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Kevin R. McGee '93 President Donald E. Pollard '95 Vice President-at-Large Earl Nero '72 Executive Director Michael J. Brooken, Jr. '94 Treasurer Guy B. Richardson ‘79 Secretary Thomas N. Scott ’84 Financial Secretary James D. Henry ‘61 General Counsel Jeffrey L. Riddle ‘90 Parliamentarian Alvin H. Darden ‘72 College Representative Henry M. Goodgame, Jr. ’84 Director, Alumni Relations REGION I-IX VICE PRESIDENTS Vice President, Region I VACANT 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 Charles H. Neal ’64 Vice President, Region V 13957 Stahelin Detroit, MI 48223 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 Vice President, Region IX VACANT




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SPECIAL REPORT: RESOURCING THE RENAISSANCE To ensure that the College maintains its top position and sustain its strong financial foundation, President Robert M. Franklin ’75 has put into action an unprecedented plan to “future” his renaissance vision. To help turn vision into reality, he assembled a panel of influential thought leaders and fundraisers who will help chart the College’s course into the 21st century.


IN PERSON As a child, Mario Ball ’07 would buy a bag of chips to snack on. But he didn’t just consume the chips, he also analytically digested the bag’s material. His youthful curiosity—coupled with an insatiable desire to succeed—has led to a remarkable career as a clinical engineer.


OF SYMBOLS AND SYMPHONIES The gleaming new Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building is home to the Department of Music and the renowned Morehouse College Glee Club. The long-awaited building opens to fanfare and reflection on the music legends whose visions and dreams formed its foundation.


MEN OF SONG For one hundred years, the Morehouse College Glee Club has garnered international acclaim not only for its musicality, but also for its band of brotherhood. Renowned the world over for their repertoire, elocution and decorum, members of yesteryear and today represent the quintessential Morehouse Renaissance Man.


FOUNDER’S DAY 2011 A slate of activities--from the gala of galas to concerts to a symposium–commemorated the 144th anniversary of the College’s founding.

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The atrium of The Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building.


Photo by Add Seymour Jr.

“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 an awakening to their capacity for integrity, compassion, civility and leadership.

Resource the Renaissance Give online at

p r e s i d e n t ’s m e s s a g e

Progress Requires Passionate and Dedicated Individuals e have culminated another exciting year in the life of the College. During the spring semester, we paid tribute to our founders in proud fashion and, during the week of festivities, convened our Renaissance Commission. This forward-thinking team met and continued assessing strategic methods to help the College reach its long-term fundraising goals. In addition to honoring our founding fathers, the 2011 Founder’s Day observance was special because it provided the opportunity to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our remarkable Morehouse College Glee Club. The gentlemen who make up this tremendous musical ensemble continually demonstrate their commitment to quality. Not only are they skilled masters of song, but they are commendable scholars and ambassadors par excellence for the College. As a community, we are pleased—and grateful—that the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building serves as the Glee Club’s home and, soon, will become renowned for being one of the premier cultural arts venues in the Southeast. It is my hope that, as you read this issue of Morehouse Magazine, you will recognize the extent to which Morehouse College has progressed in the 144 years since its founding. It is also my hope that you will—in some meaningful way—feel compelled to support the rich and varied academic and cultural initiatives that the College undertakes, both as a service to its students and as a community partner that is committed to being an institutional change agent. To paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr. ’48, progress is not inevitable. It requires an investment on the part of passionate and dedicated individuals. Morehouse is fortunate that its community is comprised of men and women who are passionate about the advancement of the College and are willing to give of themselves to ensure that our progress never stagnates. For that, I offer abundant thanks.



”Morehouse is fortunate that its community is comprised of men and women who are passionate about the advancement of the College and are willing to give of themselves to ensure that our progress never stagnates.”

Robert M. Franklin Jr. ’75


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“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. Resource the Renaissance Give online at


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e d i t o r ’s n o t e s


Something to Sing About Robert M. Franklin ’75 President

Dear Friends:


n November 1999, I attended my first Christmas Carol Concert as a staff member. I had heard the Morehouse College Glee Club perform several times before, but half way through the concert, I knew there was something very different about this performance for me. As the mother of twin daughters who sing in several choirs, I was accustomed to hearing young women’s voices raised in song. But, as I sat there listening to these talented young men, the music and their voices seemed to vibrate deep in my soul. I found myself in tears. That evening, I realized that this was my Glee Club now. I felt the kind of pride that parents feel watching their children in their first ballet or little league baseball game. I was full in the presence of the awesome talent of these young men. Fast forward to February 2011 ... the faces have changed, but the standard of excellence continues. As I sat in the balcony of King Chapel listening to the Glee Club’s 100th Anniversary Celebration Concert, I felt the same overwhelming pride when more than 200 Glee Club alumni lent their voices to the finale of this historic concert. I knew then that the quality of the voices is a reflection of the Morehouse brotherhood. In this issue of Morehouse Magazine, we take a look at the bond and harmony that are unique to the world-renowned Morehouse College Glee Club (see story on page 49). When Kemper Harreld established the Music Department and organized the Glee Club in 1911, Sale Hall was the premier venue on campus. Earlier this academic year, David Morrow ’80, the Glee Club’s third director in 100 years, had the distinct pleasure of opening the $20-million Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building. This new state-of-the-art facility is now home to the Glee Club and the several hundred other students majoring in music or performing in one of the College’s three performance groups (see cover story on page 42). For more than 34 years, former Glee Club member Calvin Grimes ’62 had an influence on every facet of music at Morehouse. As professor of music theory, chair of the Music Department and dean of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, he put his heart and soul into inspiring the next generation of musicians. In April, Morehouse lost a giant in Grimes. Van Fortson ’91 offers a moving tribute to the man he calls mentor, friend and brother (see page 57). Melvin Jones ’01 is also a testament to the living legacy of Grimes. He recounts the impact of the man who encouraged him to follow his passion in “The Road Taken” on page 66. And the beat goes on... Keep Reading,

Toni O’Neal Mosley Executive Editor

Weldon Jackson ’72 Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Phillip Howard ’87 Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Toni O’Neal Mosley Executive Editor and Director of Public Relations

STAFF Editor Writer Contributing Writers

Vickie G. Hampton Add Seymour Jr. Nicolas B. Aziz ‘11 Gerren K. Gaynor ‘11 Kevin Mallory 11 Shandra Hill Smith In the News Elise Durham Class Notes Julie Pinkney Tongue Contributing Photographers Philip McCollum James Robinson Graphic Design Glennon Design Group Administrative Assistant Minnie Jackson Web Vince Baskerville Hana Chelikowsky Kara Walker

Morehouse Magazine is published by Morehouse College, Office of Communications, Division 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. Send to: Morehouse Magazine Editor, Morehouse College, Office of Communications, 830 Westview Dr., S.W., Atlanta, GA 30314 E-mail: Fax: 404-215-2729 Change of Address and Class Notes:

Morehouse College is the nation’s largest liberal arts college for men. The 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.


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Two Streets Renamed to Commemorate Atlanta Student Movement By Vickie G. Hampton


IFTY YEARS AGO, Lonnie King ’69 was a foot soldier in the civil rights movement, canvassing the streets that connected Atlanta University Center schools as he recruited for the non-violent Atlanta Student Movement. The movement grew from lunch counter sit-ins to a boycott of downtown Atlanta shops and restaurants. It dealt a blow to Atlanta’s Jim Crow laws and triggered one of the nation’s most significant movements for social change. Because of King and 4,000 other AUC students’ historic stance against segregation and racial injustice, two AUC-area streets now have been renamed to pay homage to their accomplishments. Fair Street from Northside Drive to Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard has been renamed Atlanta Student Movement Boulevard, and SNCC Way is the new moniker for Raymond Street. But King, who went on to serve as SNCC chairman, does not want to stop there. As the Morehouse representative on a commission established in August 2010 to plan the commemo-

From left: Civil rights activist Julian Bond ’71, Atlanta City Councilmemeber Michael Julian Bond and civil rights activist Lonnie King ’69

ration of the student movement, he insists more must be done in Atlanta and on AUC campuses to honor the students. “We have to do more than just change a street name,” King said. “All of the [AUC] institutions need to rededicate themselves to bringing forth this legacy. “The 22 people on the commission will do their best to address this oversight of our city founders and others by making more visible representation of what those young people did 50 years ago.” ■

U.S. Postal Service Unveils Barbara Jordan Stamp in King Chapel THE UNITED STATES Postal Service unveiled the latest stamp in its Black Heritage Series, this one honoring the late U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan, during a ceremony in the lobby of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. “It is fitting that we stand in this building to pay tribute to Barbara Jordan, an ardent justice fighter, for her monumental contributions to the improvement of the human condition,” said President Robert M. Franklin ’75. Jordan was the first African American to serve in the Texas state Senate since Reconstruction, the first African American woman from a Southern state to serve in the U.S. Congress and in 1976 was the first African American woman to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. “Her record of success ensures equal rights and social justice for countless numbers of people,” said Kate Wiley, Atlanta district manager for the U.S. Postal Service. “Her legacy will carry on for generations to come.” The stamp is the 34th in the U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage Series (the fourth unveiled at Morehouse) honoring African Americans such as alumnus Martin Luther King Jr. ’48, Harriet Tubman and Oscar Micheaux. ■ MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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President Robert M. Franklin ’75 and U.S. Postal Service Atlanta District Manager Kate Wiley


High Honors Newsweek Names Morehouse One of Nation’s Top Service-Minded Institutions

Washington Monthly Names Morehouse Nation’s No. 1 Liberal Arts College

FOR RICHARD WILLIAMS, going out into the community to serve others – be it mentoring high school students or serving food to the homeless – is not something used to pad his resume. The junior psychology major said it is a welcomed part of being a man of Morehouse. “When you arrive at Morehouse, you are told that you have a responsibility to the world,” he said. “It’s really a culture.” Williams, a volunteer with the College’s Bonner Office of Community Service, is a prime example of why Morehouse was named by Newsweek magazine as one of the nation’s Top 25 Schools for the ServiceMinded in its annual College Rankings: The Best Schools in America issue. The magazine focused on the nation’s top institutions, particularly those with high academic standards and a wide range of degree programs. The editors looked at colleges and universities that prepared students to be successful educationally, socially and in other aspects of life. “Morehouse College is a school steeped in tradition – including a long history of service,” the article states. “Morehouse men are all about giving back to their community. A residential campus within a city of 500,000, 75 percent of the student body volunteers.” Williams, who is from Moncks Corner, S.C., mentored Atlanta high school students this summer. He also is a campus organizer for Advocates For Youth, a Washington, D.C.based organization that educates young men about sexual health and education. Helping others is something Williams and other Morehouse students take seriously. “Community organizations and people volunteering to help had a direct effect on my life,” he said. “I feel like now I have a personal responsibility to do the same.” To see all of the rankings, go to

MOREHOUSE IS THE NATION’S best liberal arts college, according to Washington Monthly’s 2010 College Guide. The magazine’s editors picked Morehouse No. 1 based on their emphasis on social mobility, research and service to the country. “Morehouse enrolls an unusually large number of low-income men, graduates most of them, makes significant contributions to research and has an active ROTC program,” wrote the Washington Monthly editors in the magazine. Second was Bryn Mawr College, while Swathmore College was third. Spelman College ranked ninth.

U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Princeton Review and the Huffington Post also laud College U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT has chosen Morehouse the nation’s third best historically black college, while Forbes magazine picked Morehouse one of “America’s Best Colleges” for the third consecutive year. The Princeton Review named Morehouse one of the Southeast’s best colleges. In May 2010, the Huffington Post named Morehouse in its list of “most grueling” colleges. Also making the grade were MIT, Johns Hopkins, University of Chicago, Caltech and the U.S. Naval Academy. The Huffington Post wrote that Morehouse made the list because of its commitment to upholding standards of excellence, as well as its reputation for having notoriously difficult pre-med courses. “It’s always good to be among the best company, so those rankings certainly confirm our brand,” said Weldon Jackson ’72, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “It reinvigorates all of us who work here because obviously what we do is having the right benefit.” ■

To view the full list of colleges and universities ranked by Washington Monthly magazine, go to

HBCUs Graduates Do Better Long Term in the Job Market Than Non-HBCU Grads STUDENTS FROM historically black colleges and universities do better long term in the labor market than nonHBCU grads, according to a new study by economics chairman Gregory Price and two Howard University economists. Their findings, published in the latest edition of The Review of Black Political Economy, consider the returns of earning a baccalaureate degree from an HBCU relative to a non-HBCU for black Americans. Their article counters a 2010 study that determined long-term returns of graduating from an HBCU were negative. “Our results lend support to the idea that HBCUs continue to have a compelling educational justification, as the labor market outcomes of their graduates are superior to what they would have been had they graduated from a non-HBCU,” said Price and the two other economists, William Spiggs and Omari Swinton. They also suggest “…HBCU graduates realize higher earnings relative to non-HBCU graduates. As such, our results lend support to the idea that HBCUs have a comparative advantage in nurturing the self-image, self-esteem and identity of graduates, which theoretically matters for labor market outcomes.” To download and read this article, go to content/63gq601620k9933k/. To read a story from The Chronicle of Higher Education about the economists’ article, go to blogs/innovations/the-returns-onan-hbcu-education/29217. ■ –AS S P R I N G

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insidethehouse In First Ever HBCU Appearance, CIA Director Leon Panetta Says Agency Must Reflect the World’s Diversity


he U.S. Central Intelligence Agency must reflect the world’s diversity, CIA director Leon Panetta told an audience at Morehouse on March 15, 2011, in the Bank of America Auditorium. “We’ve got to look like the rest of this nation. It isn’t just because it is morally right. It also happens to be important to our mission to get good intelligence,” he said. “We have got to be an intelligence agency that looks like the world that we have got to engage in.” That’s why Panetta is urging minority students at colleges such as Morehouse to consider a career with the CIA. In his first HBCU appearance, Panetta said his goal is to increase the number of minorities working for the CIA to 30 percent, up from the current 22 percent. The lecture, part of the College’s Leadership Lecture Series, served as an introduction to the agency’s mission. “In order to enjoy the freedom and the opportunity this country offers, we’ve got to be able to provide for the security of our

CIA director Leon Panetta talking to students.

people,” Panetta said. “You can’t be free without being secure. I want [students] to know it, understand it and hopefully be a part of it.” Panetta believes Morehouse’s emphasis on developing future leaders who are well-read, well-traveled, well-spoken, well-dressed and well-balanced provides the perfect foundation for a CIA officer. “That’s exactly the kind of person I want to work at the Central Intelligence Agency,” he said. “We are one family in this world, and nobody understands this better than the students here at Morehouse.” ■

Portrait of Activism The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery and his wife, Evelyn Gibson Lowery, were both awarded the Gandhi-KingIkeda Community Builders Prize during Easter Sunday, April 2011. Their portrait, unveiled during the service, will hang in the International Hall of Honor in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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Education Secretary Urges Students to Become Teachers By Add Seymour Jr.


hen Derrick Dalton grew up, education didn’t hold the same importance each day at his house as did just getting by. “I was from a household where education was not a priority,” he told a capacityaudience in the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center during the “Just Another Day at the Office” town hall meeting on the importance of teachers in America. “But I had teachers along the way who helped,” said Dalton, now the principal at Mundy’s Mill High School in suburban Atlanta. “I made a decision that I would make a difference in the lives of people like myself.” It is a story that Dalton—along with Atlanta teacher Christopher Watson, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, filmmaker Shelton “Spike” Lee ’79, MSNBC’s Jeff Johnson, President Robert M. Franklin ’75 and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan—hopes can resonate in young black men. Sponsored by Morehouse College and the U.S. Department of Education, the town hall meeting was part of a national initiative to get more black males interested in becoming educators, especially in the communities where they are most needed. “The biggest impact of a child’s success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom,” said President Barack Obama during his taped remarks at the beginning of the program. “Right now, too few Americans are choosing to make that impact, especially in the African American community... That

