouse cross country team this season. Mission accomplished. The Maroon Tigers won their fifth consecutive SIAC title, with four out of five Morehouse runners finishing in the top 10 of the SIAC Centennial Cross Country Meet in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Chris Wilder, Nicholas Hall and Kasahun Neselu finished second, third and fourth, respectively, and Gerald Jones sixth, to lead the team to their 17th conference championship over the last 18 years. All four were named to the 2013 All-SIAC cross country team. Legendary Coach Willie Hill was named 2013 SIAC Cross Country Coach of the Year. The Maroon Tigers went on to compete in the NCAA Division II Regional South Cross Country Championship in Tampa, where they were ranked 10th. Wilder’s top 25 finish in that meet helped boost the Maroon Tigers final 2013 South Regional ranking to ninth. n Morehouse College Cross Country team



WO OF MOREHOUSE’S most distinguished athletes were inducted into the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. Basketball star Harold Ellis ’92 and baseball legend Donn Clendenon ’56 are part of the SIAC’s first new Hall of Fame class since 2000. They joined a heralded list of 13 other SIAC sports legends, coaches and administrators who were honored March 5 in Birmingham, Ala. Ellis, an Atlanta native, led the Maroon Tigers in scoring in each of his four seasons and is the only Morehouse basketball player to have his number retired. He played three seasons in the NBA and several other leagues, foreign and domestic, over his 13 professional seasons. He also has been an executive and/or coach with a number of NBA teams. Clendenon lettered 12 times in baseball, football and basketball at Morehouse. He taught fourth grade after graduation, but ended up joining the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball organization after a 1957 tryout. He spent five years in the minor leagues before making his major-league debut. That was the start of an 11-year career that saw him play for four teams and be named the 1969 World Series MVP for the New York Mets. After retiring in 1972, Clendenon earned his law degree in 1978. He died in 1987 at the age of 70. n



Morehouse Finishes Second in 2014 SIAC Tennis Championships

Sophomore Jabez Beazer

THE GOAL FOR the Morehouse tennis team was to finish the season as one of the top four Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference squads. The team met that goal, plus some. The Maroon Tigers finished the regular season as the conference’s thirdranked team, putting them into the SIAC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Conference Championships, which were held at the Morehouse College Tennis Courts. In the tournament, they defeated second-ranked Benedict before they fell to Stillman in the team championship game. Noah Terry and Kahai Hall were named to the All-Tournament singles team, while Brandon Sanders and Chris Hawthorne were named to the All-Tournament doubles team. n



Games in Washington, Jacksonville and Chicago Highlight 2014 Football Schedule GAMES IN Washington, D.C., Jacksonville, Fla., Columbus, Ga., and Chicago highlight the 2014 Morehouse football schedule. The Maroon Tigers open the season Sept. 6 in Jacksonville against Edward Waters and then take on Howard Sept. 13 in Washington’s RFK Stadium in the 2014 Nation’s Football Classic. Morehouse and Tuskegee clash in the 79th Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic on Oct. 11 and, as of press time, will host Albany State for Homecoming on Oct. 18. The Maroon Tigers close with two home games: Nov. 1 against Fort Valley State and Nov. 8 against Kentucky State. Morehouse will take on Central State in Chicago’s Soldier Field on Sept. 20 in the 17th Chicago Football Classics. For updates and the entire schedule, go to http://athletics.morehouse. edu/index.aspx?path=football&tab=football. n

Five Maroon Tigers Named to 2013 All-SIAC Team

Freshman Caleb Pyscher

Maroon Tigers Baseball Program on an Upswing After Promising 2014 Season THIS IS A CASE where the record doesn’t tell the full story. The Morehouse baseball team finished the 2014 season with a 9-28 record. But with a roster full of underclassmen and new players, the Maroon Tigers won three times as many games as they did last season; were close in many others games; and fielded a competitive team all season. “We were in most ballgames,” said head coach Robert Mitchell. “We were a little short on pitching and anywhere you play baseball, if you don’t have pitching, it is going to be difficult for you to win and that’s where we were.” But the Maroon Tigers had some players who made a mark this season. Freshman catcher Zachary Lowe led the team in RBIs and batting average. Outfielder Ryan Christian was steady all season, with double-digits in hits, walks, stolen bases and RBIs. Jordan Tarver, a quarterback on the football team, showed his baseball prowess this season and slammed five home runs. Freshman Caleb Pyscher stole 12 bases and was 1-1 as a pitcher. Patrick Dickerson also was solid at the plate with 23 RBIs. All five batted over .300. The Maroon Tigers even turned a triple play this season, a rarity on any baseball level. “They played up to the level of their abilities,” Mitchell said. “Some of them surprised us, and when I say surprised us, I mean they played a little better than I anticipated. By the end of the year, we believe they all played up to their potential.” Mitchell said the 2014 season should be the start of something special. “We’re on an upswing,” he said. “The freshmen who came in last year played well again this year. And the kids we brought in this year played well. Along with that—and hopefully two or three more players next year and a few more being eligible—we will be okay next year.” n Written and compiled by Add Seymour Jr.

THE 2013 SEASON wasn’t a good one for a Morehouse football team that finished 2-8. But five Maroon Tigers were honored for their play when they were named to the 2013 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Conference team. Senior kick returner Thomas Williams, a business administration major from Knightdale, N.C., was named to the All-SIAC first team squad. Williams was the SIAC’s fourth leading kick returner, seventh leading scorer (he had eight touchdowns) and averaged 20.8 yards per return. He led the Maroon Tigers in touchdowns and scoring, and was the team’s second leading rusher. Junior offensive lineman Richard Washington, junior kicker Hector Solis and freshman defensive back Joshua Anderson were named to the second team. At 6’ 9” and 380 pounds, Washington, a computer science major from Washington, D.C., was one of the most dominant linemen in the SIAC this season. Solis, from Costa Mesa, Calif., missed only one field goal all season and was the SIAC’s sixth highest scoring kicker. Anderson, from Summerhill, Ga., had three interceptions and excelled at defending passes this season. Quarterback Joshua Harris was an All-SIAC Academic Team pick. Harris, a junior political science major from Detroit, Mich., has a 3.85 grade point average. He played in eight games and passed for 482 yards and three touchdowns. n

Joshua Harris

Thomas Williams

Richard Washington

Joshua Anderson

Hector Solis




Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine By LOUIS SULLIVAN ’54 WITH DAVID CHANOFF PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA PRESS (2014) It was a foregone conclusion that a teenaged Louis Sullivan ’54 would be moving from south Georgia to Atlanta to attend college. But it wasn’t because he would be attending Morehouse College as Sullivan wanted. His family members had attended Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) and Sullivan’s father expected his son to do the same. “My mother intervened,” Sullivan remembered during a talk at Public Broadcasting Atlanta, where he is chairman of the board. “So I went to Morehouse.” It was one of the stories that Sullivan, now president emeritus of the Morehouse School of Medicine, tells in the new book about his life. “During the course of my life, I’ve had a number of opportunities—getting involved in developing the Morehouse School of Medicine, becoming the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and a number of other activities, traveling to more than 50 countries around the world during my life—that I was encouraged by friends to write a book,” he said. “So I was very pleased to have the opportunity to record that.”

Sullivan talks about growing up in south Georgia where his father went from being an insurance agent to a mortician in Blakely, a small town that had no one to bury black people properly and with dignity. Sullivan soaked up his father’s lessons of hard work and perseverance, and came to Morehouse. “The years at Morehouse were exciting years,” he said. “Benjamin Mays was president. He was an elegant person, very learned, had high standards and he really inspired us as students to work hard and work to be successful.” Segregation laws at the time wouldn’t allow Sullivan to attend medical school in Georgia, so he became the first Morehouse student to attend the Boston University School of Medicine. In fact, he was the only black person in his class and only two others were in the two classes behind him. “In my entire four years there, I had nothing but a very strong and enjoyable educational experience, and also a very good social experience,” he said. Sullivan talks about going on to

teach, becoming a hospital administrator and physician, and then being tapped to lead the new Morehouse School of Medicine. One of his board members was then-First Lady Barbara Bush. Sullivan’s work with the School of Medicine impressed President George Bush to the point that he offered Sullivan the position as the nation’s first African American U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Sullivan talks in detail about that position and many others. But he says Morehouse instilled in him the fact that his being a black male from a small Georgia town should never deter him from his high goals. “There was no reason to limit myself,” Sullivan writes. “I could go anywhere.” n

Egyptian Origins of Washington, D.C. Volume 1: African Gods in America’s Capital By EARLE C. MITCHELL III ’90 PUBLISHED BY 3RD iMEDIA CORPORATION (2013) It’s long been known that African American surveyor Benjamin Banneker led the group that laid out the nation’s capital. But Earle C. Mitchell III ’90, a historian and expert on African American history, said there is much more to the story. “The writing of this book is a quest to find the foundations of Africa, specifically Kemet (Egypt), as used in the urban planned governmental cornerstone of




The Rains: Voices for American Liberty The Battle for the Heart and Soul of a Nation

By SULAYMAN CLARK PUBLISHED BY LAUREATE HOUSE PRESS (2013) Deep in the dark depths of a janitor’s closet at Cheyney University sat a treasure trove of history for decades. Rare books, manuscripts and an estimated 360 homemade scrapbooks of news clippings of black achievements from the 1800s that had been given to a former Cheyney president had been long forgotten until a janitor found them during a building renovation. It was 1980 and Sulayman Clark, who is special assistant to President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79, had been brought on by Cheyney to catalogue the materials. “I said to myself then as I said now, ‘Nobody is going out to Cheyney to look at some dimly lit microfiche machine,’” he said. “’So I will use the craft of historical storytelling, historical fiction, to bring to life these extraordinary people, based on their actual exploits.’” The result is a book based on the facts found in those old scrapbooks of an interracial group of activists fighting against slavery and racism from the

mid-1800s through Reconstruction. Following the real exploits of people such as William Still—a civil rights activist widely seen as the father of the Underground Railroad —Harriet Tubman and others, Clark tells a story about the ups and downs of the fight against slavery during a time when even preachers spoke of the merits of black men, women and children in bondage. The story covers the period between 1837 and 1877, in and around Clark’s hometown of Philadelphia, though he maintains the book is a national story. But Clark’s book isn’t just a fictional look at the lives and stories of these people. He said it’s a way for readers, especially younger readers, to learn the real lessons from the fight against slavery. “As a writer and an educator, I was sick and tired of portrayals of black folk as helpless, hapless victims of slavery because the historical record does not bear that out,” Clark said. “When you read this book, you’ll find many ways that we resisted and over-