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan holds court with students.

needs to change. I can’t think of a better place to begin that conversation than at Morehouse at the beginning of Black History Month,” said President Obama. Less than three percent of the nation’s teachers are persons of color during a time when black children need black teachers as mentors and role models, Duncan said. “The facts are pretty stark,” he said. “We have to make sure our teachers and principals reflect the great diversity of this country. Right now, that is not the case.” According to Lewis, who recalled having to elude racists to get to school as a youngster, having black teachers is paramount to the success of young black men. “It is important to see black males in our schools teaching,” he said. “If it weren’t for Martin Luther King Jr. and black teachers encouraging me to read, I wouldn’t be in Congress today.” Duncan said with an aging teaching workforce, up to 200,000 new teachers will need to be hired each year. Black men can serve their country by becoming teachers. “If we are going to do the right thing by our communities, by our families, by our men, by our country, we have to change this,”

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

he said. “I think the men of Morehouse will be a huge part of the solution.” Franklin said those men of Morehouse —many who sat in the audience in maroon Morehouse blazers—are preparing for those roles as mentors. He hopes their spirit will be something other young men across the nation will emulate. “What’s important is character education – to be a man who is good and right and decent and who does the right thing even when no one is looking,” Franklin said. “Ultimately, that is the test of a good education.” ■ S P R I N G

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Sir Salman Rushdie

Ambassador Andrew Young

Author Salman Rushdie and Ambassador Andrew Young Discuss Politics and Religion By Add Seymour Jr.

who was issued a fatwa, or death sentence, after angering many Muslims with his 1988 book The Satanic Verses. Young added: “We have moved from a place where nobody talked about religion to a place where President Barack Obama has to profess his religion or they’d think that he was a Muslim.” Before the discussion, Rushdie told a group of Morehouse students that the situation in Libya “is a mess.” “The people who rose up against [Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi] were not able to resist the enormous military strength that he released against them,” he said. “And they asked the West for help… So there’s a sense where you can see this as a humanitarian mission [by the United States], but of course, these things have a way of getting messy. “ So the question is what’s the [United States’] goal?” Rushdie asked. “How [does the United States] get out of it? Clearly the hope is that the revolutionaries, when they’re relieved of the problem of air attack and tank attack, might be able to regroup and regain territory it lost. The worry is that it becomes a messy, drawn out thing--which nobody wants.” ■

“We have moved from a place where nobody talked about religion to a place where President Barack Obama has to profess his religion or they’d think that he was a Muslim.”

oung people protesting old regimes in Egypt and Tunisia is a good sign for citizens of those north African countries, author and Emory University distinguishedwriter-in-residence Sir Salman Rushdie told a Morehouse audience. “This is a moment of great optimism because it’s people taking faith in their own paths,” he said. “It shows…that [they] don’t have to be jihadists and that they can actually change their lives this way.” Sponsored by Morehouse, Emory University and The Andrew Young Foundation, Rushdie’s views were part of a conversation with former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young during a Crown Forum conversation in March 2011 held in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. Their discussion delved into a range of topics related to democracy and globalization, such as U.S. relations with India, poverty and religion. “The idea that religion would return to become a central theme of global politics was unthinkable [in the 1960s]. You couldn’t imagine it,” said Rushdie, who many know as the writer


 To view this event, go to MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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Freshmen Receive Maroon Blazers as a Symbol of the Morehouse Mystique


even hundred Morehouse freshmen sat inside the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel—forming rows of distinguished young men from all over the world— in white dress shirts and matching maroon and white ties. “I wish the world could see this,” said President Robert M. Franklin ’75. The occasion was one of the newer traditions installed by Franklin: the presentation of “The Coat of the Mystique.” Each group of freshmen since Franklin became president in 2007 has received a single-breasted, maroon blazer, which is emblazoned with the school seal.

“This blazer is a symbol of unity in a world that expects so little of men. When we come together, we declare that the Morehouse brotherhood is real. When people see two or three or more of you in your blazers, it is art. It is hope.” William Bynum, vice president for Student Services, explained how the specially made wool jacket needed to be cared for and for what occasions the men needed to wear the blazer (Opening Convocation, Homecoming Crown Forum, Commencement, Founder’s Day and other special events). “Wear it when you want to

visually show the world that you are prepared to live up to the ideals of Morehouse,” he said. “So anytime you don that blazer, you have to don that

mindset. That’s when you visually say to the world, ‘I am Morehouse College. I am a Renaissance Man.’” ■ –AS

Keeping Pace with Breast Cancer Awareness SANDRAWALKER, (2nd to left, holding banner) director of Administrative Services and Special Projects, who founded and has organized each walk with the Counseling Research Center’s Mary Peaks (2nd to right, holding banner), leads a band of nearly 350 participants in the 11th Annual Morehouse College Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in October 2010. This event raised $16,265.86, bringing the grand total that the College has contributed to the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” since its inception in 1999 to $181,265. ■


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insidethehouse ELLC Looks to Strengthen Organizations Helping Young Black Males By Add Seymour Jr. (LOS ANGELES) – What is the plight of African American boys and young men in south central Los Angeles? Charisse Bremond Weaver, head of Brotherhood Crusade, a non-profit organization that works with at-risk young black men in that area, answers that with a story. “We took 75 young men on a retreat and the question was asked, ‘How many of you young men have a relationship with your father?’” she said. “Five of them raised their hands. If you don’t know that there is a crisis, there is your answer. We do not have enough black men as leaders in the community. It’s about leadership.” Leadership is the issue that has united The Leadership Center at Morehouse College, the Weingart Foundation, The California Endowment, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the office of Mark Thomas-Ridley, second district supervisor for Los Angeles County. They formed the Empowering Leadership in Local Communities (ELLC) initiative, spearheaded by Morehouse President Robert M. Franklin ’75. The ELLC uses the Ethical Leadership Model – developed and used by The Leadership Center – to teach south central L.A non-profit organizations how to address their own infrastructure issues and better equip them to deal with the problems facing young black males in their area.

Los Angeles is home to one largest Morehouse bases and is one of the College’s top student feeders. Five south central L.A. community organizations will be selected to spend a week at Morehouse in June 2011 for a retreat to be trained in the Ethical Leadership Model. They will then draft an implementation plan for their respective organizations. Their results will be analyzed and then used to expand the program throughout California and then nationally. “We’re talking about a message of hope for young people,” said Melvinia King, interim executive director of The Leadership Center. “The model is based on three points: character, civility and community. The theory is that we have to be intentional on focusing on boys and young men of color…but you have to have the infrastructure in place to make this happen.” The initiative’s early stages have been funded by The California Endowment, which presented the College with $150,000 during the Morehouse College Glee Club’s February concert in L.A.; a $100,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and a $15,000 grant from The Weingart Foundation. A breakfast was held in Los Angeles in April to introduce the ELLC to nearly 20 community organizations. From that group will come the five – selected by ELLC leaders – that will be trained at Morehouse. ■


Sophomores Invite the Homeless to the ‘House AS A FRESHMAN, Denarius Frazier remembers going to a local soup kitchen to feed the homeless. That’s when he knew he was going to devote more time to feeding those who are hungry. This year, he and fellow sophomores Ahmad Barber and Tre’vell Anderson put together “It’s On the House,” an effort to provide meals, music and haircuts – all free of charge – to the less fortunate in Archer Hall on Nov. 17, 2010. “I truly love helping the homeless, especially in Atlanta—which has some of the highest rates of homelessness in America,” Frazier said. “We were going to spend Thanksgiving here in Atlanta together, so we decided to plan a dinner for others who may not be as fortunate. We came up with the name ‘It’s On the House’ because we wanted the homeless MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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Morehouse sophmores along with the Sophmore Court on the serving line.

and the surrounding community to embrace Morehouse and Morehouse to embrace them.” The three enlisted other Morehouse students to help by walking around the West End community, handing out fliers, walking down alleys and under bridges to tell the area’s homeless community that

Morehouse would be providing meals, free haircuts and even music. “People were loving the fact that they could go downstairs and get a haircut,” Barber said. “They heard their favorite songs from the old-school era and they truly felt at home. They didn’t want to leave.” Anderson said approximately 175 people turned out for the event. “Just having the opportunity to give someone a meal they may not otherwise get, it gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you’re the reason that they are happy,” he said. “With ‘It’s On the House,’ they really had the opportunity to sit down and enjoy themselves. They had people catering to them, bringing them drinks and seconds. It was really an opportunity to forget about all their struggles and the problems they may be having, just for one night.” ■ –AS

insidethehouse KEEPING IT VIRTUAL To Tweet or to Tumblr? Understanding the Question By Vince J. Baskerville Editors Note: At Morehouse, we are enhancing our relationships with alumni, current and prospective students, faculty, staff, and College supporters through the incredible and immediate powers of virtual mediums. This new column will explain how the College is helping us stay connected to you with technology and advances that make us virtually ubiquitous.


any social media services have become affixed to our vocabulary in pretty much the same way we now use Google and Xerox as verbs. “Tweet it!” is now as familiar as “Google that!” and “Xerox these for me, please.”

Follow Us On Twitter Twitter is a live stream of social conversations. It’s very concise: every tweet is restricted to 140 characters. This includes any links to other websites or media files you would share with your friends or “followers.” There are copious reasons why people use Twitter. Some are looking to get into blogging, but may not be sold on the level of commitment it takes to do so. Instead, they use Twitter to notify friends and colleagues of personal or professional information. Because of how fast many of us consume information, Twitter is a great place to ask questions to whomever

may be listening, exclaim happiness or vexation, and keep current with events. Here at Morehouse, we have a main official Twitter account: @Morehouse. It’s used primarily as a semi-formal, bidirectional conversational tool to publicize official events, announcements, functions and news. Recently, we’ve used it to promote the 8th Annual Health & Fitness Fair and to announce that we’re now streaming Crown Forum for mobile devices. @Morehouse is the face of the institution on Twitter. Another official secondary account is @Morehouse_vb. Twitter is powerful and, with its 140character limit, forces concise and creative posts. However, there are times when we need to produce much longer content. For updates that can’t possibly fit within the limitations of Twitter, we have a Tumblr account(

Tumblr Along With Us Tumblr posts can have as much or as little text as the author pleases. Even better, you can publish images, audio, and video

@ Tw @M Mor itte mo or or ehou r reh e ou Tu hous se m se b e_ vb lr vb .Tu mb SE ND lr.c om

files directly within a post (a tweet must link to a separate service to view multimedia content). There are two main features that help distinguish Tumblr from Twitter, as well as regular blogs. First, unlike with traditional blogs, people aren’t able to comment on posts made via Tumblr. There are, however, ways to converse with individual posts. If you ask a question on the last line, you have the option of allowing people to reply back with answers and/or photos. Users can also, in a round-about way, ‘repost’—which is similar to quoting someone else, and eventually adding your own comment to the top of the post. This slight limitation helps keep the author’s post at the epicenter. Second, users are not left alone in their own silos while making entries. This means that they are able to ‘follow’ one another, which then aggregates that person’s post to their dashboard. With traditional blogs, users can get lost in a crowd. Imagine a town of 100 people in their individual houses. In order to see what the townspeople have done recently, you have to walk to each person’s home, one by one. With Tumblr, the same 100 people are in one giant warehouse with a central bulletin board that updates everyone’s information in real time. To see what’s new, instead of going house to house, you go to the bulletin board—ala dashboard. It’s easier and faster to build a community in Tumblr than with blogs (as long as a majority of those users also use Tumblr). ■ Vince Baskerville is multi-media developer in the Office of Communications. Follow him on Twitter at @morehouse_vb or on Tumblr at S P R I N G

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“I am somebody. I’ve used that expression, ‘I am somebody,’ for 40 years now. [Howard Thurman’s] book, Jesus and the Disinherited, said simply that we’ve lost it all and all is taken away from us…reduced to our irreducible essence, we are still somebody.”

Men of Morehouse were repeatedly given the message— by everyone from executives and activists to well-known entertainers—that, with greater opportunities come greater responsibility to lead.

—Jesse Jackson Civil Rights Activist, Howard Thurman Crown Forum; King Chapel; November 2010

“It’s all about personal conviction. You must have a strong desire to do the right thing… Ethics is not a spectator sport. Everybody must participate and nobody can sit on the sidelines.”

—James Bell

Corporate president, CFO and executive vice president, The Boeing Company; Leadership Lecture Series; Bank of America Auditorium; August 2010

“The [civil rights] culture showed a determination of purpose and upward mobility. The culture of this generation shows the opposite. That’s the challenge – to turn around the cultural implosion and the inferiority complex of young blacks…. You’re not responsible for being down. You’re responsible for getting up. If you’re down, don’t relax. Don’t celebrate it. If you’re down, get up.”

“Who you share your heart, your time and space with is a direct reflection of who you are…There are so many different ways of furthering who you are, your dreams, your visions, your ideas from surrounding yourself with the right circle of five (friends).”


Entertainer, speaking to Morehouse sophomores and juniors, April 2011

—Al Sharpton President of the National Action Network; Leadership Crown Forum; Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel; October 2010

“You should know you have that power to change the world, just like the people in Egypt who are risking their lives, just like the people who came before you in this institution who risked their lives to end racial apartheid in this country. Just like those people, you have the power. Amnesty International exists for only one reason, which is to help you use that power to make a different kind of world where your kids will be better off than you are.”

—Larry Cox

Amnesty International USA executive director; Internationalization Crown Forum in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel Feburary 2011 MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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peopleatthehouse Anne Wimbush Watts Receives Atlanta’s Highest Honor, The Phoenix Award By Add Seymour Jr. ANNE WIMBUSH WATTS figured her afternoon was done after she finished a speech at Atlanta’s Rush Memorial Congregational Church on Sunday, Sept. 12. Little did Watts, the College’s associate vice president for Academic Affairs, know that her day was about to take a surprising turn. “They were up at the podium and talking about this person who seemed to have really done quite a bit,” Watts said. “I said, ‘Wow, that’s a great person.’” Actually, Watts was that person. Unbeknownst to her, officials from the city of Atlanta were at the church to present Watts with The Phoenix Award, the city’s highest honor. It goes to Atlantans who have made outstanding contributions to the city and citizens of Atlanta. “I just started crying. I lost it,” she said. “I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d be so honored.”