America—Washington, D.C.,” he explains in the preface of his book. “The premise of this book connects certain Kemetic (Egpytian) papyri to the urban plan of Washington, D.C., the actual street layout, to Kemetic ideas that go back in time at least 4,100 years,” he said. Banneker had been appointed a member of the surveying group for Washington, D.C. But the lead person quit and took the plans with him. Legend has it that Banneker’s photographic memory of the plans saved the day. Not true, Mitchell said. “It is this memory that is passed down in the African

came. So when you talk about slavery, don’t talk about black victimhood. Talk about black victory and triumph over slavery. In fact, The Rains has been made required reading in Philadelphia’s high schools and some of the colleges in the area, Clark said. “That’s the quintessential message of the book,” he said. “But I’m using facts, historical facts, to make the point. I’m bringing history to life by getting the reader into the minds of the people, the motivations, the aspirations of these people—which only historical fiction can do. I’m not interested in regurgitating historical facts. I want to emotionally connect readers, particularly young people, with this history.” n

American community as lore, but it’s not substantiated by any scholastic evidence,” Mitchell writes. He asserts that it was Banneker’s knowledge and leadership in the project that made him an expert on the plans. Mitchell said there are other contributors to the creation of D.C.’s urban plan, much of it influenced by African thought and tradition. “The book is about visual image and what and how we see Washington, D.C.,” Mitchell said. “The book shares the realities of historical truth, visual interpretation and the subtleties of cartographic expression in America’s capital based on Kemetic thought.” n




Photo by Kent D. Johnson

FEBRUARY 1, 2014 Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine 2014 Power Couples February 9, 2014 For Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr. and his wife, Dr. Carol Espy-Wilson, the interplay of their commitment to each other and their family and higher education provides the framework to achieve personal and professional success. John is the 11th president of Morehouse College and will be officially inaugurated in February 2014 during the school’s Founder’s Week Celebration. Carol is a professor at the University of Maryland’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the founder of OmniSpeech, a speech technology company.

FEBRUARY 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Inspiring Perspectives Morehouse President: ‘You’ve Got to Have Chutzpah’ Each Sunday, the AJC brings insights MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE


from metro Atlanta’s leaders and entrepreneurs. This feature appeared on the front page of the Sunday paper.

FEBRUARY 19, 2014 The Huffington Post The World of Our Dreams The Huffington Post blog printed Wilson’s inaugural speech in its entirety just days after he was inaugurated. Before the full transcript, Wilson penned this message: “… I delivered an urgent call to action in my inaugural address, calling on the nation to commit itself to achieving the goal of making a cradle-to-power pipeline real for black men. An underinvestment has perpetuated a cradle-to-prison pipeline for black and Latino boys, who risk imprisonment during their lifetimes at alarming proportions. I believe it’s a national imperative to break this cradle-to-prison pipeline with a trajectory like the one

Morehouse provides with supports and services for the sake of our children and our nation’s future—not because it is easy but because it’s hard, because the goal will serve to organize and utilize the best of our country’s energies and skills.”

MARCH 1, 2014 Al Jazeera English Network Wilson was a television guest on Al Jazeera English, where he talked about President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and the effect it may have on young African American males.

MARCH 2, 2014 MSNBC: Disrupt with Karen Finney Karen Finney had a live discussion with Wilson, national radio host Joe Madison and Spelman President Beverly Tatum about President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.


Photo by Katie King

MARCH 5, 2014 Black Enterprise Morehouse President Talks ‘Education Crisis’ Facing Young Black Men Black Enterprise did a one-on-one interview with Wilson to learn more about his vision and ideals around his inaugural speech, “The World of Our Dreams.” They also spoke with him about the crisis that faces young black men and what role HBCUs like Morehouse can fill to change the direction. Here’s some of what Wilson had to say: Q: When you speak of the cradle-toprison pipeline, what are some of the things that can be done?

coverage on

BLACK MALE SUMMIT MARCH 31, 2014 White House Throws Weight Behind Black Men In Atlanta A White House initiative examining education and African American males kicked off at Morehouse College. The Black Male Summit, which took place March 28-29,

A:“I think recognizing that it is a critical issue that goes to the productivity and security of this country is step one. Step two is developing a sense of urgency once you recognize it; and step three is organizing to get better data about it and exchange a best practice designed to do something about the challenge. In the midst of all that, we need what we haven’t had and that’s a shining beacon on the hill—an institution that’s recognized worldwide as the destination of choice for men in general and in particular African American men, and that’s Morehouse College.”

was the first in a nationwide four-summit tour opening up a national conversation about boys and young men of color. It is also part of a two-fold commitment from President Obama to expand educational opportunities and foster better futures for minority boys through his My Brother’s Keeper initiative. “If you look at the data, particularly the data in the educational pipeline, regarding African American males you see what can only be described as a crisis,”

MARCH 13, 2014 WABE 90. FM/NPR Morehouse President Dr. John Wilson Talks, “A World Of Our Dreams” Since 1867, most Morehouse presidents have also been Morehouse graduates. That continued with the recent selection of Dr. John Wilson as the College’s 11th president. In a twopart conversation with WABE’s Rose Scott, Wilson talks challenges of fund raising for historically black colleges and universities; the plight of the African American male; and his vision for the institution as outlined in his inaugural address.

said Morehouse College President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. “We have to do something about this. This entire conference is designed to illuminate some solutions, as is the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.” THE BLACK MALE SUMMIT ALSO RECEIVED COVERAGE IN: • The Chronicle of Higher Education • NewsTalk/WSB • All News 106.7 FM • WABE Radio • Atlanta Journal-Constitution • Diverse Issues-Higher Education




Full The College’s New First Lady Returns to her Atlanta, Education Roots By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

IT’S AS IF THE PATH to Carol EspyWilson’s becoming the College’s newest first lady was predestined. First, she is returning to her metro Atlanta roots as she was born in Decatur, Ga. Secondly, her two oldest brothers (she’s the youngest of four children )— Walter Stanley Espy ’64 and Frederick Lewis Espy ’65—are Morehouse graduates. And working closely with male students is something she and President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79 are quite familiar with. They shared a Massachusetts Institute of Technology dorm with students for 12 years as housemasters. The section of the dorm where they were resident advisors s while Carol completed her dissertation work was all male. It all makes for a comfortable transition back to the Peach State. “I’m excited about being here,” EspyWilson said. “It’s good being home.” As first lady, she is looking to put her stamp on the preeminence that President Wilson sees for the future of Morehouse College. MOREHOUSE MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE



“I really believe in John’s vision for Morehouse, so it’s exciting to be a part of that and to see how I can help him in achieving this lofty goal,” she said while sitting in the living room of Davidson House. Growing up in Atlanta’s east suburbs of Decatur and Kirkwood, education and hard work were huge influences on Espy-Wilson and her three older brothers. Their mother stressed faith and learning. Their father, who did interior remodeling, taught them hard work and was a math whiz, even though he never finished high school. Frederick and Walter became engineers. Walter was a math and chemistry major while Frederick got a physics degree from Morehouse and became the second African American to earn an engineering degree from Georgia Tech. Her youngest brother, Calvin, also studied engineering at Georgia Tech and got his master’s degree at Stanford. He encouraged his sister, who wanted to leave town for college, to attend Stanford and study engineering. She had her heart set on the University of Wisconsin where a scholarship was already awaiting her. “He had someone to come over and tell me how cold it gets in Wisconsin,” she remembered. “It was after that conversation that I said, ‘Okay, I’ll go to Stanford.” Espy-Wilson studied and fell in love with electrical engineering. After graduating from Stanford, she earned three more degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, where she

met Morehouse Man and then Harvard grad student, John Silvanus Wilson. Wilson’s love for his alma mater and dedication to others impressed her. “When I met him and I saw those characteristics, I was like, ‘He’s pretty special,’” she said. The two married and raised three children, twin daughters Ayana and Ashia, and son, John Silvanus Wilson III. She taught at MIT, Boston University and then the University of MarylandCollege Park after the family moved to Washington, D.C. At Maryland, Espy-Wilson has been a professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the University’s speech communication lab. While there, she developed a revolutionary idea to ensure clear voice communication for digital mobile devices in noisy environments. The idea took off and won several business-plan competitions, along with attracting the attention of venture capitalists and investors. She formed her own company, OmniSpeech LLC, in 2009. After the current school year ends, Espy-Wilson plans to use her expertiseto enhance the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs at Morehouse. She wants to forge more interdisciplinary relationships with other colleges and universities and various programs around the country. “We want all of our students to have a basic level of math and science, and if they are not quite as prepared, we want the


right kind of people here who are working with them and getting them to understand the importance of math and science,” she said. “Even if they’re not going to be in STEM, there’s a basic level of of proficiency that they should have.” Looking into the eyes of parents, especially mothers who are leaving their sons at Morehouse, has been a special time for Espy-Wilson, not only as the College’s first lady, but also as a mother. “We want to put an arm around these students,” she said. “We want them to go into the world as really confident young men who are all about servant leadership, who are really well prepared, and who have had a tremendous experience here. Morehouse can do that and Morehouse is already doing that. It’s so hands on. “There’s a nurturing here that you won’t get at a lot of schools,” EspyWilson said. “There are people who are thinking about you, who care about your future, who want to direct and guide you. If you come here and you want a great education, and you take advantage of the many rich opportunities, it will be a rewarding experience. On the other hand, if you don’t have intention and drive, there is a much higher probability that you won’t do well. A good sign that a student is engaged is if he is actively involved and taking leadership in the academic and surrounding community. “That’s the kind of enriching environment that we want to enhance,” she said. “Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?” n COMMEMORATIVE INAUGURATION ISSUE 2014





Morehouse Celebrates 147 Years and the Historic Inauguration of the 11th President By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