Besides providing academic leadership for Morehouse faculty and students, Watts also has often offered her expertise on topics such as public speaking and technical writing to churches, community and civic organizations and the youth of Atlanta. Watts started the Kappa Omega Finishing School (for teenage girls from disadvantaged backgrounds); has been a member of Leadership Atlanta; has been honored in Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, Who’s Who Among Black Americans and Who’s Who Among American Teachers; is a member of the Grambling State University Hall of Fame; and is listed on the National Registry of Prominent Americans. At Morehouse, she established the UPS Scholars Program. Established in 1996, the program has raised a total of approximately $500,000. Each year, 10 scholars must tutor at an elementary school. “As a distinguished educator, orator, writer

Anne Wimbush Watts

and community leader, you have demonstrated an admirable commitment to enhancing our community through service and humanity,” stated Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in the award citation.“On this special day, we pause to acknowledge the extraordinary work you are doing in the lives of our youth. We are proud to have such a worthy servant and thank you for making a difference in the lives of our residents.” The Atlanta City Council also proclaimed Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010, “Anne Wimbush Watts Day” in Atlanta. “To be honored at this level is very humbling and very encouraging at the same time,” she said. ■

Marcellus Barksdale ’65 Named Morehouse Faculty Member of the Year MARCELLUS BARKSDALE ’65, history professor and chairman of the Department of African American Studies, may not look the part, but he is a big fan of the hip-hop culture. “I’ve tried to embrace [students’] culture, not because I’m pseudo or pretending, but primarily because I find that culture to be interesting and important, and it shows cultural change,” he said. “I’ve also tried to stay fresh in accordance with my students. They have ideas. They stimulate me and motivate me to think about the beliefs I hold and the pedagogy I have. They keep me young.” His connection to students has earned him the respect of

Marcellus Barksdale ’65

students and colleagues alike— which is why he was named the 2010-11 Morehouse Faculty Member of the Year. “When I accepted the award, I mentioned to my colleagues that I accepted on behalf

of my students. It’s because of my students that my excellence in teaching has been recognized.” Sponsored by Vulcan Materials Company, the award is presented to a faculty member who is deemed an outstanding teacher through peer reviews and student evaluations; has served the College on various committees and other activities; and provides service to the community and the teaching profession. Barksdale has been a Morehouse professor since 1977. He also has been a professor, lecturer and instructor at Emory University, Tuskegee University, Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) and the

Morehouse School of Medicine. “He is very engaging, compelling and insightful,” said Anne Watts, associate vice president for Academic Affairs. “Barksdale is the consummate master teacher.” Barksdale, who has written numerous articles and been a part of several books, has been tasked with the ambitious project of chronicling his alma mater. He is heading the 150th Morehouse Anniversary History Project, a multi-pronged effort to use different mediums to collect, update and tell the Morehouse story by 2017, the College’s sesquicentennial. ■ –AS S P R I N G

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peopleatthehouse Rwanda Presidential Scholars Plan to Take Morehouse Experience Back to Africa By Add Seymour Jr. year ago, sophmores Miguel De LaSalle Twahirwa and Jacques Kumutima were in the central African country of Rwanda just hoping for any opportunity to attend college in the United States. Today, they are studying chemistry at Morehouse as part of the Rwanda Presidential Scholars Program with a plan to return to help their developing country. Rwanda continues to rebound after the nation’s low point in 1994, when nearly 1 million Rwandans died during a genocide after a civil war in the country. The country is now a symbol of strength with a rebuilt government, stimulated economy and rising tourism. This is the College’s first year in the five-year Rwanda Presidential Scholars Program, which brings Rwanda’s top math and science students to the United States to study at one of 19 institutions. After graduation, the students—who are matched with institutions that fit them academically and socially—return home for a minimum of two years to put their education to work in their homeland. “Great people studied here, like Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Kumutima. “That encouraged me to come to this school and pursue my studies and do well.” The program is a collaboration with some of the colleges from the Associated Colleges of the South, the Clinton Foundation and the Rwandan government that allows some of the very brightest students in


Sophmores Miguel Twahirwa (left) and Jacques Kumutima (right)

that area to attend college here in the South, explained Danny Bellinger, interim associate dean of Admissions and Recruiting at Morehouse. “When they come here, they see these confident, positive, young people and then faculty and administrators who speak to that whole Morehouse experience,” he said. “It may be a bit much to take in initially, but they will leave here ready to get back to Rwanda and make a difference in their country.” “In Rwanda, many things will change,” said Kumutima. “I came here to get experiences so that I can go and apply them and bring them back to my country.” ■


Hopps Scholars Win in Two Research Competitions BRANTLY FULTON, a sophomore chemical science major, is one of seven John H. Hopps Jr. Defense Research Scholars who won awards during the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Charlotte, N.C., last November. Just one week later, eight additional scholars were honored during the Achievement Reward for College Scientists Foundation (ARCS) during its annual luncheon. “It just shows how immensely talented and dedicated these student are to their research,” said Rahmelle Thompson, executive director of the John H. Hopps Jr. Research Scholars Program. “Due to the wonderful support of the U.S. Department of Defense, these young researchers are going to be huge contributors to research in the future.” ■ MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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peopleatthehouse PAS SAG E S

Calvin Grimes ’62 was Instrumental in Educating a Generation of Morehouse Musicians By Vickie G. Hampton


hen Calvin Grimes ’62 earned a doctorate from the University of Iowa back in the 70s, none other than revered professor and musician Wendell P. Whalum ’52 exclaimed: “That’s one of my children, and not just any Ph.D.—a Ph.D. in music theory!” The proclamation was a herald into a royal musical family at the ‘House, a lineage where Kemper Harreld begot Whalum, Whalum begot Grimes, and Grimes became the progenitor to a new line of many accomplished Morehouse musicians, including current chair of the Music Department Uzee Brown ’72. “As my theory teacher, in spite of his no-nonsense demeanor, he was thorough, methodical and in every way inspiring,” said Brown. “He opened my eyes to the wonderful creative aspects of theory as they relate to practical applications that give birth to real musical ingenuity.”

On April 7, 2011, Grimes died of congestive heart failure at his home in Atlanta at the age of 71. He was professor of music theory and immediate past dean of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences. A 30-minute musical tribute was held prior to his funeral on April 16 in the Ray Charles Center for Performing Arts. Grimes earned a bachelor’s in music from Morehouse, and a master’s degree and doctorate in music theory from the University of Iowa. He joined the Morehouse faculty in 1977, and served as chair of the music department for 12 years. He became division dean before returning to the music department to teach music theory. The music educator’s career also involved stints as a chorus director for area public schools and, as a music professor at Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University. He also became widely engaged in regional and national scholarly panels, symposia, workshops, and lectures. Appointed by former governor Roy Barnes, he was a member of the board of directors of the Georgia Humanities Council. He was organist-choirmaster emeritus at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. “Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing such a capable colleague as Calvin would welcome his probing and sagacious intellect to their faculty,” said Brown. “He was outstanding in so many ways that made a difference in the lives of those around him.” ■ See a tribute to Grimes from a former student on page 57.

Nathan E. Carter Brought Scuba Diving Instruction to Morehouse NATHAN E. CARTER, a retired U.S. Army Ranger, loved teaching scuba diving just as much as he loved his country. Carter, who taught scuba diving for seven years in the Department of Kinesiology after retiring from his 30-year Army career, died in November 2010 at the age of 66. Long popular as a class at mainstream institutions, scuba diving was something Carter wanted more black students to experience. “My goal was to bring it to an HBCU,” he told Inside Morehouse in April 2009. “My ultimate goal is to prepare them for open water.” Nearly 90 students became certified scuba divers during Carter’s tenure. “Nathan trained many of the African American divers in Atlanta, and made scuba diving an attractive physical education option at Morehouse,” said J.K. Haynes ’64, dean of the Division of Science and Mathematics and himself a scuba diver. “He loved to teach, and was a great role model for all of his students.” ■


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peopleatthehouse International Ambassadors Get Close Look at Morehouse and King Collection By Add Seymour Jr. AMBASSADOR BOCKARI KORTU Stevens of Sierra Leone has long been an admirer of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. ’48. “The ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, I learned it by heart as a student,” Stevens said after he and 50 ambassadors from around the world were introduced to King and Morehouse during an Oct. 13, 2010, visit to the Atlanta University Center’s Robert W. Woodruff Library. “To this day, I can say every single word of it by heart,” he said. “It shows my affinity towards King and my admiration for what he did. So for me, Morehouse represents that legacy.” Stevens’ story is just one of many as the international dignitaries got an up-close look at Morehouse and the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection. The Atlanta stop was part of their “Experience America” tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Their interest in Morehouse mirrors the College’s emphasis on international relations, said Julius Coles, director of the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs and Office of Global Education.

Kin of Morehouse College Namesake Looks to Share Family History By Add Seymour Jr.

Christal Morehouse is the great-grandniece of Morehouse namesake, Henry Lyman Morehouse, pictured at right. MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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Associate Vice President for Student Services Harry Wright Jr. escorts ambassadors to the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library where the Morehouse King Collection is archived.

“We also are taking the whole process of internationalization of our curriculum very seriously,” he said. “We are seeking to double, even triple, the number of students who participate in study abroad programs.” ■

A YOUNG LADY WALKING around with a Morehouse shirt in mid-April walked up to students and faculty members to say hello and get their thoughts of the College. But when she introduced herself, they were more interested in taking a photo with her. Why? Her name is Christal Morehouse. Yes, that Morehouse. She is the greatgrandniece of Henry Lyman Morehouse, the namesake of Morehouse College. Christal Morehouse, who is now a senior project manager in Berlin, Germany, was making her visit to the College and wanted to learn more about the relationship between Morehouse and her great, great uncle. Henry L. Morehouse was the corresponding secretary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society, an organization that helped fund the establishment of some black colleges. The College, before known as Atlanta Baptist College, was named after Morehouse in 1913. “It’s family legend that it was John D. Rockefeller’s wish that the College be

named after Henry because he trusted Henry with a lot of decisions in how to invest in positive social change,” she said. “Henry was a big advocate of education, especially in marginalized communities. But I don’t know the truth about why the College decided to rename itself Morehouse. I know some things from family legend, but it definitely doesn’t explain it all.” Morehouse’s father had recently given her a box of family papers and memorabilia, which further heightened her interest in Henry Morehouse, Morehouse College and her own family story which goes back to 16th century America. She is planning to contribute much of her findings to the 150th Morehouse Anniversary Project, which will chronicle the Morehouse story through multiple media platforms. “She will be very valuable to the project,” Barksdale said. “She has documents, papers and other very confidential materials that, I think, have some very valuable information that can fill in some of the gaps for us. We are very interesting in knowing who this man is.” ■


Margot Copeland, executive vice president and director of Corporate Diversity and Philanthropy for KeyCorp, Oct. 4, 2010

Dan Cathy, president and chief operating officer for Chick-fil-A, Nov. 16, 2010

Campus Visits

SEVERAL TIMES EACH YEAR, the Morehouse College Corporate Alliance Program and the Leadership Center invite senior-level executives from the world of business to participate in the Leadership Lecture Series to share their experiences and expertise with a select group of business students and other members of the campus community. The session includes a short presentation by the visiting professional and an opportunity for informal interaction between the executives and students.

Sam Solomon, president and CEO of The Coleman Company, Oct. 6, 2010

Donald E. Frieson, president of Central Division/ senior vice president of Store Operations for Walmart, Oct. 20, 2010

John J. Mack, chairman of the board for Morgan Stanley, Nov. 3, 2010

Leon Panetta, director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, March 15, 2011

Peter J. Kight, co-chair and managing partner of the Comvest Group, Sept. 29, 2010

James A. Bell, corporate president and chief financial officer of Boeing, Aug. 30, 2010 S P R I N G

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■ February 6, 2011, Sunday


in the

NEWS ■ March 5, 2011, Times-Herald 90-YEAR-OLD REVEREND HONORED BY GRANTVILLE COUNCIL Alumnus The Rev. Edmond Lee remembers when the southwest Coweta city of Grantville was a different kind of town than it is today. “The Grantville I knew back when I was a boy was not Grantville as we know it now,” the 90-year-old Lee said at this week’s meeting of the Grantville City Council, where he was recognized by the council in honor of Black History Month. “ Lee attended school at Savannah Street, then went to Morehouse College where he graduated and went on to teach for the Carroll County School System. ■ March 8, 2011, Richmond Voice MOREHOUSE MEN LAUNCH ‘UPSCALE’ CONDOM TO REDUCE HIV TRANSMISSIONS Morehouse graduates Jason Panda ’02, Ashanti Johnson ’02 and Elkhair Balla ’01 have recently made headlines by taking a new and innovative approach to help decrease the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the community. They are the creators of b condoms, a plush prophylactic that focuses on changing sexual health practices in four main target audiences: African Americans, Latinos, people 50 and older, and gay and bisexual males. Their goal is to make condoms cool, which should induce more people to use them and, in turn, reduce transmission of HIV AIDS. MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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■ March 1, 2011, Art in America IN THE STUDIO SANFORD BIGGERS WITH STEPHANIE CASH Sanford Biggers ’92 has been a quiet force in the art world since the late 1990s. His projects often combine video, music, performance, sculpture, painting and drawing, and mix disparate cultural references in oblique explorations of both self-constructed and social identity. Numerous international curators have included him in group shows on wide-ranging themes, even though he is without New York gallery representation. Biggers earned a BA at Morehouse College in Atlanta (1992) and an MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago (1999). ■ March 1, 2011, Miami Times MOREHOUSE STUDENT SUING USHER FOR SONG RIGHTS A Morehouse College student is suing to reclaim 100 percent control of the songs he wrote, including one supposedly for artist Usher. According to the suit filed in DeKalb County Superior Court, Kameron Glasper is a “struggling singer-songwriter” who signed away half interest in songs he promised to deliver to Poets Music Publishing. The suit said Glasper agreed to write a total of 10 songs, including Usher’s “Monster.” He is asking for 100 percent ownership of his songs and that Legendary Poets and its owners reimburse him for attorney’s fees.

Times/West Contra Costa PHYSICIAN SHARES LIFE IN POEMS Sharing his experience and insights gained over the past 79 years is the goal of Dr. James Richardson ’53, an El Cerrito resident who has summed up many of his thoughts in the new book Life as I See it: A Book of Poems and Aphorisms. Richardson remains an avid student 13 years after retiring as an internist, medical administrator and assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCSF. He is currently studying Spanish and taking cello lessons three times a week. This is the third collection of thoughts and poems self-published by Richardson, who began dabbling in writing while attending Morehouse College, the historically black institution of higher education in Georgia. “It started in college, really,” he said. “I think I might have had a girlfriend - not my wife. There weren’t a lot of poems. They came one at a time.”

■ February 27, 2011, Los Angeles Times FAMED GLEE CLUB IS CELEBRATING ITS 100TH YEAR Halfway through rehearsal, the basses got an earful. “Your start is too aggressive! Like boom, boom, flap, flap, upside the head,” conductor David Morrow ’80 shouted Sunday from a dark spot offstage in Club Nokia at L.A. Live. “It’s not about the volume, it’s about the quality. And with that, the Morehouse College Glee Club, the world-renowned, historically black, all-male choir that has sung at the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the funeral of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. , humbly cleared their throats and gave perfection another try. The group was to perform its 100-year celebration concert to a sold-out audience in just a few hours. Among the songs they’d rehearsed for the occasion had the lyrics: “Whatever you do, strive to do it so well that no man living and no man dead and no man yet to be born can do it better.”

■ February 24, 2011, Washington Post

Howard, Morehouse to Play on a Big Stage The Howard University football team will play Morehouse College of Atlanta in the inaugural Nation’s Football Classic on Sept. 10 at RFK Stadium. The Washington Convention and Sports Authority, which has staged the Military Bowl at RFK for the past three years, is organizing the game in partnership with United Negro College Fund.


■ February 26, 2011, Birmingham News A STARRY HOMECOMING AT SIXTH AVENUE BAPTIST The Rev. Raphael Warnock ’91, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, got a call a year and a half ago at the church office from actresssinger Jennifer Holliday. Holliday, who won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls,” and two Grammys for rhythm and blues and gospel performances, told Warnock she wanted to attend services. Then she began listening to all Warnock’s sermons and got the idea for a musical recording of songs based on the sermons. “It’s a very unique project of song and sermon,” Warnock said. ■ February 1, 2011, Atlanta Journal-Constitution DUNCAN, LEE URGE MORE BLACK MEN TO BE TEACHERS U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and filmmaker Spike Lee ’79 teamed up to urge more black men to consider teaching. More than 1 million teachers will retire during the next decade, according to federal estimates, and leaders have embarked on a nationwide drive to build a more diverse teaching force. Duncan on Monday took the campaign to Atlanta’s Morehouse College, the nation’s only all-male historically black college. Teachers should look more like the people they serve, Duncan said. ■ October 2, 2010, Atlanta Inquirer MOREHOUSE STUDENT SAVES WOMAN FROM BURNING CAR Moments before Paula Campbell’s car burst into flames, she and her two friends were trapped inside.