TWO SNOW AND ICE STORMS this February in Atlanta slowed down much of the city, but didn’t stop Morehouse from celebrating the College’s 147-year history. Two major events were affected: The White House/Morehouse College Black Male Summit was postponed and the Founder’s Day Convocation was canceled. But the historic inauguration of the College’s 11th president, John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79, and the “A Candle in the Dark” Gala went off without a hitch. The celebration began Friday, February 14, when Wilson stood in front of 1,800 people in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and recalled a conversation he had with a classmate during their senior year at Morehouse. Wilson asked his friend whether the clouds in the Morehouse seal were blocking the sun or were being burned off to make way for sunlight. The friend told Wilson, “I’m quite certain, that is up to us!” “Ladies and gentlemen, I am quite certain, too,” Wilson said in his inaugural address “I am quite certain that realizing the world of our dreams on this campus and on this earth is, in God’s name, up to us.” That dream and how the College becomes the shining light in the development of not only Morehouse Men, but black men, was the theme of Wilson’s speech to a crowd of students, alumni, faculty, staff and Wilson’s family and friends. Additionally, delegates representing 209 colleges, universities and other organizations from across the nation joined the Morehouse family to formally usher in the Wilson era. That evening, gospel recording star and education advocate Marvin Sapp thrilled a King Chapel crowd during his Marvin Sapp School of Choice Concert Celebrating the Inauguration of John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79. On Saturday, five men were honored as the 2014 Bennie and Candle Award honorees: charter school pioneer Donald Hense ’70; U.S. Department of Education deputy secretary James Shelton ’89; Morehouse’s retired dean of Business Administration and Economics John Williams ’69; music icon Stevie Wonder; and former U.S. District Court judge Reginald Lindsay ’67, who was honored posthumously. The honorees told their life stories and gave advice to students, faculty and staff during

Reflections of Excellence in the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. “People who do, beat people who talk every time, and the world is full of talkers,” Shelton said. “I want to assure you that you are going to trip and you are going to fall,” Hense said later. “But you have got to get up and you’ve got to push every single day for what you believe is right.” That night, the audience for the 26th Annual “A Candle in the Dark” Gala heard speeches from the honorees. Wonder decried violence against black boys, particularly the mistrial on a murder charge against a Florida man who fatally shot a black teen over loud music. He said that the only way he will perform in Florida now is for benefits to fight the state’s “Stand Your Ground” laws. “We have to do a better job of protecting our Morehouse Men,” he said. “Not just Morehouse Men, but all black boys in America ... It is not the gun that makes a man. But it’s the gun that kills him. We must change the gun laws in America.” Then he surprised everyone by singing two songs, “Love’s In Need of Love Today” and “My Cherie Amour.” Sunday, during the Founder’s Day Worship Service, the Rev. Charles Gilchrist Adams, senior pastor at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, talked about the meaning of Adam as a human being and as a man. “So God is speaking to everyone, ‘Humanity, where are you?’” Gilchrist said. “God is asking man where are you in the church, the community, the vortex of community strife?” Afterwards, Charles Harvey, president of the Johnson Controls Foundation and a leader in the establishment of the College’s Wisconsin Scholars Program, was honored with an oil portrait. Founder’s Week ended with the 103rd Morehouse College Glee Club’s Spring Concert in King Chapel. While the music was the highlight, director David Morrow ’80 got a big surprise: an oil portrait of him was unveiled and will hang in the Chapel’s International Hall of Honor. “We just could not have asked for a more spectacular weekend to reflect on what it means to inaugurate the College’s 11th president and celebrate the College’s 147th anniversary,” said Henry Goodgame ’84, director of Alumni Relations, Special Events and Annual Giving. n COMMEMORATIVE INAUGURATION INAUGURATION ISSUE ISSUE 2014 2014 COMMEMORATIVE







We live in years, swift flying, transient years. We hold the possible future in our hands but not by wish and will, only by thought, plan, knowledge, and organization. If the college can pour into the coming age an American Negro who knows himself and his plight and how to protect himself and fight race prejudice, then the world of our

dreams will come and not otherwise. W.E.B. DuBois, The Crisis, August 1933



Inaugural Address 

FEBRUARY 14, 2014

John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79 11TH President, Morehouse College

W rld




drawn from the best of our history and traditions this chapel may tend to focus on me, you know that this day cannot be about your son’s enhanced biography, but about this College’s enhanced ascendancy. I thank you for values like that.

Good afternoon!


am honored by the purpose, power and promise of this day. I am also strengthened by this convergence of so many people from all phases of my life … so many people who love and admire Morehouse College. From the bottom of my heart, I thank each of you for coming. I thank Chairman [Robert] Davidson and the Board of Trustees for a charge that challenges me. I thank the alumni, academy colleagues, friends and family who are here to support and encourage us, and to share what, for some, is an ancestral message of hope and trust, drawn from the best of our history and traditions. I thank the students, faculty and staff who live, learn and work here. I want you to know that we feel your yearning for a new day. This institution has produced so many graduates who have eloquently called and worked for a new world on this earth, so it just makes poetic and genetic sense that we now call and work for a new world on this campus! I have been inspired by all of my predecessors in this role. I have spoken with Dr. [Leroy] Keith, and Drs. [Walter] Massey and [Robert] Franklin are here today. I appreciate your efforts to make this great place greater. I now join you in that quest. Time is far too short to point to particular people, but I extend a special greeting to my family. My three extraordinary children—Ayana, Ashia and Jay—have heroically helped to inspire my confidence about this world’s future. Thank you for who you are. And I thank you, Carol. We have been soul mates for almost 35 years … 35 years with infinity to go! But my biggest nod goes to my Dreamweaver – my mother, Genester Nix Miller. I ask that you stand, Mom, because you taught me how to dream in the first place. And while others in



TWO OF THREE of the College’s living presidents attended Inauguration. Dr. Massey represented the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is president, and Dr. Franklin represented the Emory University Candler School of Theology, where he is senior adviser for community and diversity.

PRESIDENT WILSON credits his mother with encouraging him early in life to become invested in the mind. Dealing with racial intolerance in the Philadelphia suburbs, where she was raising her children, she told them: “Your weapon is your mind. Be smarter. Don’t try to fight them. Keep your poise and keep your composure and get As when they are getting Cs.”

THE INAUGURATION CHALLENGE When Harvard President Drew Faust said inaugural addresses are “expressions of hope unchastened by the rod of experience,” she meant that, with these statements, we usually utter dreams that never really come true. Somehow, the daily grind of today’s presidencies turns the best of intentions into pure dust. Indeed, this has to be among the most challenging times in which to become a college president. Like other major industries, higher education is being fundamentally altered and destabilized. Storm clouds have been gathering. Harvard’s Clay Christensen thinks those storm clouds are an apocalypse for some. He predicts that in fifteen years, half of all colleges and universities will be in bankruptcy. Since black colleges tend to dwell on the weather side of American higher education, we could lose more than half and sooner. So to call this a time of crisis is not necessarily an overstatement. But even in the midst of this dramatic uncertainty, expectations remain sky-high for today’s college presidents. At once, we are expected to ensure institutional affordability, accountability and agility. We are expected to decrease tuition, discount it, and at the same time increase net-tuition revenue and overall quality. We must modernize facilities, monetize research and optimize governance. [We must] enhance on-campus education, integrate online education and investigate on-site education. We must break all fundraising records, too … every year! And all the while, we must continually enrich the campus experience so well, that each


auspicious time to set a new agenda and every student will be thoroughly brilliant, ambitious, ethical and employable. About 300 college presidents deliver these inaugural addresses every year and somehow they all boldly commit to meeting these perennial challenges. So, therefore, let me just say, “Me, too.” I want to do all of that: converge every premium talent, master every difficult task, meet every high expectation. Me, too! But no Morehouse College president should ever have a “me, too” agenda. More is required of us, and especially now. So with the balance of my time, I want to focus on this beloved institution. I want to illuminate how we might make of this old world a new world … and perhaps even make it the world of our dreams. CAPITAL AND CHARACTER PREEMINENCE Our inaugural theme is: “Toward Capital and Character Preeminence!” Very simply, capital preeminence means having a first-rate campus and character preeminence means producing first-rate men. And we will have the world of our dreams when we are recognizably and completely preeminent in both. So, we are looking to increase institutional capital enough to have a sustainably worldclass living and learning environment, and enhance institutional character enough to reliably produce more graduates who will help heal the world in distinctive ways. And because no college or university that we know of has ever simultaneously realized both capital and character preeminence, that means we are setting out to do what has never been done before, at least not on the scale we envision. We believe that if we can establish the world of our dreams on this campus then we may finally be able to establish the world of our dreams on this earth. And when I say “we,” I mean all of us here and elsewhere. In the same way that this is a call to action and a call to national service for

PRESIDENT WILSON served as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from 2009 to 2013. During his tenure, the Initiative helped to increase annual funding to HBCUs by more than $1 billion, including an increase of $400 million in Pell Grant funding.

NEARLY A MONTH after becoming president, Wilson initiated the most aggressive alumni appeal in the College’s history. The ForeverMOREhouse appeal raised $2.3 million in cash donations from alumni (including matching gifts) and honorary alumni.