Police credit six men with rushing in to save them. One of those men is Morehouse College junior Anthony Williams. Williams said, ‘It was second nature to me. It didn’t even cross my mind to keep going.” Paula Campbell is out of the hospital. She wanted to meet the men who saved her and her friends’ lives. Campbell said, “If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here for the rest of my life.” Friday, the two met face-to-face. After exchanging a hug, Campbell said, “I just can’t thank you enough.” Williams replied, “You don’t have to. Knowing they’re all right is enough for me. That’s all I needed.” ■ September 13, 2010, Washington Post ANOTHER TAKE ON SCHOOL RANKINGS Washington Monthly, a magazine with unusually robust higher education coverage, has released its ranking of colleges and universities. The magazine is a relatively new entrant to the rankings field, which has become crowded in recent years. The trick is to offer something different from U.S. News & World Report, whose rankings stress reputation, graduation rates, test scores and other measures that produce a fairly predictable list of well-endowed and prestigious universities. Washington Monthly rates and ranks colleges “based on their contribution to the public good” and in three categories: “Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs) and Service (encouraging students to give something back).” Morehouse College, a historically black institution in Georgia, trumps Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore to top the Washington Monthly list of liberal arts colleges because of the

■ August 16, 2010, US News & World Report

Photo courtesy of U.S. News and World Report

Road Trip: Morehouse College As a [high school] senior, [Adam] McFarland was about to become a “Morehouse Man,” a graduate of one of the country’s most prestigious historically black colleges. From actors Spike Lee ’79 and Samuel L. Jackson ’72 to social activists Howard Thurman and perhaps the most revered alumnus, Martin Luther King Jr. ’48, Morehouse Men have been groomed to be leaders. Along with following an “appropriate attire policy” recently implemented by President Robert Franklin ’75, students are expected to be well spoken, well read, and well balanced, as well as actively engaged. While some complain about their school’s worn-with-age facilities, the young men walk the campus with a respect for its history. They are careful to keep off the central green, a Civil War battlefield, and in times of both tragedy and celebration they heed the call of a bell that once warned the neighborhood of threats by the Ku Klux Klan. school’s tremendous success in graduating low-income students. About two-thirds of Morehouse students receive Pell grants because of low-income backgrounds, and about two-thirds of students graduate—a high rate for a school with many disadvantaged students. ■ September 1, 2010, Ebony A MODERN MOREHOUSE MAN Do clothes really make the man? They do if the man is a Morehouse Man. That’s the overriding opinion of school administrators, faculty, alumni and students who put the brakes on “feminine gender expression” last school year after a group of students showed up to class report-

edly wearing tight jeans, blouses, pumps and purses. The crossdressing students not only prompted a new dress code of sorts at the historically Black allmale school in Atlanta, but they also ignited a debate over everything from homophobia to masculine decorum to freedom of expression. AT ISSUE: Exactly what does it mean to be a Morehouse Man in 2010?


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Raising the ‘House

True to tradition, Homecoming 2010 was a weeklong fest of raising school spirit— from the pageantry of the coronation, to riveting shows and concerts; from words of wisdom during Crown Forum and Worship Service to a bit of controversy over a call during the heartbreaking Homecoming game. With the exception of the football game loss (Albany State won 13-12), the celebration of brothers reuniting at the ‘House of their entry into manhood didn’t disappoint. An estimated 25,000 alumni and their families, along with other College supporters, raised tailgating to even greater heights—where great food, great weather and great camaraderie combined to create an exceptional Homecoming experience. Crowned Miss Maroon and White was Micki Jackson, with attendants Jasmine Sadat and Maya Smith. Homecoming speakers included Dr. Corey Hebert ’92, chief resident of Pediatrics at Tulane University, for Crown Forum, and The Rev. Anthony Bennett ‘88, senior pastor at Mount Airy Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Conn. ■

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onthefieldandcourt T R A C K A N D F I E LD

SIX IN A R W! By Add Seymour Jr.

Members of the Maroon Tigers Track and Field Team with their 2011 SIAC tournament trophy.

THE FLYING MAROON TIGERS track and field team won its sixth consecutive title – the program’s 17th overall – during the SIAC Track and Field Championships on Edwin Moses Track at B.T. Harvey Stadium. Morehouse finished with 236 points, far ahead of second place Benedict (155 points) and

third place Stillman (112.5). Novian Middleton was named Most Valuable Track Performer after winning the 5000-meter run. He also was second in the 10,000-meter run and third in both the 1,500-meters and the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Turner Coggins and Matthew

Tuffuor were both named the Most Valuable Field Performers. Coggins won the hammer throw and the shot put and was second in the discus throw. Tuffuor won the decathlon after posting firstplace finishes in the javelin and discus throws, along with the shot put. He also won the over-

all javelin throw title. Other notables were Courtland Walls, who won the 100-meter dash and was third in the 200-meter dash; Karlton Mitchell who won the 1,500meter run and the 3,000-meter steeplechase; David Lee, who won the long jump; and Justin Oliver who won the high jump. Coggins was named the 2011 SIAC Field Athlete of the Year. He also was named to the conference’s Track and Field AllConference Team, along with four other Maroon Tigers: Courtland Wells, Novian Middleton, Turner Coggins and Matt Tuffour. Middleton, Karlton Mitchell, David Lee and Justin Oliver were named to the second team. The Maroon Tigers also were awarded the 2011 All-Academic Team Award as eight Morehouse athletes were named to the team: Lemario Bland, Jeremy Tinsley, Jamal Harris, Jabari Redd, Matt Tuffuor, Jan-Michael Coke, Terrance White and Kyle Moore. Coach Willie Hill was named SIAC Coach of the Year. ■


Members of the Maroon Tigers Tennis Team with their 2011 SIAC tournament trophy. MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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IN A DRAMATIC MATCHUP that went down to the wire against top-seeded Stillman College, the Morehouse tennis team won its third straight SIAC tennis title. Just as in 2010, the Maroon Tigers were seeded second headed into the conference tournament held at Morehouse. Led by the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Michael Thomas, and senior captain Tory Martin, the Maroon Tigers breezed into the finals against Stillman. The teams were tied at four until Jordan Bailey won his singles match to give the Maroon Tigers the championship. Martin and Thomas were both named to the All-Tournament singles team, while Thomas and his partner, Noah Terry, were named the All-Tournament doubles team. Martin also was a first-team singles pick for the SIAC’s 2011 All-Conference Team. Senior Mario Ecung and sophomore Michael Cutrer made the second team. Martin and Ecung also were named to the doubles All-Conference Team. Coach Terry Alexander was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Coach. ■



Coach Bill Lewis, holding the 2011 SIAC golf tournament trophy, with members of the golf team.

LED BY THE SIAC’S two-time Player of the Year, Olajuwon Ajanaku, the Maroon Tigers Golf Team won its third straight conference title in the SIAC Golf Classic in Augusta, Ga. The Tigers shot a combined low score of 935 – 312 in the final round – to out pace second place Benedict and third place Kentucky State. Ajanaku, who was named the tournament MVP, shot a low score of 224 over the three-day event. He also was named to the first team All Tournament and All Conference team.

Earl Cooper, Bryan McElderry and Thaddeus Hill joined Ajanaku, who will turn pro this summer, on the All Tournament team. All four also were named to the All Conference squad. The team won the SIAC’s All Academic Award with a combined grade point average of 3.72, ranking first among all golf teams. Hill (3.51) and Malcolm Parrish (3.94) were named to the All Academic team. Coach Bill Lewis was named SIAC Coach of the Year. ■

MOREHOUSE GOLF COACH BILL LEWIS was one of the PGA professionals featured on CBS Sports’ show “Sunrise to Sunset: A PGA Professional’s Life” on May 1, 2011. Lewis was lauded for leading the Maroon Tigers golf team to last year’s Division II national minority golf championship and being the primary teaching pro for Atlanta’s First Tee Program, the PGA’s initiative to get more minorities to play golf. “It’s a huge success for me [to see] these kids to develop,” he said on the show. “And then just to have somewhere for them to enjoy and play the game. And its not how well they play the game, but the character that’s been built.” Two of Lewis’ former First Tee students now play at Morehouse: two-time SIAC Player of the Year Olajuwon Ajanaku and freshman Kameron Givens. ■

2011 MOREHOUSE MAROON TIGERS FOOTBALL SCHEDULE SEPTEMBER 4th Miles College (5th Annual Labor Day Golden Classic) 10th Howard University (Nation’s Football Classic) 17th Edward Waters College 24th Lane College

Birmingham, Ala. (Legion Field) Washington, D.C. (RFK Stadium) B.T. Harvey Stadium Jackson, Tenn.

OCTOBER 1st 8th 15th 22nd 29th

B.T. Harvey Stadium Columbus, Ga. Albany, Ga. B.T. Harvey Stadium Fort Valley, Ga.

7 p.m. 2 p.m. 7 p.m. 2 p.m. 6 p.m.

Frankfort, Ky.

1 p.m.

Clark Atlanta University Tuskegee University (Morehouse-Tuskegee Classic) Albany State University Benedict College (HOMECOMING 2011) Fort Valley State University

NOVEMBER 5th Kentucky State University Home games in bold

6 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 2 p.m.

 To see athletic schedules, go to S P R I N G

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Rivalry Renewed From left: Greg O’Dell, president and CEO, Washington Convention and Sports Authority (WCSA); Louis Skip Perkins, Howard athletic director; Gary Harrell, Howard head coach; Rich Freeman, Morehouse head coach; Andre Pattillo, Morehouse athletic director; Erik Moses, senior vice president, WCSA

Morehouse and Howard to Clash in Nation’s Football Classic By Add Seymour Jr.


pproximately 30,000 football fans are expected at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 10, 2011, when the Morehouse College Maroon Tigers and the Howard University Bison do battle for the first time since 1997. The two teams will renew their rivalry in the first Nation’s Football Classic, presented by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the Washington Convention and Sports Authority (WCSA). The game will be played each of the next three years at RFK Stadium. “The Morehouse community is very pleased about the renewal of football between Morehouse College and Howard University in the much-anticipated Nation’s Football Classic,” said President Robert M. Franklin ’75. “Alumni and students from both legendary institutions are excited.” Morehouse hasn’t faced Howard since 1997, but the schools have played each other semi-regularly since 1955, when the Maroon Tigers defeated Howard 7-6. Despite who won or lost, each Morehouse-Howard contest would produce sold-out crowds in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. “The game between Morehouse College in Atlanta, my hometown, and Howard University, where I attended both college and law school, represents the best of both worlds for me,” said Atlanta




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Mayor Kasim Reed. “There are no losers with this match-up. As someone who has experienced this rivalry first hand, I know the intense anticipation around the country begins today.” Beyond the game, the two schools are also renewing their commitment to working together to elevate higher education in the black community. “Both schools were founded in 1867 and we share many institutional goals,” Franklin said. “For years, we’ve engaged in friendly, mutually enhancing competition, on and off the gridiron. The Classic will include a great game and an important national dialogue about the future of higher education and black male achievement.” The weekend will feature a number of events, including a Fan Festival, a step show and tailgating. Additionally, UNCF will hold its HBCU Empower Me Tour. “The UNCF HBCU Empower Me Tour communicates to students the importance of college and career readiness, as well as service to communities and the country, which is a long tradition and critical component of an HBCU education,” said UNCF president and CEO, Michael L. Lomax ’68. Tickets for the game range from $25 to $60 and are available at For more information about the game, go to ■

ontheshelf Racing While Black: How An African American Stock Car Team Made Its Mark On NASCAR BY LEONARD T. MILLER ’83 PUBLISHED BY SEVEN STORIES PRESS, 2010 THE WORLD OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR)—played out on huge racetracks in front of thousands of people—has largely been a tightly closed community of predominantly white fans and participants. Lenny Miller ’83 and his father Leonard W. Miller have been part of the ongoing effort to diversify NASCAR. The Morehouse alum talks about the experience in his book Racing While Black: How an African American Stock Car Team Made Its Mark on NASCAR. “We found that in the industry, a lot of black history and efforts are either swept under the rug or forgotten because the few efforts that were out there, most of those folks didn’t take the time to write a book,” Miller said during a C-Span2 Book TV interview in 2010. “I wrote the book to voice my opinion on our experience and give it a real hardcore perspective on what my dad and I went through in the Carolinas at the grass roots level in NASCAR.” Miller talks candidly about the steps the Miller Racing Group took to put a car and driver on the track, get sponsors and gain acceptance from the people around them. Those experiences ranged from the open arms the owners of a small track in Concord, N.C., gave the Millers to the N-word being hurled at them from fellow race teams and fans to the difficulty in getting corporate America to sponsor a black racing team. Despite a rocky relationship with NASCAR brass, the Millers fielded a winning team from 2005 to 2007, including a Late Model series championship in 2005. But Miller said that calling their effort a success depends on the perspective. “After one Saturday night of racing, [a race official] motioned for my dad to join her behind our trailer and said, ‘Mr. Miller, the teams around here say you’re not a nigger, but a real man,’” Miller said in the book. “I’m not sure I’d call the sentiment a victory – yet,” he added. “Maybe, one day, as an African American driver revs up his or her engine at the beginning of the Daytona 500, we will be able to call it a start.” ■

From Douglass to Duvalier: U.S. African Americans, Haiti, and Pan Americanism, 1870-1964 BY MILLERY POLYNE ’96 PUBLISHED BY UNIVERSITY PRESS OF FLORIDA, 2010 THE UNITED STATES WAS one of the first nations to come to the aid of Haiti after a devastating January 2010 earthquake rocked the Caribbean country. The response came not only because of the seriousness of the situation, but also because of a long history that connects the two countries. Millery Polyne ’96 looks at part of that history in his book From Douglass to Duvalier: U.S. African Americans, Haiti, and Pan Americanism, 1870-1964. Polyne, who is an assistant professor in New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, looked to Haitian and American journalists, artists and intellectuals such as Frederick Douglass to take a critical look at the way U.S. policies in the Caribbean shaped Pan Americanism in the region from the 19th century through the early 1960s during the term of Haitian ruler, Francois Duvalier. “Taking a historical look at U.S. African American and Haitian affairs within the framework of interAmerican relations, the book demonstrates the articulations, implementations and critiques of Pan Americanism,” Polyne said in the book’s introduction. “Additionally the reader will discover many instances of when persistent and insidious systems of white supremacy, economic dependence, paternalism and Haitian political instability compromised the actions of these two groups,” he said. ■

The Presidential Campaign of Barack Obama: A Critical Analysis of a Racially Transcendent Strategy By DEWEY M. CLAYTON ’81 PUBLISHED BY ROUTLEDGE, 2010 THE WORLD WAS ABUZZ when Barack Obama made history by becoming the nation’s first African American president. But how did he do it? University of Louisville political science professor Dewey M. Clayton ’81 provides answers in his book, The Presidential Campaign of Barack Obama: A Critical Analysis of a Racially Transcendent Strategy. Clayton examines the history of African Americans in the American political process, previous presidential campaigns of African Americans and the winning blueprint for success that propelled Obama into the White House. The majority of the book is dedicated to Obama’s campaign. Clayton not only looks at the Obama team, but also shines a light on, among other things, the media’s role in the 2008 race, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Republican candidate John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin. “Theoretically, this book causes us to reexamine how one runs a successful campaign for the presidency of the United States,” Clayton said in the book’s introduction. “Obama has created a whole new paradigm on how to campaign, how to organize, strategize, fund raise, get out the vote, build coalitions and use modern technology to connect with voters in the 21st century. It also forces us to reexamine the role of race in American politics and how changing demographics may make the traditional style of campaigning a thing of the past.” Lauded as a balanced and exhaustive look at the 2008 presidential campaign, the book is being used as a textbook at several college campuses. “His book is a must-read for teachers, students, and researchers with an interest in the role of race in American history and one African American candidate’s ability to overcome insurmountable odds,” said University of Florida political scientist Sharon Wright Austin. “I can’t wait to use this book in my classes.”■

Editor’s Note: This column is open to Morehouse alumni, faculty and staff who have recently published books. Please contact Add Seymour Jr. at to submit your work. S P R I N G

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The Dr. Cheryl G. Franklin Health Professions Scholarship Fund Supports Students Committed to Careers in Health Care mmanuel Marish someday wants to establish a health clinic in an underserved community. He also wants to promulgate the virtue of preventive care. “Preventive medicine is, in my opinion, the best medicine,” he said. Feyisayo Lawal wants to mend the broken hearts of sick children, while Kedrick Williams wants to help them avoid the scourges of obesity and diabetes. And Kendal Thomas, well, he just wants to heal the world. “Ultimately, I would like to work with the U.S. foreign service to improve polices and better the lives of citizens within the developing world,” he said. Their aspirations, as well as those of 13 other Morehouse juniors and seniors whose commitment to the health profession is just as strong, were recognized on April 15, 2011, during the Fourth Annual Dr. Cheryl G. Franklin Health Professions Scholarship Fund Donor Reception. The Fund offers financial support to students who have demonstrated a commitment to the health professions. “An investment in these future health care practitioners is an investment in the health status of the world community,” said Cheryl Franklin, the College’s first lady and a practicing OB/GYN


physician. “It will have a lasting impact on the education of future health professionals during a critical point in their studies, offering some an avenue to completing their Morehouse degrees without distraction, as well as rewarding scholars for their high academic standing and strong potential for significant contribution to healthcare.” ■ –VGH

Left to right: Mrs. Jea Delsarte, Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, Dr. Kim Lipscomb McDaniel, Mrs. Sabrina Shannon Womack, Dr. Kaneta Lott, Mrs. Georgia Nell Dickens, Dr. Cheryl G. Franklin, Mrs. Sondra Rhoades Johnson, Dr. Jane Smith, Mrs. Denise Bradley Tyson, Mrs. Aissa Holliday McDaniel Dr. Lynda Woodruff and Mrs. Cynthia Moreland

Left to right: Dennis Blessing, Kedrick Williams, Christopher Spears, Trevano Dean, Edward Washington, Brandon Lynch, Emmanuel Marish, Jemetrius Myers, Andre Harvey, Kendal Thomas, Matthew Ellis, Bryan McElderry, Ulysse Toche, Feyisayo Lawal, Jeremy Moore MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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developmentnews H E A LT H P R O F E S S I O N S S C H O L A R S H I P Mrs. Billye S. Aaron Dr. Ronald Adams Ms. Diane G. Alexander Dr. William Alexander & Ms. Avarita Hanson Mr. George Andrews Dr. Mary J. Bailey Dr. George Baker Jr. Dr. Kimberly Beal Mr. Art Bennett Dr. & Mrs. Benjamin Blackburn II Dr. & Mrs. Benjamin Blackburn III Mrs. Juliet Dobbs Blackburn-Beamon Mrs. Joy San Walker Brown Dr. & Mrs. Eric Brown Mr. & Mrs. Clinton Browning Mr. Chad Browning Dr. Jettie M. Burnett & Dr. Shelby Wilkes Ms. B. Laconyea Butler Ms. Marianne Clarke Dr. Monique N. Coleman Dr. & Mrs. Samuel Dubois Cook Mr. Ed Cooney Dr. Victoria Crawford Mrs. Ruth Crawford Dr. Leah Creque-Harris Dr. Yvette S. Crossing Ms. Teresa Cummings Ms. Alice Faye Davidson Ms. Amanda Davis Mrs. Myrtle R. Davis Mr. & Mrs. Louis Delsarte Dr. & Mrs James Densler Mr. Joshua V. Deweese Mrs. Georgia Nell Dickens Dr. Henry Diversi Jr. Ms. Deborah Doleman Dr. & Mrs. Bernee Dunson Dr. & Mrs. Roderick Edmond Dr. Mary McKinney Edmonds Mr. and Mrs. Rufus L. Fears Dr. Henry Foster President Robert M. Franklin & Dr. Cheryl G. Franklin Dr. Rahwa Ghermay Ms. Selma Glass Mrs. Gladys Goffney (In memory of Willie H. Goffney) Dr. Karen Goodlett & Dr. Reginald Mason Mrs. Maxine Goosby Mrs. Paula J. Gordon & Mr. Bill Russell Ms. Charita Gray Ms. Patrice Greer Dr. & Mrs. Samuel T. Gulley Drs. Kyra & Nick Harvey Ms. Laurene T. Hill Dr. Sivan Hines Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Hollis Ms. Marla Holloway Ms. Sylvia O. Hutchings Mrs. Kimberly Jackson Mr. & Mrs. Charles Johnson III Dr. Angela Johnson Ms. Kathleen Johnson Dr. Sylvia C. Johnson Mr. & Mrs. Theodore Jordan Ms. Marjorie Karim

Mr. & Mrs. Ahmed Karim Mrs. Yvonne King Gloster Ms. Felicia Lewis Dr. & Mrs. Michael Lindsay Mr. Thomas Cuffie & Dr. Kaneta Lott Mr. Isaac Lynch Jr. Ms. Betty Marshall Ms. Jay Marshall Ms. Alfreda Mayes Mr. & Mrs. Brian McDaniel Mr. Reuben McDaniel & Dr. Kim Lipscomb McDaniel Mr. & Mrs. Kevin McGee Mrs. Jan Meadows Dr. & Mrs. Terry L. Mills Ms. Adrienne Mims Ms. Marjorie Mitchell Mr. & Mrs. Ira Moreland Ms. Valerie Munnings Dr. Vintonne Naiden Ms. Loretta O’Brien-Parham Mrs. Patricia O’Flynn-Patillo Mr. P. Andrew Patterson Mr. Joseph Perlman Mrs. Regina Petty Mrs. Rosemary B. Phillips Mrs. Jessie Pottsdamer-Watson Mrs. Scarlet Pressley Brown Ms. Ruth E. Ramsey Dr. Walter Reid Mr. Melvin & Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice Dr. Craig Ricks Dr. Stephanie F. Roberson Mr. Richard Rubin Mr. & Mrs. Michael Russell Mr. & Mrs. Thomas G. Sampson, Esq. Dr. & Mrs. David Satcher Ms. Fawn Shelton Ms. Jane Signorelli Ms. Deatra Singletary Dr. Harvey B. Smith Dr. Jane E. Smith Mr. Miles Smith Dr. Ron Stewart Hon. Louis Stokes Ms. Marie Tanner Mrs. Sylvia E. Thomas Mr. & Mrs. Govan C. Thomas Ms. Ruby Thomas Mr. & Mrs. John Thornton Mr. & Mrs. Isaiah Tidwell Ms. Cecilia Torrence Ms. Donna Turk Dr. Lewis H. Twigg Jr. Mr. & Mrs. Bernard Tyson Dr. Cassandra Wanzo Ms. Marcia Watson Ms. Pam Wilkes Mr. & Mrs. Jerome Williams Ms. Karen E. Williamson The Honorable Cleta Winslow Mr. Christopher & Mrs. Sabrina Shannon Womack Dr. Lynda Woodruff Ms. Dawn Wright Dr. Sylvia Wright


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Dr. Asa Yancey Sr. Dr. Dorothy C. Yancy Ambassador and Mrs. Andrew Young Companies and Organizations Advanced Healthcare Leaders, LLC Affinity Bank Atlanta-College Park District UMC Atlanta Dental Bloomingdales Capitol City Bank & Trust Company Ceresed Jewelry Delsarte Printmaking Studio Delta Air Lines, Inc. Dunson Dental Design Family and Children’s Dentistry Fine Art by Selma Glass Georgia Dental Society Grady Health Foundation GYN Care, Inc. Henry Schein Dental Hilton Atlanta Home Medical HJ Russell Construction Company Jack and Jill of America, Inc. – Atlanta Chapter Jane Signorelli Jewelry Design Kaiser Permanente of Georgia LaGrange Family Dental Macy’s Lenox Square Mall National Alumni Association-Morehouse College National Black Arts Festival Periodontal Associates PDQ Services, Inc. Resolution Fitness Stewart Family Dentistry Sam’s Club The Absolute Therapeutic Massage The City of Atlanta & Fulton County Recreation Authority The Integrated Media Group Urbanscape Realty, Inc. Wilbourn Sisters Design 2011 Scholarship Recipients Smith Scholars Brandon Lynch Christopher Spears Brown Scholar Matthew Ellis Chambliss Scholars Andre Harvey Kederick Williams Creque Scholars Blessing Dennis Feyisayo Lawal Franklin Scholars Emmanuel Marish Kendal Thomas Henderson Bryan McElderry Jemetrius Myers Kaiser Scholars Trevano Dean Derwin Gray Jeremy Moore Ulysse Toche Edward Washington S P R I N G

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Top Students to Host Visiting VIPs


any were called, but only a few—the very best from among Morehouse’s student body—were chosen for new Presidential Ambassadors Program. The program, established in fall 2010, selected 51 students from a pool of top-performing students nominated by the College’s three divisional deans. Selection was based not only on their strong academic performance, but also their leadership ability and character. The ambassadors will assist the Office of the President and Institutional Advancement with hosting high-level corporate, political and community leaders. “They are true Renaissance Men in the making,” said director of Corporate and Foundation Relations Julie Sills, who oversees the

program. “These students have been such a joy to work with. They are a fine group of young men who I’m certain will be great leaders.” The chosen few have been afforded some very special opportunities to enhance personal development and long-term career goals. So far, they have helped to host CIA director Leon Panetta, president of Chick-fil-A Dan T. Cathy, and artist and philanthropist Peter Buffett. Participants underwent a condensed version of the Leadership and Professional Development Program as part of their preparation. The program selects new participants for the fall 2011 program in early May. ■ –VGH

Partnering in the Fight Against Diabetes DOMINIQUE WILKINS, who serves as a corporate spokesman for Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, is pictured with J.K. Haynes ’64, dean of the Division of Science and Mathematics, during a December 2010 reception the College sponsored with Novo Nordisk, a world healthcare leader in diabetes care, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlanta. Novo Nordisk recently partnered with Morehouse and other HBCUs to better reach the African American community about the perils of diabetes and its fight against this disease that attacks African Americans and other minorities in disproportionate numbers. Wilkins spoke to Morehouse and Spelman College alumni physicians about living with diabetes as an athlete. ■ MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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developmentnews New Media Studies Program Funded by $48,000 Mellon Foundation Grant By Nicolas B. Aziz ’11

Chinese Studies Program Director Henrietta Yang (right) gives student Chinese Renminbi.

Walmart’s $100,000 Grant Will Send Students to China THANKS TO A $100,000 GRANT from the Walmart Foundation, a group of up to 20 Morehouse students will be submerged in a three-week Chinese language and culture program in Shanghai for three weeks in May 2011. The Chinese Studies Program at Morehouse, established in August 2008 by Program Director Henrietta Yang, each semester offers a series of lectures and Chinese cultural events that are designed to increase cultural awareness on the campus. Currently, there are approximately 60 students enrolled in language courses and the new area studies course, Chinese Culture through Film and Literature. All of the students are encouraged to participate in study abroad programs in China. Among the 60 students, seven of them have studied in China for periods ranging from one semester to a year. “This experience has not only changed my life by greatly improving my conversational prowess in Chinese, but I have also made many friends across the world,” said Spencer Brooks, who studied at Shanghai University for a semester and returned in January 2011. “From Germany to France, Japan to Kazakhstan, Russia to Australia, I have made friendships with many people who I plan to visit in due time. I also will use my time in China to convey a greater understanding of Chinese culture and customs to potential employers within the business world. I plan to use my experience to further my professional career by working with a firm in China or one invested in China’s economy.” ■

MOREHOUSE WAS recently awarded $48,000 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to begin developing a curriculum for aspiring filmmakers. The program, named the Cinema, Television, and Emerging Media Studies (CTEMS), will begin with 10 courses, among them film history, pre-production and digital storytelling.” In addition to curriculum development, the funds will also go toward the recruitment of new faculty, site visits to relevant institutions with film studies programs (i.e. NYU Tisch Film School and University of Southern California School of Cinematic Art), the creation of a website where students can post their films, and the development of an infrastructure and production studio design. Terry L. Mills, Dean of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, has spearheaded the push for the program. He said that the idea for this program has been talked about for several years. “Last April, durAvery Williams ’86 and ing the Board of Adisa Iwa ’95 will be in Trustees meeting... [I] met with several charge of developing students and Spike the courses Lee,” Mills said. “Spike also talked to President Franklin about the importance of having a film program at Morehouse.” The CTEMS team has developed 12 new courses that are making their way through curriculum review and approval process, said Mills. The curriculum kicks off in fall 2011 with a course titled African American drama and film, and in spring 2012, more courses will be added. Morehouse alumni Avery Williams ’86 and Adisa Iwa ’95 will be in charge of developing the courses. Williams also graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of Arts and has written and produced several films, including “Direct Eddie,” which was voted best comedy at the 2001 New York Independent Film and Video Festival. Iwa, who was known as Eric Baker during his time at Morehouse, has written for several popular television shows, including “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” ■ S P R I N G

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developmentnews King Chapel’s WorldHouse Initiative Realized Project Funded by $2-million Lilly Endowment Grant


illy Endowment Inc.has awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel a grant for $2 million plus, to support the WorldHouse Initiative Realized project. The support staff and programmatic components funded by the grant specifically address the three major aims of Lilly Endowment’s Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation: to examine how faith commitments link to vocation; to provide the opportunity to explore ministry as a vocation; and to create sustainable environments that foster such exploration. The WorldHouse Initiative Realized project interweaves vocation into focused, campus-wide conversations and activities that highlight the impact of lives of commitment and the development of vocational discernment and personal vision. Through three program components—ministry as a vocation, opportunities for vocational discernment campus-wide, and vocational discernment in communities of practice—Morehouse will focus on three core areas of inquiry: vocational discernment, acceptance and maturing of a guiding faith, and development of servant scholar leaders. According to Roy Craft, executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, the funds will be used, in part, to help enhance the current Chapel Assistants program into a certificate

“Research shows that students who participate in vocational programs are more mature, more on track with career goals and make better life decisions.”

program, as well as turn the 27-year-old College of Ministers and Laity into a formal annual conference. The dates for next year are April 16-19, 2012. “Research shows that students who participate in vocational programs are more mature, more on track with career goals and make better life decisions,” said Craft. Craft also quoted a January 2011 survey by Parade Magazine,where 61 percent of respondents answered “no” when asked,“If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same career?” “More than two-thirds of people surveyed say they hate what they do, indicating that they’re not in a career that matches who they

are or where they can best serve,” said Craft. “But these questions have to be asked before they complete college,”he said.“We have to make sure people do something they’re called to do versus just something that looks good on their resume.” The Chapel is doing this in myriad ways—from inviting Crown Forum speakers to tell their vocational story to helping undeclared majors and music majors explore their options. Also, the Chapel has partnered with other campus initiatives and offices, including the Faces of Manhood, Career Services, New Student Orientation and the Office of the Freshmen Class to continue vocational work that, according to Craft, has always existed at Morehouse and can be seen most clearly in the writing and teaching of Howard Thurman ’23 and President Benjamin E. Mays. “Our job is to define and make explicit what has long been a part of Morehouse,” said Lawrence E. Carter, founding dean of the Chapel. “This year’s Science and Spiritual Awareness Week theme was ‘A Renaissance of Vocation,’ which focused not only on preaching as a vocation, but also on the emerging green movement and all the related emerging careers.” “We discussed people doing jobs that they’re passionate about while also being of service,” he said. ■

Historic Legacy of CLA Journal Should Be Sustained By Add Seymour Jr. NEW RESOURCES WILL BE NEEDED for the 54-year-old, Morehouse-based CLA Journal (College Language Association) to thrive in the future, said Terry Mills, dean of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences. The Journal, which is housed at Morehouse and led by editorin-chief Cason Hill, is funded by the College Language Association. Former Morehouse President Hugh Gloster founded it in 1937. The CLA Journal is a selective, peer-reviewed humanities journal that fosters professional development and cultivates student achievement and creativity at historically black colleges and universities. The Journal, which has an international readership, MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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publishes contributions from leading scholars in literature and the humanities. “In order to sustain this legacy at Morehouse in the 21st century, the Journal must expand its staff and increase its funding,” Mills said. “An expanded budget would allow for summer stipends, which would bolster the editorial leadership of the Journal. “Increases in funding would make it possible to extend the CLA Journal’s national and international footprint—and lead to a new status as a periodical that emphasizes African American and Africana literary studies, as well as interdisciplinary contributions,” he said. For more information or to support the CLA Journal contact Dean Terry Mills at ■

developmentnews Award-winning Composer Peter Buffett Delivers Life Lessons in Concert and Conversation

Celebrating Corporate Commitment INGRID SAUNDERS JONES (center), senior vice president for Global Community Connections for The Coca-Cola Company and the chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation, poses with her Morehouse mentee Kenneth Williams ’12 (right) and President Robert M. Franklin ‘75. She was honored for her “fierce commitment” to Morehouse at the second annual Corporate Recognition Luncheon in April 2011. The Coca-Cola Company also was honored with the Fulfilling the Dream Award for its commitment to the College. ■

Phillip Howard ’87, vice president for Institutional Advancement, greets Ronald V. Redd ’88, director of Business Services, BMO Capital Markets, Chicago.