PRESIDENT WILSON earned three degrees from Harvard: the M.T.S. from the Harvard Divinity School in 1981; the Ed.M. in 1982; and the Ed.D. in 1985.

me personally, I want everyone here to see this as a shared responsibility, as well as a shared opportunity. It is up to us to realize the kind of capital and character preeminence that will usher in the world of our dreams. So then, what kind of agenda must we have to get there? I began my presidency of Morehouse in what may be the most symbolically significant anniversary year in the history of the College. The year 2013 was an auspicious time to set a new agenda for this institution. To that end, I want to now share with you three Morehouse imperatives derived from three important 2013 anniversaries. THE FREEDOM IMPERATIVE First, because 2013 is the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, there is a freedom imperative at the center of our current agenda. Serving at the White House gave me a great perspective on higher education and on black colleges in particular. And I am convinced that we are not yet free. Neither Morehouse nor any other black college is sufficiently free from the bondage of small endowments, high attrition, limited financial aid, deferred maintenance, uncompetitive faculty salaries and the like. So, I want us to be free. I want us to be liberated to offer this world more of our very best. Capital preeminence is what freedom looks like in higher education. I respect our history. It has been miraculous to do “so much with so little and so few.” But I insist that Dr. [Benjamin E.] Mays never meant that saying as an eternal point of pride or as a preferred way of life. So, then, with my presidency, I want us to surge. I want us to now make an aggressive push for capital of all kinds—financial, human, physical, informational, intellectual and marketplace—all of the capital required to fulfill our great mission. My other alma mater, Harvard University, recently launched a $6.5-billion capital




reveals the soul of our institutional identity campaign, and I can guarantee you that with a mere twenty percent of that, we can change the world better and faster than Harvard or anybody else. There is no good reason why we cannot have a large and growing endowment; a highquality and well-paid faculty; a skilled, data-driven staff bent on operational excellence; a state-of-the-art physical infrastructure; and the clear capacity to produce more of the best students in the world. There is no good reason why we cannot soon be a far more magnetic destination than we have ever been before. So, we are calling for an emancipation proclamation for Morehouse College! The world needs us to be free. Our mission demands that we be free. Capital preeminence is a freedom agenda, and it is up to us to realize it! THE IDENTITY IMPERATIVE Second, because 2013 is the 100th anniversary of the decision to change our name to “Morehouse College,” there is an identity imperative at the center of our current agenda. Just last month, at a conference in Florida, I had an encounter with David Brooks, the brilliant, conservative columnist for The New York Times, who often writes about American character. He had delivered his keynote address, and when I stood to tastefully suggest a modification of his central point, he responded by asking me, “What is a Morehouse Man?” I answered: “A Morehouse Man is one who moves through the world with obvious competence and confidence, able at once to compete and work in the world that is, and yet imagine and work for the world that must yet be.” His responsive nod was the equivalent of an affirmative action. He said: “Morehouse is in a very small group of institutions



MORE THAN a dozen of Wilson’s classmates from the class of 1979 attended inaugural activities. Among them was Jeh Johnson,the fourth secretary of Homeland Security. Johnson also was invited to be the 2014 Commencement speaker.

ONE OF THE College’s most illustrious graduates is one of the country’s greatest citizens, as indicated by his statue on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. At Morehouse, Martin Luther King Jr. ’48 was introduced to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and his method of nonviolent protest.

in this country that knows who they are.” I want you to know that character preeminence is what certainty looks like in higher education. Moreover, it reveals the soul of our institutional identity. For years, we have been defined by our ability to cultivate distinctive servantleadership values, standards of excellence and high expectations in our students. What we have lacked in resources, we have more than made up for in a strong and unwavering sense of purpose. So many of our graduates have felt not merely committed, but called to make this world a better place. Think about this: institutions with multibillion-dollar endowments do not have among their alumni a mystic like Howard Thurman; a leader like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; an Olympian like Edwin Moses; a filmmaker like Spike Lee; an eradicator of world disease like Donald Hopkins; cabinet secretaries like Lou Sullivan, Robert Mallett, Jim Shelton and Jeh Johnson; a surgeon general like David Satcher; or accomplished recent graduates like Josh Packwood, Robbie Robinson, Euclid Walker and Alex Washington. Sixteen thousand men—a collective force for good! But this world needs thousands more men like this. And in order to produce more, we must enrich, elevate and update this Morehouse experience with character preeminence foremost in mind. Renewed character preeminence is what keeps us Morehouse, and it is up to us to realize it! THE DREAM IMPERATIVE And now, finally, because 2013 is the 50th anniversary of that dream articulated on the National Mall by our most illustrious graduate, Dr. King, there is a dream imperative at the center of our current agenda. The ambitions and dreams of our forefathers have always amazed me.






answer that precious question at the heart of all education You may say that King was a dreamer, but as John Lennon wrote, he was not the only one! Dreamers have guided our Morehouse history. One hundred years ago, through a fog of poverty, [Morehouse President] John Hope dared to envision Morehouse “becoming one of the best small colleges in the country.” He elegantly called his dream “a greater Morehouse.” Seventy years ago, [Morehouse President] Benjamin Mays said this: “It is not an idle dream to think that within the lifetimes of persons now living, the most eminent scholars in many fields will be Negroes in Negro colleges and universities.” Nearly twenty years ago, [Morehouse President] Walter Massey had a dream that we shall be among the best liberal arts colleges—period! There is a dream imperative in the DNA of Morehouse College. And it is there because somehow we all know that if we can do a better job of creating the world of our dreams on this campus, then we will be able to do a better job of creating the world of our dreams on this earth. And it is up to us to make both happen! RECOVERING THE MOREHOUSE EMBRACE So then, my team and I are focused on creating the world of our dreams—a world in which capital and character preeminence, like longevity and relevance—are essential. And we will remain mindful and respectful of how the very history of Morehouse points to this destiny. Our original campus faces a burial ground for Confederate soldiers. So for nearly 150 years, classrooms constructed for men who sought to promote freedom have created a daily shadow over the graves of men who sought to preserve bondage. So, overshadowing ignorance is pursuant to the world of our dreams! The son of our second president, Joseph Robert, is the author of Robert’s Rules of



Order, still the definitive guidebook for conducting meetings and getting important things done.

OVER THE YEARS, the College has consistently garnered recognition. Morehouse is one of only two historically black colleges to produce three Rhodes scholars; consistently tops the U.S. News and World Report for being among the best liberal arts colleges and best HBCUs; ranked in Princeton Review as a top Southeastern college; is a top feeder to elite professional schools by The Wall Street Journal; and is named top feeder to the Teach for America Program and the Peace Corps.

THE HOWARD THURMAN National Obelisk honors a man known as a forerunner in the inter-denominational religious movement. Thurman, a 1923 graduate of Morehouse, served as a teacher and preacher at Morehouse and Spelman colleges.

Making Morehouse an optimal place to meet and get important things done, therefore, is pursuant to the world of our dreams! And not W.E.B. DuBois, but Henry Lyman Morehouse originated the concept of “the talented tenth,” the leadership imperative at the heart of all black higher education. So, lifting as we climb is pursuant to the world of our dreams! There is abundant evidence that the very history of Morehouse College is pursuant to the world of our dreams. So, sometimes progress is recovery. One of the best things about this Morehouse experience has been our ability to help our students to answer that precious question at the heart of all education and all theology: Who am I? For years, at the center of our campus pedagogy has been the belief that the journey to a noteworthy, call-answered life starts with an authentic answer to that question. Who am I? Like few other institutions, Morehouse has understood that somewhere in each man’s answer must be what Howard Thurman called “the sound of the genuine.” Thurman said everyone must hear that sound, and if you hear it and do not heed it, it would have been better for you and the world had you never been born! This is the Morehouse brand of selfknowledge, and we must preserve it. Now some might say we were at our best in the self-knowledge enterprise under Presidents Hope and Mays, the chief architects of the Morehouse mystique. In probing the current relevance of their approach, we know they shaped a high-touch learning environment better than anything we see today, here or elsewhere. And the numbers tell that story best. We graduate roughly 500 men per class now, but Dr. Mays rarely graduated more than a hundred men per class. In fact, in


newer, smaller, smarter living and learning spaces his 27 years as president (19401967), he averaged 84 graduates per year. And before Dr. Mays, the cohorts were even smaller. Our freshman and sophomore classes today have more men in them than the combined number of men who graduated in all the 73 years before Dr. Mays took office. When George Sale stepped down as president in 1906 to make way for John Hope, and he gave a famous three-word farewell charge—“Boys, be men!”—Sale said those words to a graduating class of ten men. Ten! Our embrace of today’s young men is not what it used to be. We created a tighter world for young men then. And our bigger embrace yielded brand-worthy outcomes. We need newer, smaller, smarter living and learning spaces in this place! And that is why I have created the position of Vice President for Student Development, whose assignment it will be to get our student embrace right in this new era. A better embrace will yield a better education ... and a better love! I am proud to be inaugurated on a day when we celebrate love, because our mission is to clarify new ways to teach, prepare and love these young men so that their life stories may be more beautiful. Speaking of beauty, we must make more beautiful men so we can more effectively counteract the ugliness we see in the media and society all the time. That is why in this inaugural week, we partnered with David Johns and the White House for a summit on the African American male. The brokenness of our men is so off the charts that you can look around and think “the beautiful ones are not yet born.” That is the title of a brilliant book written by Ayi Kwei Armah, who insists that we need

PRESIDENT WILSON presented his wife, Carol Espy-Wilson, with flowers. His big day was also Valentine’s day.

THE WHITE HOUSE/Morehouse College Black Male Summit kicked off a national conversation on the education of African American boys. Morehouse was the first stop on a four-summit national tour. It was originally scheduled for Inauguration weekend but, because of inclement weather, was moved to March 28-29.

more people who will not be so drunk with the wine of the world that they forget who and why they are. He says we need men who will live according to a different set of ideals and values and hopes. He might have said, we need more Morehouse Men! We just bought 2,000 copies of Armah’s book to ensure that every current Morehouse student will read it and commit to being a part of why, on this campus, the beautiful ones are shaped and reshaped every day. This new and beautiful embrace—a “world-of-our-dreams embrace”— is not for students alone. We need a new embrace of faculty and staff, as well. And that won’t happen until more of us, through pure self-examination, first embrace the warning Dr. DuBois had for all of us when he said, “Unless we conquer our current vices, our current vices will conquer us!” So, this is a war for preeminent values, too! Provost [Garikai] Campbell is leading our strategic planning effort and we have world-class teammates to execute it. Operational excellence will be sacred. More and more people will come to see us as investment-worthy. And that is how Morehouse will shift from a plight called “needy” to a status called nimble. I will always insist that if we can produce as much as we have produced for this world with such limited resources, just imagine what we would do for this world if we had much more. MOREHOUSE UNIVERSAL Finally, I need you to know that Morehouse College is not just for Morehouse Men. In fact, it is my dream that Morehouse will be to all men, and especially to all African American men, what Israel is to all Jews – the homeland; the definitive base for what it means to be a man in this world; the place




the truth of our gift and the gift of our truth where our identity as men and as men-inthe-making is at its best. Morehouse must never be the crown jewel of Morehouse Men alone. The truth of our gift and the gift of our truth have never been so tribal! We were imagined and constructed to lift not just our people, but our country and our world. There are people in this world who did not attend Morehouse, but who, nonetheless, do things the Morehouse way. Vic Power was not a Morehouse Man, but he did a Morehouse thing. How is that? Well, Vic played pro baseball in the 1950s and he was a good friend of Roberto Clemente. And, being from Puerto Rico, he was neither accustomed to, nor inclined to be tolerant of, American racism. So, when he and Roberto naively entered a restaurant in the South, and the waitress said, “We don’t serve Negroes,” Vic did a Morehouse thing by responding, “Oh, don’t worry, I don’t eat Negroes!” Being transcendent in the face of hatred and ignorance is the Morehouse way. Well before we made him a Morehouse Man in May 2013, as Barack Obama campaigned in early 2008 and his popularity and prospects grew, Oprah Winfrey drew on African American and biblical history when she privately asked him a timeless question, “Are you the one?” That is a dangerous question, because if you say, “I am the one,s” you may sound arrogant. But if you say, “No, I am not the one,” you may sound uncertain, frivolous



PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, the 2013 Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, told his newly minted Morehouse brothers: “That’s what we’ve come to expect from you, Morehouse. A legacy of leaders— not just in our black community, but in our broader American community.”

OPRAH WINFREY is the College’s top individual donor. Her gifts totaling $12 million have helped to educate more than 400 Morehouse Men. During the finale of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in May 2011, 300 of them marched across Chicago’s United Center stage bearing a light and a debt of gratitude.

or worse. But without missing too much of a beat, candidate Obama gave a Morehouse answer when he wisely said, “Oprah, I am one of the ones.” Being confident and humble is the Morehouse way. Some of you may be thinking, “Humble? We don’t often hear ‘humble’ and ‘Morehouse Man’ in the same sentence.” You all have heard the phrase: “You can tell a Morehouse Man, but you can’t tell him much.” It is true that a number of our graduates have been diagnosed with a humility deficiency. Some have even suggested that we offer a course on humility at Morehouse College. We will indeed consider developing such a course on humility, but, if we do, I need a promise that no alumnus will stand and boldly declare, “We offer the best course on humility in the world!” IT’S UP TO US! After receiving my doctorate in 1985, I visited my grandmother, who suggested that I ought to set out to lead a black college. I asked her why, and she said, “Because that’s the kind of work that’ll get you into heaven.” Right now, it’ll be heaven enough for me to see the world of our dreams right here at Morehouse College. There really is no other work that I would rather be doing: • Pursuing a new kind of freedom • Getting more certain about our character … in and for these times • Strengthening all three academic divisions like never before


make way for the light of a new day • Forging new and powerful relationships with Africa and the world in honor of Ambassador Andrew Young • Developing a major new educational initiative in honor of Dr. King • Becoming the epicenter for the best research, teaching and practices for addressing the condition of the African American male • Ensuring innovative surges of strength in science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and entrepreneurism • Completely redefining what it means to fulfill student potential • And, finally, realizing both capital and character preeminence

The world of our dreams! We face big challenges! But for a long time, that has been as true as our imperative to meet them. So, speaking of meeting them, I close by taking you back to my senior year here. It was a heady time. We were within days of our graduation ceremony right here in a brand new King Chapel. As a writer for the Maroon Tiger newspaper, I had been a critic of Morehouse. I yearned for it to be a better place. We all did … especially as we were preparing to leave this campus to go on with our lives. I shall never forget a conversation I had

A RECENT scholarship has been created at the College to provide African countries with leaders stamped with the Morehouse brand. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation gave $1 million to establish the Rugari Scholarship Program to educate men who live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.

with Rodney Thaxton, among our greatest classmates who lost his life some twenty years ago. At the time, I had recently reread Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, and I remember pointing Rodney to my favorite passage in that book. Ellison fictionalizes the Tuskegee Institute and the statue in front of it—the iconic image of Booker T. Washington lifting a veil of ignorance from the face of a newly freed slave. This bronze statue was a frozen moment in time, and Ellison makes his character gaze at it and ask whether the fictional college president was actually lifting the veil or lowering it more firmly into place. So, with that as backdrop, I pointed Rodney to our Morehouse logo, a different frozen moment in time. I said, “Rodney, look at the clouds. Are the clouds rolling in to block the sun, or are they burning off to make way for the light of a new day?” Without much of a pause, Rodney offered a Morehouse response when he simply said, “Wilson, I am quite certain … that’s up to us!” Ladies and gentlemen, I am quite certain, too. I am quite certain that realizing the world of our dreams on this campus and on this earth is, in God’s name, up to us! Thank you! God bless you! And God bless Morehouse College! n

AS A STUDENT AT MOREHOUSE, President Wilson wielded the power of the pen, writing litanies on the shortcomings of his beloved alma mater in the student newspaper, the Maroon Tiger. More than three decades later, the power of the pen has been replaced by the power of the presidential platform. During his first Opening Convocation address as president in fall 2013 Wilson told 2,000 men of Morehouse that, as a student, he envisioned a greater Morehouse. “As your 11th president, I insist that Morehouse College was created to be preeminent. And I saw that as clear as day when I sat where you now sit,” he said. “I saw a better Morehouse. Now I stand here to make a better Morehouse.”









rian Barnes had just completed an oral presentation in his Advanced Placement Language Arts class. He was in 11th grade in Huntsville, Alabama. His teacher, an older white female, pulled him aside to give him this piece of advice: “I think you need to get the black out of your voice.” It was a confidence-slaying remark. But, lucky for Barnes, he had a “village”—a tight network of family, church folk and mentors—that helped him move past the teacher’s comments and down a road that she perhaps could never have envisioned for the student who was too “black” sounding. In the world of higher education, Barnes’ story is a typical tale for a black boy. If it’s not low expectation or cultural insensitivity like Barnes experienced, it’s the inextricable web of poverty, crime, low-quality education, zero-tolerance discipline policies and more that ensnares many African Americans—boys, in particular—and seriously hinders or altogether prevents them from academic achievement. Barnes’ story has an inspiring twist. He went on to Morehouse, graduating in 2002, then to Harvard University, where he earned a master’s in education. But for the vast majority of black boys, their stories end much differently. According to the U.S. Census, 20 percent of black males over the age of 25 hold a bachelor’s degree. The national college graduation rate for black men is about 33 percent, compared to 55 percent for white males, according to the U.S. Department of Education. When President Barack Obama initiated the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in February 2014, he in effect put out a call to the village—albeit it a much larger one than Barnes’ network—to pool best practices, ideas and resources to help struggling minority males.

“After months of conversation with a wide range of people, we’ve pulled together private philanthropies and businesses, mayors, state and local leaders, faith leaders, nonprofits, all who are committed to creating more pathways to success,” said President Obama when he announced the initiative. “And we’re committed to building on what works. And we call it ‘My Brother’s Keeper.’”

CALL FOR LEADERSHIP ON THE TREE-lined West End Avenue sits the College’s newest building, the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center (RayPAC). Back in 1997, when he was invited to do an impromptu concert with the Morehouse College Jazz Band, Ray Charles was so impressed by the Morehouse musicians he played with that he wanted to be a part of educating them. He donated $3 million, which became seed money for what is now a state-of-the-art facility that trains the College’s musicians. When The White House/Morehouse College Black Male Summit (co-sponsored by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Ebony magazine and the Morehouse Research Institute) convened in RayPAC this March, it, in effect, echoed Charles’ genius. Charles beat unimaginable odds when he rose from abject poverty to world fame because of his unique ability to find harmony across different musical styles and genres. Likewise, Summit participants sought to cross disciplines and create accord in their effort to help minority males transcend the unimaginable odds they face. COMMEMORATIVE INAUGURATION INAUGURATION ISSUE ISSUE 2014 2014 COMMEMORATIVE



(Pictured l-r) John Eaves Jr. ’84, chairman of the Fulton (Ga.) County Commission, Courtney English ’07, member of the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education; Ceasar C. Mitchell ’91, president of the Atlanta City Council participate in the Black Male Summit.

The overwhelming consensus coming out the Summit was that everyone—educators, administrators, legislators, businessmen, clergy, parents … in other words, the village—has a role to play. More than 700 attendees, 2,000 tweets, and up to 1.5 million who received content from tweeters contributed to the current groundswell of interest in African American and Hispanic males and the disadvantages they struggle with in education, as well as in the larger society. One of the tweets broadcast around the world during the Summit was: “investing in education is not philanthropy or charity its leadership.” Morehouse is poised to take leadership on the national conversation on black male education. While RayPAC may have struck just the right note, the choice of Morehouse as the first institution to host the four-city summit was nothing less than poetic justice. Approximately 2,000 men—mostly African American—attend the College whose oldest building, Graves Hall, faces a burial ground for Confederate soldiers. Morehouse students are quite literally being educated on the very soil where men died to keep their ancestors in bondage. As the world’s only historically black college for men, President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79 predicts that Morehouse will indeed emerge as a national leader in the movement to ensure that black boys have a fair chance to make the grade in U.S. schools. “We are going to be the epicenter for solutions and the exploration of the problems in dealing with the African American male in a path-breaking way,” Wilson said. At Morehouse, about 40 percent of students graduate in four years—higher than the national average of 33 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The College was recently cited by U.S. News and World Report for being among the top schools in the nation at retaining freshmen. For firstyear students starting in fall 2008 through 2011, Morehouse’s retention rate was 82.5 percent, coming in second only to Spelman’s 88 percent among HBCUs. MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE


John H. Jackson, CEO of the Schott Foundation—whose mission is to achieve fully resourced, quality preK-12 public education—says the nation can learn from Morehouse’s success. “Morehouse has young men who have matriculated through their K-12 education,” said Jackson. “The voices of these young men need to be engaged to help systems get more students to where they are today. We need a mechanism by which the voices of Morehouse Men can help inform how districts begin to provide the necessary supports so that all students can have a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.” Several Morehouse alumni are already leading the charge. James Shelton ’89 is the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education. Otha Thornton ’89 is the first black male president of the National Parent Teacher Association. Michael Lomax ’68, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, and Bryant Marks ’94, director of the Morehouse Research Institute and the Morehouse Male Initiative, were both recently appointed to President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Shelton, Thornton and Marks were among the Morehouse alumni who participated in the Black Male Summit, along with John Eaves Jr. ’84, chairman of the Fulton (Ga.) County Commission, Courtney English ’07, member of the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education; Ceasar C. Mitchell ’91, president of the Atlanta City Council. Other participants included David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans; Damon Williams, senior vice president and chief educational and youth development officer of Boys and Girls Club of America; and Amy DuBois Barnett, editor of Ebony magazine. A session on empowering parents and guardians to support African American excellence challenged parents and grandparents in the audience to show up for their kids at school so that teachers and administrators know that students have someone who cares about their success.