Peter Buffett at piano for “Concert and Conversation” performance.


n a 90-minute performance, Emmy Award-winning composer, philanthropist and author Peter Buffett took the message of his book, Life Is What You Make It, to the stage. By drawing upon his own life story and experiences, Buffett discussed how important it is for each person to define his or her own path in life, regardless of wealth or background. Buffett’s “Concert & Conversation” was a combination of cello-accompanied live piano/vocal performance, multimedia and personal stories. The concert, which took place in The Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building on October 11, was one of the first in a series of performances in the new Emma and Joe Adams Concert Hall. “Although I never had the opportunity to meet Ray Charles, I have been a long time admirer of his work,” says Buffett, who began his career in San Francisco writing music for commercials. Buffett has released 15 records on various labels and owns two labels himself. He is known for scoring the memorable fire dance scene in the Oscar-winning film “Dances With Wolves.” ■ S P R I N G

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Resourcing the Toni O’Neal Mosley, director of Public Relations and manager of Campaign communications, discusses the preparation for the College’s comprehensive capital campaign.


legacy of leadership development, yet recalithin days of taking office as ibrates the mission of developing young Morehouse Colleges 10th presimen as ethical leaders by adding a focus dent, Robert M. Franklin ‘75 “We now have an on social justice. In essence, Morehouse announced his vision of a “renaissance” at opportunity to image men have always been the Renaissance Morehouse. The year was 2007, and the again—to think and men of their time – ethical leaders who are College was about to celebrate its 140th year rethink about what well-rounded and engaged in social issues. since its founding in 1867. The envisioned Morehouse Renaissance Specifically, he stated: might be possible 20, 50, calls for a renewal of the core values and “My vision is that Morehouse College will 100, 150 years from now practices that have guided the College provide intellectual and moral leadership for a if we embrace and since its founding and provides a definite 21st century global renaissance of character, mandate for Morehouse as an institution civility and community. Morehouse will fulfill fund—bold new possito become a leader, a critical force for the dream of its founders as a global resource bilities for 21st century change in the global community. for ethical and educated leaders. While develleadership at Morehouse “Because liberal arts education is our oping Morehouse Men – Renaissance men core business – our raison d’etre – somewith a social conscience” who are committed College.” thing we have done exceptionally well for to champion the causes of equality, justice and –Robert M. Franklin ’75 over 144 years – ensuring that we can conpeace – the College will guide and inspire othtinue to offer a quality educational experiers to serve the common good in their comence for the young men who attend munities and throughout the globe.” Morehouse is Job One – particularly given the new challenges Merriam Webster’s definition of renaissance as a “rebirth or and opportunities of the 21st century,” Franklin said. revival” is closest to the meaning of “renaissance” as prescribed by Franklin’s vision: the state of being revived; renewed attention to or interest in something; a new presentation of something old; restoration of force or validity. A Renaissance Man is a person DURING THE NEXT THREE YEARS of his administration, who is skilled in multiple fields or multiple disciplines, and who Franklin advanced his vision in three significant ways. First, he has a broad base of knowledge. Leonardo Da Vinci, who was a distilled the Morehouse mystique into five simple elements, master of art, an engineer, an anatomy expert, and also pursued coining the phrase “Five Wells” as the tenants of student develmany other disciplines with great success and aplomb, comes to opment at Morehouse: well-read, well-traveled, well-spoken, mind. The modern Renaissance Man spans the gamut – from well-dressed, and well-balanced. Walt Disney to Bill Gates to Spike Lee ‘79. Second, he stressed internally and publicly the responsibility “Morehouse was founded on the premise that to make a real of the College to address the status of young black men in sociedifference, to affect real change, society needs able leaders. Over ty. He often cites the startling statistics reported by the Schott the years, the College’s mission to produce such leaders has not Foundation for Public Education that for the 2003-04 academic changed, but the issues our graduates face have,” said Franklin. year, 55 percent of African American boys did not earn high He said Morehouse graduates must be ready to address issues school diplomas in four years. In other words the graduation like war, poverty, global warming, pandemic hunger, poverty and rate was 45 percent. In Georgia, the state from which disease and global economic instability at the level of policy, as Morehouse draws its largest number of applicants, the black well as practice. male high school graduation rate is 29 percent. In New York, In this context, Franklin’s vision honors Morehouse’s storied another state from which large numbers of students apply to

A Critical Time for “Futuring” the College




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Members of the Renaissance Commisssion with students in the Presidential Ambassadors Program

Morehouse, the graduation rate is 38 percent. “Through our teaching, research, conferences, leadership development training, dissemination of key findings and other intellectual work, we can infuse a more informed, more hopeful perspective on how this population of young men can thrive,” he said. The last, and perhaps most important advancement of his vision, was staking a claim for Morehouse as a leader in expanding and diversifying the nation’s talent pipeline – that is, the educational continuum of students moving from elementary school, to middle school, to high school, to college and to graduate school. Faced with the worst economic crisis the nation had experienced since the Depression era—as well as many other external forces and trends that are reshaping higher education in general and affecting liberal arts colleges like Morehouse in particular— College leaders set about the necessary work to realize the vision and achieve its strategic goals. Rising operational costs, a dwindling applicant pool of eligible African American males, decreases in federal and foundation funding, and a shift in philanthropic giving are critical factors to consider in determining the future direction of the College. Under the leadership of the Morehouse Board of Trustees, the College completed an in-depth strategic plan, as well as a campus-

wide assessment of critical funding needs that will take the College through 2013. The strategic goals include developing and implementing new academic, student development and community engagement initiatives. In 2009 – realizing that this alone was not enough to maintain the College’s top positioning in the marketplace and sustain its strong financial foundation – Franklin put into action an unprecedented plan to “future” the Morehouse of his renaissance vision.

President Assembles Renaissance Commission THE CONCEPT OF A RENAISSANCE COMMISSION was born. The Renaissance Commission (RenCom) is a blue-ribbon, volunteer panel of influential thought leaders and fundraisers that will help “future” Morehouse and raise $125 million during the “The Campaign for a Morehouse Renaissance,” scheduled to culminate in 2017. “To ensure that we have both the financial and the intellectual resources we will need to ensure that future, I have created the Renaissance Commission,” said Franklin. “The Morehouse College Renaissance Commission is a volunteer group of ‘thought leaders’ and fundraisers who, as the College embarks on the quiet phase of its next comprehensive fundraising campaign, will help chart the course as Morehouse heads towards S P R I N G

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The committee leadership of the volunteer fundraising effort will make up the remainder of the campaign leadership group. All members are asked to support this historic effort by making a gift to the College as part of their service on the Commission.

A Meeting of the Minds

its 150th anniversary in 2017.” RenCom brings together a diverse cadre of more than 150 volunteers, comprised of current members of the College’s advisory boards, as well as alumni, past College honorees, friends and supporters. According to vice president for Institutional Advancement Phillip Howard ’87, whose team is staffing this initiative, the Commissioners are “well-noted experts in the selected subject areas, many with leading-edge exposure or experience in research or work in world-class organizations.” The Commissioners will engage in a historic effort to help Morehouse identify key cultural, economic and international influences that are likely to affect its success as an elite undergraduate liberal arts college, and to garner the financial resources the College will need to advance its mission into the 21st century. “This effort is all about engagement – participation in the life of the institution,” said Howard. “We expect a robust dialogue around issues related to advancing the College and strong recommendations for achieving President Franklin’s vision. We also anticipate the success of our fundraising campaign will be due in large part to the contributions – both as individual contributors and as solicitors – of this tremendous group.” The Renaissance Commission is headed by four national cochairs whose primary responsibility is to lead the volunteer fundraising and thought leadership effort. The Co-chairs are Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company; Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets; Dale E. Jones ’82, vice chairman and partner of the CEO and Board Practice in the Americas, Heidrick and Struggles; and C. David Moody Jr. ’78, president and CEO of C.D. Moody Construction Company, Inc. MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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DURING FOUNDER’S WEEK 2011, the first full meeting of the Renaissance Commission took place. (Previously, in April 2010, a small sub-group of the Commissioners met and participated in focus group sessions on fundraising, key messages and strategies for the Campaign for a Morehouse Renaissance.) Nearly 100 of the nation’s foremost business, civic and political leaders, many of them Morehouse alumni, attended a dinner meeting on February 17, followed by a full day of presentations and breakout sessions on February 18 in the Executive Leadership Center. “We know we’re on the right track with this effort due to the level of support we received from our sponsors for the weekend,” said Dale Jones ’82. In addition to Jones personally sponsoring the event, other sponsors were AT&T Mobility, Chick-fil-A, Ralph de la Vega, Harold L. Martin Jr. ’02, Rufus H. Rivers ’86, Mack Roach III ’75 and The Red Clay Hill Group. During Friday’s sessions, the group was introduced to an internal perspective of Morehouse that few had ever been privy to outside the College’s Board of Trustees and senior level administrators. CFO and Vice President for Business and Finance Gwendolyn Sykes provided an overview on financial viability, affordability and costs. Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Weldon Jackson ’72 presented data on the academic enterprise, including recruitment and retention. Professor of Economics Willis B. Sheftall‘64, provided an overview of the higher education landscape with benchmarking data.

SPECIALR E P O RT Within two hours 17 Commissioners had pledged more than $1 million for scholarships. During this session, a phenomenal thing happened. After Jackson revealed that more than 30 students could be lost this semester because they didn’t have enough money to pay their tuition, the response from several members was “we can’t let this happen.” Within two hours, 17 Commissioners had pledged more than $1 million to the Board’s Opportunity Fund, which provides gap funding for students in need. This one gesture proved beyond a doubt that this group understood its core mission and was committed to taking up the mantle for Morehouse. The group then disbursed into five smaller working groups and heard more detailed information in the aforementioned areas, as well as sessions on fundraising and the College’s 150th Anniversary History Project. The Renaissance Commission is charged with two deliverables: • comprehensive report delivered no later than Dec. 31, 2012, to the president of the College and board of trustees outlining recommendations that will be integrated into the strategic plan for 2012-2017 • successful completion of the $125-million “Campaign for a Morehouse Renaissance” on or before February 28, 2017 To keep the membership level near 150 and to replace members who cycle off or must resign based on unforeseen obligations, other persons with expertise and interest in the areas set forth by the College may also be invited to join RenCom. “Like the vision of William Jefferson White 143 years ago, we now have an opportunity to image again—to think and rethink about what might be possible 20, 50, 100, 150 years from now if we embrace and fund—bold new possibilities for 21st century leadership at Morehouse College,” said Franklin. ■



THE COMMISSION’S CHARGE THE RENAISSANCE COMMISSION is organized into two complementary groups, fundraising and thought leadership. Both subgroups are designed to meet the needs of the College and to allow for the broadest involvement by the College’s stakeholders. Both groups are complementary, but not exclusive in their purpose. The Renaissance Commission will conduct their work through a combination of meetings and online and/or teleconference working sessions. Currently, plans call for the Commission to meet as a group twice each year, and at least one of those meetings will be held in Atlanta or on the Morehouse campus.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP The RenCom thought leadership group will examine three areas: • financial viability • academic enterprise • fundraising Each subject matter committee will have two chairs – one external to the College and the other an alumnus of the College. Based on their deliberations, the thought leadership group will present a set of recommendations that the Board of Trustees, the president, and the senior staff may use as inputs into the 2014-2019 Strategic Plan development process. While encouraged to promote the College, thought leaders are

not required to solicit funds for the Campaign. However, as a part of their work on RenCom, thought leaders will be asked to submit the names of potential supporters to their chairs or to staff in the Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA). The primary work of the thought leadership committees should be complete by 2013. After that time, thought leaders will either 1) transition to the fundraising team or 2) continue in an advisory role for one of the College’s academic centers, programs or institutional initiatives.

FUNDRAISING The RenCom fundraising group will serve as the “campaign cabinet” for “The Campaign for a Morehouse Renaissance.” Accordingly, the fundraising volunteers will be charged with assisting the College in meeting its goal of $125 million by 2017. The fundraising group will be comprised of several teams that are primarily organized geographically or by target constituent (e.g., alumni in California). These fund raising volunteers will be led by OIA staff. Volunteers in this capacity will be asked to serve a minimum of three years and may serve for the entire duration of the Campaign. Fundraising volunteers will have no ongoing responsibilities after the official end of the campaign in 2017.


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‘SUCCESS IS PROGRESSIVE’ Mario Ball ’07 on Pace to Meet Greater Challenges in his Remarkable Career By Shandra Hill Smith


N THE SURFACE, a well-known medical device and the packaging of a popular snack may not have an obvious correlation. But in Mario D. Ball’s world, it is safe to say one directly influenced the other. During his younger years, says Ball ’07, “I would buy a bag of chips and think ‘What material is this bag made out of?’ I was thinking of those concepts at an early age. I was like nine years old thinking like that.” Today, Ball is a clinical engineer in the Atlanta Office for Medtronic, Inc., a Minneapolis-based medical technology company. He is a pacemaker sales representative who spends his days in operating rooms assisting cardiologists and electrophysiologists with implanting pacemakers and defibrillators in




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heart patients. “Once the device has been implanted, I’m in total control,” explains Ball. “I have to make it work. I do all the initial programming and troubleshooting for the device.” Ball was a straight-A student in high school, but also excelled in several other arenas. He was named an All-America football player, elected SGA president, was a weightlifting champion, and was crowned homecoming and prom king. During the summer, he gained exposure to life away from his rural roots, becoming involved with programs such as Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search, and participating in math and science programs at Morehouse and the University of Tennessee. “That really kind of stimulated me in a way that I had never had,” he says.

inperson “When I juxtaposed playing football versus academics, I knew I really didn’t want to pursue a career in football. I was doing it for fun and I was good at it, but I thought long-term about what I wanted to do with my career. That’s when I chose Morehouse.” When he received an engineering and partial football scholarship from the University of Tennessee and an academic scholarship from Morehouse, he knew he had come to a life-defining juncture. “When I juxtaposed playing football versus academics, I knew I really didn’t want to pursue a career in football. I was doing it for fun and I was good at it, but I thought long-term about what I wanted to do with my career. That’s when I chose Morehouse.” The decision to attend Morehouse as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and Bill Gates Millennium Scholar proved “the greatest thing that I ever did in my life. Morehouse stimulated me far more than I expected.” He did, however, fill the sports void with running, serving as captain of the Morehouse track team in 2002. At Morehouse, Ball studied under Gregory Battle, who was then an associate professor of mathematics. Battle, now with Grambling State University in Louisiana, describes Ball as “ambitious in a nice way.” “He has a keen sense of intellect, that charisma for leadership, that passion for wanting to push things further,” said Battle. Ball went on to work in several impressive internships. At Kimberly-Clark Corp., he served as a project engineering intern, where he assisted in increasing the production of Micro-cuff projects from 30,000 to 60,000 a month. At Stryker Orthopaedics, he worked with an engineering team to design hip components to address congenital dysplasia of the hip in Japanese patients. And, as an intern at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, he developed a mockup exercise machine that is used to help train Russian astronauts. Srin Nagaraja was one of Ball’s mentors at Georgia Tech in the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, where Ball worked as a researcher in an orthopaedic biomechanics laboratory investigating bone microdamage. “As a researcher, he had a strong work ethic and was driven to

Clinical Engineer Mario Ball ’07 has his sights set on pursuing a MBA.

achieve quality results,” says Nagaraja. “I believe those traits have set Mario up for success not only in his professional life, but also his personal life.” Ball graduated with a bachelor of science degree in applied physics from Morehouse in July 2007, followed within six months by a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering from Georgia Tech. It should be no surprise that Ball, who tackled both math and football in high school and, in college, took on the arduous Morehouse-Georgia Tech dual-degree program, is still seeking greater challenges. “Although I’m totally happy with where I am, I’m still striving for more,” he says. He plans to attend business school to pursue a degree in sales and marketing. “I’m definitely a success, but I don’t think I’m totally successful yet. Success is something that’s progressive.” ■


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Grand Opening of The Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building > S P R I N G

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Of Symbols and I




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f you think the gleaming new Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building is constructed only of glass, brick and mortar—you’re wrong. This $20million, 76,000-square-foot edifice is also made of the nebulous, but necessary, building blocks of dreams and visions. Its foundation is not just concrete, but also a century-old legacy of music ingenuity and excellence. Its framework not just rows and rows of two-by-fours, but also rows and rows of Renaissance men who, as they travel the world to perform in venues from churches to concert halls, are well-read, well-spoken, well-traveled, well-dressed and well-balanced Morehouse ambassadors … who happen to be able to sing.


By Vickie G. Hampton

Its ceiling … Well, this little exercise goes a bit flat here because, metaphorically at least, there is no ceiling. With a new state-of-the-art home that offers the space, equipment and technology that finally reflect the legacy and aspirations of the renowned Morehouse College Glee Club and the Department of Music, music at Morehouse is—both metaphorically and literally speaking—soaring. >


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Constructing a Metaphor ON A BRIGHT morning in September 2010, more than 300 people gathered on the plaza of Morehouse’s latest opus: the opening of The Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building. Every last detail was falling into place. The Steinway-D ninefoot grand piano for the concert hall had arrived less than 24 hours earlier. With no time for permanent signs, temporary ones were mounted in their stead. Student tour guides were ready with rehearsed spiels that would sing the praises of the impressive facility. And, just as visitors arrived at the circular driveway in front of the Music Academic building and walked the short path to the plaza where the ribbon-cutting ceremony would be held, a communications aide secured a large maroon bow on the second of two pairs of ceremonial scissors. One pair was for current president, Robert M. Franklin ’75. But the second pair was for his predecessor, Walter E. Massey ’58. Massey cultivated many of the relationships that resulted in the shared vision for the structure. Massey’s vision was that Morehouse would become the best liberal arts college in the nation—without regard to its location, size or demographics. The buildings that were raised during his tenure responded to the College’s aspiration to enhance its 21st-century learning experience. In 2006, the John H. Hopps Jr. Technological Tower, replete with computer labs and offices for the Office of Information Technology, and the College’s first apartment-living dormitories were completed. Two years later, the Leadership Center building opened and became home to the Division of Business Administration and Economics, among other offices. When Franklin became president of the College in July 2007, the seeds for The Ray Charles Center had already been

planted. But for three years he shepherded the project through its construction, watching and often commenting as the building sprouted up from the ground. As the roof was added, he remarked about how the building was being “crowned” in a similar fashion to alumnus Howard Thurman’s affirmation to Morehouse Men to grow tall enough to wear the crown Morehouse places above her sons’ heads. And Franklin’s perspective on the College’s progress was more panoramic—one that encompassed present, future and past. The vision that eventually crystallized for him was of an institution that fully embraced the amenities and advances of modern learning while reviving the wisdom and back-to-thebasics foundation of the past: an excellent liberal arts curriculum, an emphasis on community involvement, ethical leadership development and a commitment to developing wellrounded students. He called this vision the Morehouse Renaissance, and the well-prepared students it would produce Renaissance Men. And he found that The Ray Charles Center—the first building to be constructed under his watch—resonated with this vision. “This facility is not simply just another building at Morehouse,” he said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, “it is also a symbol of the Morehouse Renaissance. The opening of this facility symbolizes that sense of unleashing creativity, genius and energy within the Morehouse community—energy that will radiate outward into the larger community.” Indeed, The Ray Charles Center as a metaphor for the Renaissance works on many levels. For all its gee-whiz technology (including a state-of-the-art digital/analog recording studio, electronic classrooms and digital

Atrium/Pre-Event Reception Area Beyond the atrium stairway is an intimate twostory alcove—a perfect space for informal receptions and pre- and post-concert gatherings. The space features a floor-to-ceiling glass wall and upper-level balcony with spectacular views. (Featured on cover.)




Music Academic Building The Music Academic Building is designed to address the future instructional, rehearsal and performance space needs for several generations of Morehouse students. The building features 12 faculty studios, two electronic classrooms, nine practice rooms, dedicated storage areas for students’ instruments, a library for sheet music and three academic labs, including the David Geffen Keyboard Digital Music Laboratory. 2 0 1 1

Emma and Joe Adams Concert Hall The Emma and Joe Adams Concert Hall is the primary performance space for the Morehouse College Glee Club, the Jazz Ensemble and other smaller performance groups, as well as student and faculty recitals, musical theatre productions and opera. Upon entering the world-class hall, patrons will be impressed by the warm, rich colors, celestial lighting and

elevated left and right parterre. The 550-fixed-seat capacity hall features a motorized orchestra pit that can be raised to provide additional seating. The center is equipped with a Steinway-D nine-foot grand piano. Its state-of-the-art digital/analog recording studio is designed to professionally record and master all sessions and performances throughout the facility.

Eugene Mitchell Performance Lawn One of the most unique attributes of the Center is the Eugene Mitchell Performance Lawn - located outside at the rear of the Band Rehearsal Room. A wall in the band rehearsal room can be raised, transforming the space into a stage. The performance lawn, which seats approximately 200 patrons in chairs and on blankets, begs for the occasional impromptu musical performances or casual gatherings of students between classes.


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Walter E. Massey ‘58, president emeritus of Morehouse (second to left), and President Robert M. Franklin ‘75 (third from right) together cut the ribbon for The Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building. Also pictured are (l-r) Retired Lt. Gen. James Hall ‘57; Joe Adams, chairman of the board of the Ray Charles Foundation; Valerie Ervin, president of the Ray Charles Foundation, C.D. Moody of C.D. Moody Construction; and Andre Bertrand ‘79, Morehouse vice president for Campus Operations.

music laboratory) The Ray Charles Center is a monument to the College’s commitment to enhance its liberal arts curriculum. The structure itself is a portrait of newness with broad strokes of the past. Its modern, artistic elements of light-colored stone accents, glass walls and cathedral ceilings are tempered by architectural features that link it to the traditional redbrick bar accents and columns of buildings on the Century Campus. With its location on the corner of Joseph P. Lowery Boulevard and West End Avenue, The Ray Charles Center not only expands the campus southward, but also is positioned to become a cultural hub for the historic West End community. Within six months of its opening, The Ray Charles Center has hosted poet Nikki Giovanni, musician Peter Buffett, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and the 2011 Bennie and Candle honorees (among them Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman and baseball legend Frank Robinson) on its Emma and Joe Adams Concert Hall stage. Further, it’s home to the Morehouse College Glee Club—and who better than the sharply dressed members of the Glee Club represent Renaissance Men and Franklin’s ubiquitously displayed Five Wells? MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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And let’s not forget The Ray Charles Center’s namesake--a legend of a man who parsed and remixed music genres in ways that created sounds so original, so spellbinding that he was dubbed “The Genius.”

A Blind Man’s Vision TEN YEARS AGO, Ray Charles was performing in Atlanta when his business manager Joe Adams (the same Joe Adams for whom the Emma and Joe Adams Public Service Institute is named) convinced him to drop by Morehouse for an impromptu set with the Morehouse College Jazz Ensemble. It was the beginning of a beautiful—and

Ray Charles performs with the Morehouse College Jazz Ensemble in 2001.

bountiful—friendship. That year, Morehouse honored Charles with both a Candle Award for Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Entertainment and an honorary doctor of humane letters. Charles, along with Adams, reciprocated with a $1-million gift, which was seed funds for the building. A year later, Charles gave another $1-million gift, effectively sealing his commitment to help find, educate and inspire the next generation of music pioneers. Since then, the College has received an additional $3 million from the Ray Charles Foundation. Blinded at age six and raised in abject poverty, Charles’ lifework defied the limitations wrought by his physical and environmental conditions. No, let’s make that decimated. His good friend, music mogul Quincy Jones, said at a Morehouse fundraiser for the Center held in Hollywood, Calif., only months after Charles’ death in 2004, that Ray Charles was blind only around pretty girls, “bumping into things” to draw their attention and sympathy. Otherwise, the fiercely independent Charles shopped, traveled, even flew a fleet of his own planes. As impressive as that is—turn’s out his vision was even more incredible. He handpicked Morehouse as the perfect venue to realize his dream of educating young musicians. “My only regret is that [Charles] is not here to share this moment,” said Uzee Brown Jr. ’72, chairman of the Department of Music, during the groundbreaking for the building, “because it was his vision that brought this magnificent facility in the realm of reality.” Brown also evoked the memories of Wendell Whalum ’52 and Kemper Harreld, two Morehouse music giants who also had dreamed of a facility like The Ray Charles Center. The arts at Morehouse “will finally have a home of their own with a firm foundation … so that musical minds can grow,” he said. ■

Built By Design Several years ago,

Andre Bertrand ’76, vice president for Campus Operations, and Music Department Chairman Uzee Brown ’72 knew what they wanted in a performing arts center building at Morehouse. It had been an idea in the College’s Master Plan in 2001. But by 2003, after music legend Ray Charles had given $3 million towards the construction of the new performing arts center, Bertrand, Brown and others started figuring out just what the center would look like. “In the 26 years that I’ve been here, I’ve listened to what faculty, students, alumni and friends of the College have said we should have in its building designs,” Bertrand said. “And also the surrounding community and what they think the building should represent. “And I’ve always endeavored to have what happens physically, in terms of buildings, on this campus to complement the excellence that takes place in the class rooms,” he said. The first thing was to assess the needs, Brown said. “The functionality of the instructional spaces, with regards to growing the program in terms of digital and computer resources, accommodating larger numbers of students who are not in the music department but who are interested in general courses in music, and adequate rehearsal spaces,” he said. “Neither the band nor the Glee Club had ever had an adequate space for rehearsal and that has specific requirements. So those things had to be given consideration.” Technology was going to be a big part in the new facility, allowing instructors to teach with some of the most high-tech equipment and student performances to be recorded virtually anywhere in the building. Brown, Bertrand and others looked

Uzee Brown ’72, chairman of the Music Department

Andre Bertrand ’76, vice president for Campus Operations

at other metro Atlanta performing arts facilities, such as Georgia State University’s Rialto Theater, the Cobb Energy Centre and Clayton State University’s renowned Spivey Hall. Acoustics in the performing space were of prime importance. “We listened to various examples of sounds and delay effects of sound and so forth to try to make that room as ideal as possible for a music performance hall,” Brown said. “For example, the floors are made of concrete with carpeting only in the aisles, and that is to help the acoustics and the ‘bounce’ in the room. There are panels on the walls that will adjust the acoustics from a brighter sound to, for lack of a better word, a muffled sound, depending on the kind of performance ensemble you have on stage.” Architecturally, other performing arts centers provided early ideas. “I looked across the country and drew from [other facilities] to get that sense of a warm, intimate, high-end feeling,” Bertrand said. “But in the end, it’s not patterned after any other building.”

Actually, Bertrand said there were some architectural influences: buildings on the Century Campus. “We drew from a number of the design elements from the historic quad, like Graves Hall,” he said. “We wanted to continue having sort of the traditional expressions throughout the design of facilities on campus. We did the same thing with The Leadership Center building, to sort of tie the new parts of campus to the historic campus areas.” In the end, the $20-million, 76,000square-foot Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building became everything Brown and Bertrand had hoped. “I am immensely proud of it,” Brown said. “It is a very impressive facility by any standard among HBCU institutions and among colleges and universities in general.” Bertrand agreed. “It’s always rewarding when an endeavor like this accomplishes what you envisioned when you began the journey,” he said. “It’s a very inspirational building.” ■


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Morehouse College Glee Club, circa 1911

Men of Song

Morehouse College Glee Club Continues Century Legacy of Brotherhood and Harmony By Add Seymour Jr.


ach May during Commencement, approximately

10,000 people witness a customary call to the stage. Men – proud of their bond, their work and their brotherhood – rise, then, quickly and orderly, step to the stage. But they aren’t there to get diplomas, as most have long ago done that. These are Morehouse Men of song, former members of the Morehouse College Glee Club who each year heed the request of director David Morrow ’80 to join the current Club in singing the traditional “Prayer” from Lohengrin. “It’s indescribable,” said Weldon Jackson ’72, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, who was president and secretary of the Glee Club as a student. “You see guys from all walks of life, from all age groups,” he said. “You see those guys come up from the audience. It just rekindles the notion that this was a very special thing.” For 100 years, the Morehouse College Glee Club has provided something special, musically and otherwise. The group that some years numbers more than 100 has become a fraternity of thousands from all majors and disciplines (one doesn’t have to be a music major to be in the Glee Club).

The Glee Club has, in a sense, provided the soundtrack for the College’s 144-year story. The young men have done that through nine albums, highprofile performances in movies such as “School Daze” and “Miracle at St. Anna”(both written and produced by Spike Lee ’79), and performances on campus and around the world. More importantly, said music department chairman Uzee Brown ’72, they bring to life the polished image of the Morehouse Man. “The Glee Club is an organization that represents an image of the College that carries with it a level of discipline and high regard in the public,” said Brown, himself a former Glee Club member. “It brings a level of prestige as far as what a Morehouse Man should be like,” he said. “These young men’s deportment—and I’ve seen it over and over again—raises the bar in terms of the expectations of being in the public, especially in contemporary times as it regards African American men. They are standard bearers.” “When the Glee Club goes out or when young people come visit the College, they see black men doing something other than dribbling a basketball, rapping or doing hip hop,” he said. “Those things are fine. But it’s about offering alternatives that take what we do in the realm of academia to a higher plane, not only in terms of the challenges of the repertoire, but also in the meanings S P R I N G

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The Morehouse B Y T HCollege E N UGlee M BClub ERS

The Morehouse College Glee Club

1 – The Glee Club has performed for one U.S. president, Jimmy Carter – twice: for his inauguration in 1977 and in the East Room of the White House with Coretta Scott King in 1978.

3 – The Glee Club has had only three directors – Kemper Harreld, Wendell P. Whalum ’52 and David Morrow ’80 – during its100-year existence.

4 – Four times a week, Morrow leads practices in the Glee Club Rehearsal Room in the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center.

With stirring spirituals and standards, the Morehouse College Glee Club thrilled a Los Angeles crowd during a Glee Club’s 100th Anniversary Celebration Concert at the sold-out Nokia Theater.