“People are making decisions about your kids every day,” said Thornton. “If you are not at the table, you are not on the menu.”

SOMETHING DIFFERENT MANY MOREHOUSE MEN are drawn to the teaching profession. In 2012, Morehouse was among the top 20 small colleges and universities feeder schools to the Teach for America program when 11 graduates were sent to high-need schools, joining the program’s quest to become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. For many alumni, their passion lies in creating something they were too often denied: a safe, challenging, encouraging learning environment where black children can succeed. Barnes’ experience with the AP language teacher was partly behind his choice of a career in education. The teacher’s comment unwittingly quickened the acceptance and encouragement from his network of supporters—which, in turn, reinforced for him the value of an education. He stayed the course though high school, Morehouse and Harvard. At Harvard, he won $15,000 in an education entrepreneurship competition. He used his winnings to launch Tandem ED, an education organization that will work with African Americans to design and deliver their own educational content and ways to support black youth. This summer, Barnes will continue to develop Tandem ED’s model by building relationships with community stakeholders— including barbers, grocers, pastors and parents—in an innercity, black neighborhood. The hope is that the village will be effective in convincing their youth that school attendance and achievement are worthy investments not only in themselves, but in their community. “I saw many instances where my peers didn’t have positive reinforcements,” said Barnes. “They did not graduate from high school. They were active in other activities that were not in line with what African American men are capable of and can be.” Khalek Kirkland ’93 also understands the importance of a caring, nurturing environment. He grew up on a “very nice block in a very bad neighborhood” in Brooklyn, N.Y. He made the decision to commute by bus and train to attend high school in a better neighborhood an hour away. “I could have gone to the local public schools only five minutes away from my home,” he said. “But it was the choice I made to leave that was monumental in my upbringing,” he said. Of the four close friends he left behind, three are now dead— including one who died from a drug overdose. After graduating from Morehouse, he earned a master’s degree in math from New York University, and both a master’s in education administration and a doctorate from Fordham University. Kirkland is currently head of The SEED School of Maryland, a free college preparatory public boarding school that serves

Rashid F. Davis ’92 with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

economically challenged students in grades 6 to 12. The 400 students, who are predominantly African American, live on campus for five days a week. They can participate in afterschool enrichment, sports and academic clubs in a safe environment. The SEED School sets high expectations. “We believe in a no-excuses model,” he said. “The minimum passing grade is an 80. If you have a 79, you are considered failing. Our test scores on the state exams out-perform African American cohorts in almost every county we draw from. “The single mission of our school is that every child will go on to college,” said Kirkland. “We do anything and everything to support that.” Sharing that mission is Rashid F. Davis ’92, founding principal of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-Tech). The school is a unique hybrid that Davis has coined a “hollege” because students receive four years of high school plus two years of college, and graduate with high school diplomas and an associate degree in computer information systems and engineering. P-Tech partners with the New York Public Schools, the City University of New York and IBM. “The triangulation of high school, college and industry is challenging work,” Davis said. “It requires all involved to move forward challenging business-as-usual approaches. For example, teachers’ professional development opportunities are enhanced by industry and college professors.” During his State of the Union address in February 2013, President Obama lauded Davis and the P-Tech model. “President Obama’s mentioning P-Tech in his State of the Union address encouraged me to keep dreaming with my eyes open,” said Davis. COMMEMORATIVE INAUGURATION ISSUE 2014



Timothy Spicer

SIDETRACKING POOR QUALITY THE MURDER OF his brother finally got DeShawn Adams’ attention. He was a self-described “trouble maker” whose teachers didn’t expect him to amount to much. “I was unsure of myself and what I wanted to do. It came out in my behavior,” he said. “I didn’t have many teachers who were taking me seriously or were willing to look beyond some of the behavioral issues that I had.” The loss of his brother made him take a long, hard look at where he was headed. Education, he decided, could put him on the right track. But to get the type of education he desired, he had to leave his neighborhood. “I decided to go to a high school that was in the next city over to get away from my environment,” he recalls. “I had to focus.” Adams attended the Black Male Summit because he plans to pursue a career in education policy. He is now a junior English major at Morehouse on a full-tuition academic scholarship. He will be the first in his family to graduate college. He understands that his success will not be his alone. “My family, they look up to me. They are looking forward to my success,” he said. Unlike Adams, Timothy Spicer Jr. wasn’t a troublemaker, but acknowledges that his teachers didn’t know how to deal with his “energy.” Still, as the son of a college-educated single mother, and a father who graduated from North Carolina A&T, he valued his education. Which also meant that, when he was ready for high school, he too had to make a location choice: Arlington, Va., or Prince George County in Maryland. He had previously attended schools in both areas. He recalled MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE


how, in Maryland, with any infraction, a student was immediately sent to the principal’s office. “There was no talking,” he said. In Arlington, teachers and administrators had “a different demeanor,” he said. “They would talk to you and your family.” For him, the choice was obvious. He was successful in Arlington. He was the SGA president, president for both his freshman and senior classes, a member of a minority honor society and of the swim team. And on the first day of school in 2009, he was tapped to introduce President Barack Obama when he made a nationally broadcast address to students across the country. Ironically, however, it is the failing schools he saw in Maryland that drive Spicer’s career choice in education about as much as the successful schools he saw in Arlington. In fact, after he graduates in May, he is returning to a Maryland school system similar to the one he rejected. He will teach for four years with the Urban Teacher Center, which collaborates with Lesley University’s Graduate School of Education to prepare teachers to work in high-need, inner-city schools in the Washington-Baltimore area. He will earn two master’s degrees in education and in elementary literacy from Lesley. His goal is to help write policy that addresses the “inadequacies of what African Americans have to face.” “I know there are answers to the questions. And that goes deep into how I view education policy,” he said. “It’s part of why I want to go into education. They give you labels when you’re young, and those labels go with you throughout the rest of your life. Those labels set up barriers,” he said. n Aileen Dodd contributed to reporting for this article.

David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, with young boys at the Summit.


Et Facta Est Lux


nd there is light. This common Latin saying is familiar to every Morehouse Man. These words resonate in the depths of our souls. I’ve heard it asked whether the sun in our College’s emblem is emerging from the clouds or whether the clouds are moving in to cover the sun. The answer, as often noted in speeches, depends upon the perception of the viewer. On the Friday immediately preceding each Commencement ceremony at Morehouse, a Rite of Passage takes place in which seniors receive a ceremonial light (or lux) from alumni in the form of a small candle. I believe that the lumens of this small candle are expected to grow exponentially as each candle is lit to become a great, encompassing light. As powerful as it is, it is limited to what we can produce by passing it to one another. However, as I look at our emblem, I do not see candles behind the cloud. I see the sun—and it causes me to wonder if our light has changed from the bright, collective light on graduation day to what it is now. Some of us have the candlepower of a flashlight. We are able to shed light on some dire situations, but our luminosity is limited by what’s inside. Maybe our influence is limited by our commitment to a specific purpose. Maybe it shines bright in some situations, but when it’s put to a real test, it wanes and is easily blocked. Maybe there are some of us who emit the radiance of the sun: impacting, affecting and warming the world. We’ve seen numerous examples of alumni who have had global influence. The ability to generate this type of light resides in some of us alumni and, perhaps even more so, in those Morehouse Men to come. What type of light are you? This year, we’ve seen several incidents across the country that called for an illumination of the issues. We had the nation’s first African American president to speak at our Commencement, which was indeed a historic occasion. But we also had the injustices of Trayvon Martin’s and Jordan Davis’s deaths. Before them, there was Amadou Diallo. These men brought national attention to the criminalization of the African American man in this country. The nation, though, only illuminated these situations with the temporary power of a flashlight rather than with the consistent, revealing radiance of the sun. How do you shine your light? I believe that of all the people on the planet, regardless of ethnicity, nationality or complexion, no one lives in as much darkness as young men of color. They are not just being criminalized, these young men are also believing the lies told to them about their value and self-worth. Their susceptibility to settling for less than they are capable of achieving is born from disappointments in the workplace, the school system and our own communities,. There is no one action that could cast our light in a more broad and inclusive way than mentoring. More than money or physical resources, your time belongs exclusively to you. Even a sparing gift of an hour each month could make the difference in the life of a young black man. When you speak to great men, you always find in their stories from youth an individual who made a profound impact upon them through mentorship and knowledge-sharing. Mentoring is not the only way to shine. You left Morehouse College with a mandate to share the flame and ignite the world with the knowledge and compassion you gained during your matriculation. How you do that is up to you. Just burn. Burn bright with the light of purpose and commitment. Et facta est lux. And there is light. Now, brothers, how brightly will you shine?

Mentoring is not the only way to shine, though. You left Morehouse College with a mandate to share the flame and ignite the world with the knowledge and compassion you gained during your matriculation. How you do that is up to you.




Michael Lomax ’68 and Bryant Marks ’94 Appointed to President’s Advisory Commission on Education Excellence for African Americans

Jeh Johnson ’79 Confirmed as Fourth Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson ’79 was recently confirmed as fourth secretary of Homeland Security. Johnson, who earned his law degree from Columbia Law School, previously served in the Clinton administration and most recently served in the Obama administration as the general counsel for the Department of Defense. “Jeh is abundantly qualified to assume this challenging position and will undoubtedly bring to it a wealth of experience and practical insight,” said President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. ’79, who was a classmate of Johnson’s. “In so many ways, he exemplifies the meticulous preparation and aspiration of generations of Morehouse Men who are determined to render extraordinary service to the nation and be a force for good in the world.” Johnson joins several Morehouse Men who have served in various cabinet-level positions, including Dr. Louis Sullivan ’54, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. David Satcher ’63, surgeon general, James Shelton ’89, deputy secretary of the Department of Education; and Robert Mallett ’79, deputy secretary of the Commerce Department. In addition, President Wilson recently completed a term as executive director for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. n MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE


PRESIDENT BARACK Obama has announced the appointment of 15 people to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Among those chosen are Morehouse alumni Michael L. Lomax ’68 and Bryant T. Marks ’94. This Commission is charged with ensuring that all African Americans receive an education that prepares them for college, productive careers and satisfying lives. This mission is part of the Obama administration’s broader mandate to restore the country to its role as the global leader in education. The Commission will advise President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on ways to advance federal programs that improve educational opportunities for African Americans, increase participation of the African American community in federal

Michael L. Lomax ’68

Bryant T. Marks ’94

agency programs, and engage stakeholders in a national dialogue on the mission. Lomax is the president and chief executive officer of the United Negro College Fund, a position he has held since 2004. Previously, he served as president and professor of English and African world studies at Dillard University from 1997 to 2004. From 1994 to 1997, he was president of The National Faculty in Atlanta. Marks is the director

of the Morehouse Research Institute and the Morehouse Male Initiative, which serves as a national resource for research and best practices related to the affirmative personal and academic development of African American males. He also is an associate professor of psychology at Morehouse and a faculty associate of the Education and Well Being Program at the Institute of Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Julius Coles ’64 Appointed Honorary Consul for Senegal Julius Coles ’64, interim director of the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership, has been appointed for the second time as Honorary Consul for Senegal for the Southeast U.S. by President Macky Sall of Senegal. He previously served in this capacity from 1998 to 2002. The appointment, based in Atlanta, reestablishes the Consulate of Senegal at Morehouse College since the tenure of the first Honorary Consul for Senegal was Edward A. Jones, former chairman of the Foreign Language Department, who was appointed to the position in 1961 at the time of the independence of Senegal. n


Kevin Rome ’89 Installed as President of Lincoln University Kevin Rome ’89 was formally installed as the 19th president of Lincoln University on October 4, 2013. If nothing else, Rome wants the students, faculty, staff and community at Lincoln to know that he’s focused “on the retention and graduation of our students,” and on “faculty and staff development.” That’s a message he has delivered several times in the past 10 months: when he was speaking to various groups late last year, while applying for the top job; since he took over the president’s duties on June 1, 2013; and, most recently, during his 15-minute inaugural speech in the university’s Mitchell Auditorium. “We have to do a better job,” Rome said. “We owe it to our students— if we admit them, we should be in a position to graduate them.” Rome also promised to “do everything in my power to work with the community and Central Missouri, to make Lincoln the institution of choice for the parents and students in mid-Missouri and Jefferson City. The only reason we want those students to leave this area is if they want to get away from their parents. “But if they want a great education, we want them to choose Lincoln University.” n

Fight for Light: Bringing Clean, Green Awareness to Black Campuses Markese Bryant ’10 and John Jordan ’04 found that there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of organizations working to increase awareness of climate change. When they took a step back, however, it was apparent that there were quite a few issues and population segments that are underrepresented in the environmental community. One of these issues is how climate change affects people of color and the poor, and one of the most underrepresented groups of people in the environmental sector is African Americans. In 2009, while they were still students at Morehouse, the two teamed up and formed Fight for Light, which works “to transform Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) into hubs for environmental sustainability and social innovation.” n

Dale E. Jones ’82 Named President of Diversified Search Dale E. Jones ’82 has recently joined Diversified Search as president and a member of the executive committee. He comes to Diversified Search, one of the nation’s top 10 executive search firms, after 14 years with Heidrick & Struggles and nearly 20 years in the industry. “Dale brings vast experience, strategic vision and incredible leadership to our business. In addition to his success in the industry, he also has a wealth of expertise and a comprehensive network stemming from his board memberships, global humanitarian efforts and civic involvement.” said Judith M. von Seldeneck, founder, chairman and CEO of Diversified Search. Jones will serve as one of the key marketfacing leaders in advancing the CEO Practice and Board of Directors Practice of Diversified Search, and in helping to implement a three-year strategic plan in accordance with the firm’s executive committee. He will be charged with leading new strategic initiatives to enable Diversified to continue to be a market leader. Jones remains highly active at the corporate and non-profit board levels. He is on the board of trustees at Morehouse and Princeton Theological Seminary, and serves on the board of directors at Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. He continues to serve on the National Advisory Board of The Salvation Army. Jones also has served as CEO of a global water initiative that provides clean drinking water to villages in sub-Saharan Africa, and has participated in the World Economic Forum on Africa and the Corporate Council on Africa. “I’m thrilled to be joining Diversified Search, one of the industry’s fastest growing firms. The firm’s stellar reputation for integrity, quality and capacity, as well as international reach and unique approach to search, attracted me to the opportunity,” he said. n COMMEMORATIVE INAUGURATION ISSUE 2014



1940s James “Alley Pat” Patrick ’47 was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. In addition to his induction, he also was recognized with the Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Service Award for being an outstanding member of the community.

1950s Otis Moss Jr. ’56, chairman emeritus of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees, gave the sermon at the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast. He is pastor emeritus of Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Walter E. Massey ’58 was appointed chair of the board of trustees for the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design. He currently serves as the president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

1960s Donald Hopkins ’62, who was selected by The Carter Center in 1987 to lead a groundbreaking program to eradicate Guinea worm disease, has come close to reachMOREHOUSE MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE


ing his remarkable goal. When the campaign began, there were an estimated 3.5 million Guinea worm cases occurring annually in Africa and Asia. Under Hopkins’s leadership, in 2013 only 148 cases of Guinea worm disease were reported worldwide. Herbert Phipps Esq. ’64 was honored with a reception by the Doughterty Circuit Bar Association for his appointment as chief judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals. He is now the 25th chief judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals.

1970s Walter C. Davenport ’70 was appointed vice chair of the board for the National Association of State Boards and Accountancy (NASBA). He is a retired audit partner with Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, and currently serves as a member of NASBA’s Uniform Accountancy Act Committee and Standards Study Group. Robert Michael Franklin Jr. ’75, president emeritus of Morehouse College and a senior adviser for community and diversity at Emory University, was given the Rites of Ordination at the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. He now holds ordination in two Christian denominations: the American Baptist Churches USA and the Church of God in Christ.

Richard J. Powell ’75 was honored by the Smithsonian Institution with the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for his contributions to the field of art. Smithsonian trustee Barbara G. Fleischman established the award in 1998 as a tribute to her late husband.

1980s Grady Brewer ’80, Morehouse head basketball coach, celebrated his 200th win with a 75-37 victory over Oakwood University. Brewer is in his 14th year as head coach after serving 13 years as assistant coach under Arthur McAfee.

Harry Walker ’80, photo director at McClatchyTribune Information Services, was tasked with overseeing MCT’s visual coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games held in Sochi, Russia. Before joining MCT, he worked as features and weekend photo editor at the Kansas City Star. Edgar L. Smith Jr. ’83 was appointed to the board of trustees for Union Institute and University, a private, non-profit university headquartered in Cincinnati. Dr. Calvin B. Johnson ’88 was selected as chief medical officer for Corizon, a provider of correctional health care solutions. He is the former executive vice president and chief medical officer for MinSec Companies and for Temple University Health System.


ALUMNI NEWS Otha Thornton ‘89 was named to Ebony magazine’s Power 100 list of the nation’s most influential African Americans. He was recognized for his role as the first black male president of the National PTA. Donald M. Woodard ’89, partner for the law firm Gordon & Rees, LLP, was named among Georgia’s super lawyers. Woodard is a member of the firm’s Business Transactions Group and Sports, Media and Entertainment Group. He was recognized for his work as a transactional lawyer in the entertainment industry.

1990s Rodney McClendon ‘90 was appointed vice chancellor for business and administrative services at the University of California Riverside. He most recently served as vice president for administration at Texas A&M University. Kevin Dow ’91 has been named senior vice president for Impact and Innovation at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. In this role, he will develop and execute strategies that address critical needs in local communities and help to improve education, income and health in nine counties across the region.

Said Sewell ’92, assistant provost at Kent State University, has been selected as a protégé for the Class of 2014 Millennium Leadership Initiative Institute that is co-sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. He will attend the institute June 7-10 in Washington, D.C. Warren N. Romine ’93 joined the firm FBR & Company, a leading investment bank serving the middle market, as managing director in the company’s Diversified Industrials Investment Banking Group. He will focus primarily on the continuing expansion of the Investment Bank’s advisory business. Saul Williams ’94 was chosen for the lead role in “Holler If You Hear Me,” a Tupac Shakurinspired Broadway musical that will be directed by Atlanta’s Kenny Leon. The musical is set to open June 19 at the Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway at 47th Street in New York. Lamell McMorris ’95 was presented with the President’s Award for Career Achievement at the Washington Government Relations Group’s Tin Cup Awards. The honor is bestowed annually to individuals who have embodied excellence in leadership, service and professionalism

in the African American government affairs and political professional community. Ted Colbert III ’96 was named the chief information officer for the Boeing Company. As CIO, he will lead the Information Technology organization and be responsible for all IT strategy, systems, infrastructure, architecture, process and people across the Boeing enterprise. Ben Green ’97 has been named chair of Midlands Education and Business Alliance’s Board of Directors. Green is currently vice president for Teamstudio, a firm that provides enterprise-level software for 2,300 companies in 32 countries. Nathaniel Smith ’97, founder of the Partnership for Southern Equity, a nonprofit aimed at promoting equitable development and prosperity in metro Atlanta, authored an opinion piece for Creative Loafing showing that Atlanta is a hotbed for income inequities. Norm J. Jones ’98 has been appointed the associate chief diversity officer and deputy director in the Office of the Assistant to the President for Institutional

Diversity and Equity at Harvard University. In this newly created position, he will work closely with human resources and diversity officers campuswide to administer and foster diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity. He also will provide access to programs, as well as training and workshops across the university. David Gaither ’99 displayed his collection of paintings at the acclaimed Stuart McLean Gallery in Inman Park. His unique methods involve a fusion of light with chromatic experimentation, where colors and shapes complement and contrast one another to create beautiful experiences.”

2000s Brandon Dirden ’00 debuted as Martin Luther King Jr. in the American Repertory Theater’s “All the Way.” He also won Obie, AUDELCO and Theater World awards for his role in “The Piano Lesson.” J. DeLano Ford ’01 has accepted the position of executive director of Teach for America for Metro Atlanta. Prior to his appointment, he served as deputy superintendent for the Louisiana Recovery School District.



ALUMNI NEWS Wesley Delaine Thomas ’01 was appointed to the District of Columbia Board of Dentistry. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse and a 2005 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. Iman “Mateo” Jordan ’02 was featured in the publication, The Next2Shine. He works with top acts like Alicia Keys. Isaac O. Karikari ’02 is making history as the first African American faculty member in the department of Neurosurgery at Duke University Medical Center. Karikari also was the first black chief resident in Neurosurgery at Duke. He is the second Morehouse alumnus to train in neuro-

surgery at Duke University Medical Center. The first was Dr. Estrada Bernard, who graduated from Morehouse in 1979. Karikari will join the faculty at Duke in August. He is currently completing the Spine Fellowship Program at Washington University in St. Louis.

Mikael Moore ’04, former chief of staff and grandson of Congresswoman Maxine Waters, has been named managing partner of Wondaland Management, a strategic branding and media firm that lists White House favorite Janelle Monae as one of its biggest partners and clients.

Jean-Alfred Thomas II ’03 has accepted the position of chief resident (assistant chief of internal medicine) for the academic year beginning July 1, 2015, with the Department of Internal Medicine at St. Louis University School of Medicine. He received his M.D. from St. Louis University Medical School and a fellowship in urological cancer research at Duke University.

Benjamin Jones ’05, a television writer and producer, has joined the writing staff of the ABC Family series “Chasing Life.” He has been tapped to produce an upcoming episode. Prior to screenwriting, he worked on Wall Street as a communications executive and speechwriter. Jimmie L. “J Metro” Moore Jr. ’06 released two Billboard singles, “Alcoholic Logic” and “My People.” He is a singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and poet. His music has elements of funk, jazz, pop, rock and soul.

MARRIAGES Joe Carlos III ’04 married La’Keitha Daniels, a graduate of Clark Atlanta University, in a ceremony held in Coconut Grove, Fla. Carlos and Daniels met through a mutual friend, Roger S. Humphrey ’03. The couple was married by The Rev. John J. Cox ’03 in a New Year’s Eve ceremony. There were also several Morehouse Men among the attendants: Antoy Bell ’00, Kasi David ’01, Ronald C. Falls ’00, Roger S. Humphrey ’03, Ray Jones ’04, J.C. Love III ’01, Malaki Sims ’00 and Faraji Whalen ’01. MOREHOUSE MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE


John David Washington ’06 landed his first major acting role in the HBO pilot, “Ballers,” a half-hour dramedy that chronicles the lives of several Miami-based athletes. He will play the role of Ricky, a highly competitive and highly spiritual pro athlete. Artesuis Miller ’09 was granted a five-year, startup charter by the Clayton County (Ga.) Board of Education for the Utopian Academy for the Arts. Miller is the academy founder and chairman of the sevenmember founding board.

2010s Derric Studamire ’13 founded Infinity Club Investment Group, an organization that helps young adults succeed in their careers by becoming more financially literate.


PASSAGES R. Roosevelt Thomas ’66 Pioneered Diversity Research and Development

FOR MORE THAN 28 years, R. Roosevelt Thomas ’66 was at the forefront of developing and implementing innovative concepts and strategies for maximizing organizational and individual potential through diversity management. He died on May 17, 2013, after collapsing at his home in Decatur, Ga. He was 68. Thomas was the CEO of Roosevelt Thomas Consulting & Training, Inc. He was the author of seven published books—his most recent, World Class Diversity Management: A Strategic Approach. He consulted with numerous Fortune 500 companies, professional firms, government entities, nonprofit organizations and academic institutions. He helped develop and implement the Coca-Cola Co.’s Diversity Leadership Training Academy of Atlanta in 2000, and was constantly sought out by businesses looking to change their corporate culture. He also was frequently asked to speak at national conferences and industry seminars. He was the first to define diversity as not only encompassing race, ethnicity and gender, but also sexual orientation, age, geographic origins and educational background. Widely lauded by his accomplishments, Thomas was recognized by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top 10 consultants in the country; elected as a Fellow by the National Academy of Human Resources; cited by Human Resource Executive as one of HR’s Most Influential People; awarded the “Distinguished Contribution to Human Resources Development” Award by the American Society of Training and Development; honored with the “Trailblazers in Diversity” Award by Bennett College; and designated an Inaugural “Legends of Diversity” Honoree by the International Society of Diversity and Inclusion Professionals. Thomas graduated from Morehouse in 1966 with Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude honors in mathematics and education. He completed his MBA in finance at The University of Chicago and returned to Atlanta to teach economics, finance and accounting at Morehouse. In the summer of 1970, he enrolled in the doctoral program at Harvard Business School, where he earned the doctorate of business administration (organizational

behavior degree) and subsequently served as an assistant professor in the Harvard Business School MBA Program. After five years of teaching at Harvard, Thomas decided to explore management consulting. In the early 1980s, he was tapped to be the associate dean, then executive dean, and finally dean of the Atlanta University Graduate School of Business Administration. The school’s excellent academic reputation produced a record number of sought-after graduates by corporate America. He later accepted the post of secretary of the College at Morehouse. During that time, he began his pioneering work in diversity, founding the American Institute for Managing Diversity in 1984. It was believed, at that time, to be the nation’s first research and management development institute devoted to the upward mobility of minorities and women, according to a 1985 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article. Thomas was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on May 24, 1944. On June 26, 1971, he married Ruby L. Jones. The couple had three children.

Mary Robinson Spivey ’33, Last Surviving Female Graduate, Dies at 99

MARY CECELIA Robinson Spivey ’33, the last surviving female graduate of Morehouse College, died February 22, 2014. She was 99. Along with being the College’s sole living female graduate, Spivey was the oldest graduate to attend the 2011 Commencement, where she was presented with a replacement diploma. “Morehouse is a place that gave you drive,” she was quoted in a Morehouse article soon after. “Nobody had to drive you to do it. You do it on your own. And I got that at Morehouse. They taught you at Morehouse and I think they are still doing the same thing today, because the College has turned out a lot of good men.” Spivey became interested in attending Morehouse after she learned her mother had taken a few firstaid and nursing courses at the College around 1909. Family records indicate Spivey began her college studies when she was 15 and graduated when she was 19 with the class of 1933. Spivey was the last living member Continued on next page COMMEMORATIVE INAUGURATION INAUGURATION ISSUE ISSUE 2014 2014 COMMEMORATIVE


ALUMNI NEWS of a group of 33 women who enrolled in and graduated from Morehouse between 1929 and 1933. An Atlanta native, Spivey also earned a master’s degree from Atlanta University and completed further graduate studies at Peabody College, The University of Chicago and Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University). Spivey enjoyed a long and successful career in education. Among her accomplishments, she was named Teacher of the Year by the Atlanta Public Schools. Additionally, she was lauded at Selma College for giving her time and efforts toward Selma’s certification as a four-year institution. She was married to Elijah Spivey for 25 years until his death in 1974. They had one daughter. William “Bill” C. Brummell Jr. ’67, an attorney who was active on the local political scene of South Orange, N.J., passed away on April 11, 2014. A memorial service was held on April 22, 2014, at St. Matthew A.M.E. Church in Orange, N.J. Ritualistic services of the Links and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., were rendered during the service. Born in Louisville, Ky., Brummell was a resident of South Orange for 39 years. He served the community as a practicing attorney for 44 years. Brummell leaves behind his wife, Jeanette, a Spelman College alumna; two children, Alea Riley and William C. Brummell III; a grandchild, Brynne Alexandra Riley; a son-in-law, Larry Riley Jr., and a brother, Joseph E. Brummell. Vernon Maurice Stephens ’97 passed away on Friday, April 11, in Jacksonville, Fla. He leaves behind his wife, Andrea, and two children— daughter, Skyla, and son, Vernon Campbell.

MOREHOUSE COLLEGE NATIONAL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 2012-2014 OFFICERS MCNAA is an independent 501c3 organization. Kevin R. McGee ‘93 President Emanuel Payton ‘85 Vice President-at-Lange Earl Nero ‘72 Executive Director Michael J. Brooken, Jr. ‘94 Treasurer Carlton Collins ’11 Secretary Thomas N. Scott ’84 Financial Secretary James D. Henry ‘61 General Counsel Alvin H. Darden ‘72 College Representative Henry M. Goodgame, Jr. ’84 Director, Alumni Relations

REGION I-IX VICE PRESIDENTS Don McCarthy ‘89 Vice President, Region I Vice President, Region II VACANT Melvin D. Caldwell, Jr. ’75 Vice President, Region III 11312 Treebark Drive Pineville, NC 28134 Mark W. Hill ’67 Vice President, Region IV 103 Persimmon Circle Reisterstown, MD 21136 George W. Thompson ’66 Vice President, Region VI 597 Viking Drive East Saint Paul, MN 55117 Corey E. Thomas ‘93 Vice President, Region VII 920 South Commerce Street #309 Little Rock, AR 72202 Donald E. Long ’64 Vice President, Region VIII 7950 Alida Street LaMesa, CA 91942 Michael Bryant ’87 Vice President, Region IX





Road Taken




Our name means the world to us… We are proud to mark the 100th anniversary of the naming of Morehouse College in 1913 in honor of Henry L. Morehouse, the corresponding secretary of the Northern Baptist Home Mission Society. “Morehouse challenges us to have a social conscience. When you think this way, you can’t help but to want to make a positive impact on the world, as well as positively influence others.” -James Bernard Pratt Jr. ‘13




For more than a century, thousands of our graduates have made strides in industries ranging from ministry to medicine, from arts to athletics, living up to a world-recognized distinction: Morehouse Man. Morehouse College gratefully acknowledges every alumnus and student whose leadership and contribution to local, national and global communities serve to make our good name even better.

Morehouse Memories This invitation and schedule of events from 1949 show how Commencement and reunion activities were collaborative events for Atlanta University Center schools. Morehouse, Spelman and Atlanta University held a combined Baccalaureate program in Sisters Chapel.

The colleges held separate commencements, with Morehouse’s being held in Sale Hall.

• In January 2013, Morehouse became the first historically black college or university to partner with the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, one of the nation’s most renowned merit scholarship programs. Only 300 students at 24 colleges and universities are in the program, which has produced two Rhodes Scholars since 2004. • The Howard G. Buffett Foundation gave $1 million in 2013 to start the Rugari Scholars Program, which provides full scholarships to students from the Great Lakes Region in Africa. The students are to obtain leadership skills to take back to the region once they graduate. • The Cinema, Television and Emerging Media Studies Program launched in 2012. The program prepares students to be storytellers and media consumers of film and television and offers them a foundation for graduate-level study and/or professional careers in the industry.

Morehouse Magazine Commemorative Inauguration Issue | 2014