6 – Six men have been named honorary members of the Glee Club: Roland M. Carter, Leonard de Paur, Robert Shaw, Hugh M. Gloster, Benjamin E. Mays and President Emeritus Walter E. Massey ’58

10 – The Glee Club has performed in 10 foreign countries, including South Africa, Russia and Poland. 30 – The Glee Club does 30 performances or full concerts during the academic year, including its annual two-week Spring Tour. 84 – The 2011 Morehouse College Glee Club has 84 members, coming from all three of the College’s academic divisions and a wide variety of majors. 1911 – President John Hope hired Kemper Harreld, a successful young musician, concert violinist and faculty member, to direct the first edition of the Morehouse College Glee Club in 1911.




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behind those things and the discipline required to give them.” Having studied under some of the world’s greats, David Morrow ’80, the Glee Club’s third director, has become a renowned conductor. He’s led the combined Morehouse and Spelman choruses in a performance with opera star Jessye Norman; the combined choruses of the Atlanta University Center and R&B legend Natalie Cole during Super Bowl XXXVIII and for a 1990 convocation for Nelson Mandela. He also led the Glee Club in a tribute performance for conductor Robert Shaw during the 1993 Kennedy Center Honors, the opening and closing ceremonies of the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games, as well as recent inter-

national tours in South Africa, Poland and Russia. But a lot of hard work goes into preparing for those kinds of appearances. Academics come first, so members of the Glee Club are required to maintain solid grades. In fact, bus trips before noon to performances are quiet periods reserved for study. Performances are preceded by rehearsals, four times a week, in the Glee Club’s practice room in the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building. During one recent rehearsal, Morrow had the Glee Club go over one line nearly seven times before shaking his head. “No, no, no. That’s not it,” Morrow said as he stopped the young singers in midsentence. “You’ve got to sing the entire word.” With that, they launched into the song for the eighth time. “Morrow can be as tough as nails,” Brown said. “He is an extremely meticulous person. He’s very serious about his work. He wants to make sure that people are there and are as dedicated and committed as a student as he was.” In that same rehearsal, Morrow

lightened the mood by cracking jokes and smiling, especially when he saw that the young men got what he was saying. “The standard of excellence, I inherited it from Dr. Whalum and I imagine he inherited it from Mr. Harreld,” “he said. “There are so many stereotypes that black choirs are not as good as others. I don’t buy that. If we are going to do it, it should be at the same level as any in the world. So, yes, I try to make sure every detail is correct. “It’s always good challenge for me to inspire them to sing and do all this music genuinely and I know that they are enjoying it and fond of what they are presenting,” he said. “It’s really quite a joy.” Since 1987, at the end of every rehearsal, each member recites the Glee Club’s motto: “The Morehouse College Glee Club is an eminent expression of brotherhood; a united force of dedication and

Classmates Maynard Jackson ’56 (right), A. Reginald Eaves ’56 (center) and Quinton V. Williamson ’40 (left) sing with the Glee Club during Jackson’s 1974 Atlanta mayoral inauguration ceremony.

commitment and an unselfish labor of love.” Penned by former member Claude Jones ’76, that motto expresses the everlasting bond and pride that links the present with an illustrious past. “First and foremost, we are a brotherhood,” said David Thomas, a sophomore music major who has been in the Glee Club since his freshman year. “It is overwhelming to see people who were introduced to that love for the Glee

Club and love for the music that we do and share, and hold onto that love, whether they graduated in 1965 or 1985, 1952 or 1982. “And I believe that love gets stronger over time because we keep with one another and they keep up with the current Glee Club,” he said. “It’s like they’ve never left.” After graduation, most members go into their fields of study instead of the music industry, including busi-

For 84 years, the Morehouse College Glee Club with the Spelman College Glee Club perform for the annual Christmas Carole Concert in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. S P R I N G

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Director Wendell Whalum ’52 directs the Glee Club, circa 1981.

ness, politics and education. Some of those former members include Atlanta’s first black mayor Maynard Jackson ’56 and his grandfather, civil rights leader John Wesley Dobbs ’14 (who was the Glee Club’s first-ever accompanist) and the College’s most well known graduate, Martin Luther King Jr., who was only briefly a Glee Club member. Others have gone into the music

industry, such as award-winning gospel artist Byron Cage, famed drummer Babatunde Olatunji ’54, Broadway legend James Stovall, Grammy-nominated gospel singer Canton Jones ’00 and vocalist/actor Samuel McKelton ’86, who coaches singers for the play, “The Lion King.” But no matter what they do after their Morehouse days, most remain close to the Glee Club. That was the feeling when current and

old Glee Club members converged for their 100th anniversary celebration during the College’s Founder’s Day Observance in February in the Emma and Joe Adams Performance Hall in the new Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. Panel discussions were held on the tradition of glee club singing in America, HBCU choirs and the role of the black church, and the 100year legacy of the Morehouse College Glee Club. There, many smiled and hugged as they looked at photos of ensembles throughout the years. Most have gone on to careers outside of the music they shared as students. Aptly, the celebration ended with the annual Sunday concert as current and old members stood side-by-side and sang a very familiar song: “Prayer” from Lohengrin. ■


Kemper Harreld

Wendell Whalum ’52

IVY LEAGUE graduate and American Baptist College president John Hope wanted to strengthen the College’s music department. A choral ensemble and a small orchestra existed, but there wasn’t any formal music program. In 1911, Hope hired a young concert violinist, Kemper Harreld, to change that. Harreld accepted Hope’s offer and became the College’s first director of music. He planned to stay for only one term so he could focus on his perform-




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David Morrow ’80 ing career, but his tenure ended up being 42 years. Harreld established the glee clubs at both Morehouse and Spelman, a Morehouse Mandolin Club and the Morehouse College Orchestra. The music departments at Spelman and Morehouse had long been one, but he split them in two. He retired in 1953, and one of his former students, Wendell P. Whalum ’52, was appointed his successor. Over the

next 35 years, Whalum led the Glee Club and the Morehouse College Marching Band, and was chair of the music department. Known simply as “Doc,” the worldclass organist and pianist lectured and conducted worldwide. “Wendell was a giant,” Jackson said. “He took raw talent and did something with it that I don’t think many people could do. He was tough. But he was able to dispense that toughness in a very human way. Most of the conversations with Wendell were behind closed doors. You never wanted to go behind closed doors because you knew you were in trouble. But there’s not a glee club member who would not have an affinity for Wendell Whalum.” Whalum led the Glee Club until his untimely death in 1987. His assistant director and former Glee Club member, David Morrow ’80, took his place. ■

founder’s day 2011

144 Years of Idealism and Faith

By Add Seymour Jr.


e celebrate

the longevity of a generative institution and indeed Morehouse’s pursuit of excellence,” said President Robert M. Franklin ’75 during the Founder’s Day Convocation in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. “Our founders were visionary men who had little more than idealism and faith to build a legacy of substance.” Convocation speaker the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III ’71 said Morehouse graduates should reject materialism and commit to a future of service. “I want to make sure that what we stand for is so unique that our people will never, ever question the loyalty and faith of Morehouse Men,” said Butts, who is senior pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City and president of the State University of New York at Old Westbury. “Please, never measure success by the dollar that you make, but by the service that you give,” he added.

Left to right: 2011 Bennie and Candle Award honorees Frank Robinson, William M. Jackson ’56, Rev. Harry Wright ’53, Curley M. Dossman ’73; Robert M. Franklin ’75, Ronald R. Davenport, Morgan Freeman, Dr. Melvin D. Gerald ’64, Donald V. Watkins

The Rev. Calvin O. Butts III ’71


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founder’s day 2011 Butts was conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his work in religion, social justice, education and community development. Businessman Arthur J. McClung ’66 and Dr. Robert E. Steele ’65 also were each presented the Presidential Award of Distinction. During the 3rd Annual Black Male Summit, experts on African American males – including consultant Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Judge Glenda Hatchett, author and publisher Jawanza Kunjufu, City College of New York sociology professor R.L.’Heureux Lewis ’00, UCLA education and information studies professor Ernest Morrell and Morehouse Male Institute director Bryant Marks ’94 – discussed the perceptions and truths surrounding black men and boys before a standing-room-only audience in the Bank of America Auditorium. “We have to remember there are too many of our boys who don’t feel they are connected, they are empowered, they are worthy and who do not feel hopeful,” said Hatchett. “We have got to figure out how we engage our children, our boys, and love them more than the streets.” That evening, Grammy-nominated R&B singer Angie Stone and violinist Ken Ford thrilled a King Chapel crowd during the annual Founder’s Day Concert. The following day, the 2011 Bennie and Candle Award honorees – businessman Curley Dossman ’73; physician Dr. Melvin Gerald ’64; scientist William Jackson ’56; broadcasting pioneer Ronald Davenport; attorney and entrepreneur Donald Watkins; the Curley M. Dossman ’73 signing Gala poster.

Parents listen to College administrators discuss their son’s matriculation.

The 3rd Annual Black Male Summit panelist discuss perceptions and truths surrounding black men and boys.


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founder’s day 2011 Rev. Harry Wright ’53; baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson; and Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman – talked about their lives and careers during Reflections of Excellence in the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center.The eight men were later honored at the sold-out “A Candle in the Dark” Gala in downtown Atlanta. Dossman, Gerald and Jackson were each awarded the Bennie Award, while Davenport, Watkins, Wright, Robinson and Freeman were honored with the Candle Award. On Sunday, the Rev. Ronald Peters, president of the Interdenominational Theological Center, gave the sermon during the Founder’s Day Worship Service. Later in the afternoon, the Morehouse College Glee Club closed out its Centennial Celebration week and reunion with its annual Founder’s Day Concert. ■ From left top: Master and Mistress of Ceremony Glynn Turman and Terri J. Vaughn; Violinist Ken Ford; Soulful songstress Angie Stone; ITC President Rev. Ronald Peters; Alumni Relations Director Henry Goodgame leads Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Dr. Cheryl G. Franklin and other guests in the school song.




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‘Dignity, Honor, Nobility and the Truth that is Brotherhood’ Former student remembers his last encounters with music professor Calvin Grimes and offers a touching tribute in honor of his mentor, friend and brother. By Van Fortson ’91


any of you know that Dr. Calvin Grimes passed into Glory on evening last. He was an important professor to many a Morehouse Man. He was important to me as a student—my work study supervisor after Dr. [Wendell] Whalum. However, it was after I graduated that he became a friend. I will miss his calls, our conversations and his visits to New York. While visiting my parents, I stopped in Atlanta and spent the night at Dr. Grimes’ home. What a wonderful time we had, just talkin’ up old times and old souls late into the night. Breakfast at IHOP, both of us returned home and napped while the living room TV ‘watched us.’ He then took me to campus for a walk thru, as we had done so many times before at the end/beginning of the year. This time he gave me a tour of the new music building. I was completely in awe; he, completely proud. I asked him to break the quiet in the auditorium by disturbing that huge piano on the stage. He played, I listened and took this snap shot. We then went to King Chapel for the Christmas Carol Concert. He, like so many of my elders, sat with a special stillness. I believe this to be one of the rewards earned by those with great discipline, great wisdom and the ability to listen to the present and effortlessly recall the structures upon which present has been built. This is oft done in the blink of an eye. Those who are unaware, sadly, will miss it. I endeavored to emulate his model. He still possessed the fire that allowed him to admonish his younger and much larger neighbor to his left not to applaud at the concert’s end to catch the chorus’ echoed ‘Amen.’ He concluded to the youngster, looking over his glasses, “See...see what you would have missed?” We then had dinner, bade our farewells and exchanged the brutha’s hug. Only this time, we seemed to hold it just a hair longer, not unlike Senior Banquet 1987. Dr. Grimes called me on Tuesday night. He stated that he couldn’t talk long as he did not feel terribly well. I attempted to cheer him up by speaking of his eventual recovery and the future. He listened patiently, attempted a chuckle. He then said that he just wanted to check in. And I knew… and had the knowing of the ‘eternity is in it’ of that moment. A tremendous blessing of an elder, now ancestor. We again said farewell and exchanged ‘Luv U.’ He made sure that our friendship was solid right up to the end. These things are as precious, and are as untouchable, as they are real. I will always take them with me. Dignity, honor, nobility and the truth that is brotherhood. I ‘Luv U,’ Dr. Grimes, for all that you gave and continue to give me. My times continue to move, but you, like Carol Mitchell-Leon, like Dr. Mapp, Dr. Clark, like Mr. McLaurin, like Professor Blocker and so many others, continue to keep me strong. And this you do from a stillness. Thank you.

“I believe this to be one of the rewards earned by those with great discipline, great wisdom and the ability to listen to the present and effortlessly recall the structures upon which present has been built.”


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alumninews national alumni association president’s message My Brothers, Upon graduation, I left Morehouse with a sense of disenfranchisement, and for quite some time, harbored an indiscriminant sense of indifference towards my alma mater. As the years passed and I matured, it became apparent to me that the only way to move beyond my feelings was to confront them squarely and deal with them. Thus, I began to immerse myself in my local alumni chapter, seeking to be a local agent for change with hopes that my efforts would one day have a positive impact on the institution as a whole. I started as a member at-large in the Atlanta Chapter, and advanced to vice president and then president. Now, a short seven years later, I am fortunate enough to represent this Association nationally—and it all began as a conscious decision to look beyond my personal frustration and see the greater good that could be accomplished by becoming a part of the solution.

Take another look at the Association For several months, the Association has been busy increasing its exposure and supporting chapters around the country. Last fall, National worked with the Atlanta Chapter to welcome the freshman class. In October, we journeyed to Columbus along with the Maroon Tiger football team, and alumni provided a true tailgating experience. We worked alongside our dedicated members of the Columbus Chapter as it hosted the Tuskegee Classic. This was repeated during the Wingate game in North Carolina. Our MCNAA board members have graduate years that span nearly four decades, making it the most chronologically diverse Board in recent times. This is a strength and an example of how we can combine the wisdom and experience of our seasoned alumni with the new perspective and technological advances of our more recent graduates to bring about accelerated growth and stability within the Association. Take another look at our varied alumni and the great things they are doing around the country and the world. Look at David Roach ’91 with Mo’ Better Food in Oakland, Calif. David works to provide organic food to inner cities, where access to such food is difficult. Then there’s Elijah Watson ’98 with the STARS program in North Carolina, enhancing the efforts of the local school system by providing youth mentorship and an educational curriculum with proven results. Take a look at alumnus Toussaint Gaskins ’90 in the Virgin Islands working to bridge the wealth gap by developing a system for communicating cultural values as they relate to fiscal responsibility and philanthropy in urban communities.

Take another look at our institution This past November, I had the opportunity to attend my first Morehouse College Board of Trustees meeting. I must admit that, going into the meeting, I had a preconceived notion (not the result of any verifiable recent actions by the College, but my lingering perception from 1993) of the topics of discussion and expected a cursory overview. I was wrong. The presenters spoke about the new health care center, which has improved resources to address not only physical infirmities, but personal counseling needs, as well. We discussed the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building, home to the music department, the world-renowned Glee Club and the mighty Morehouse Marching Band. The world-class facility boasts recording studios, an outdoor amphitheater, and an acoustically balanced performance hall. This is a long way from my band days in the bottom of Brawley Hall, where the band could be heard in classrooms throughout the building. Also discussed was the College’s response to criticisms of poor customer service and financial reporting. The College has since undergone customer service training sponsored by the Ritz Carlton Hotel Group. The Finance Office has begun implementing better financial controls and reporting procedures, with the hopes of responding immediately and accurately to stakeholders’ requests. As I sat there, it became apparent to me that the Morehouse I critiqued daily, the Morehouse that I took issue with, the Morehouse that I said has never changed, is not the same Morehouse. I realized that I was guilty of freezing Morehouse in a space and time based largely on the experiences of my matriculation. So, I had to challenge myself to take another look at our alma mater. Not through my 1993 lenses – but through a new, 2011 view. Now I challenge you to take another look at our alma mater. Take another look at the Alumni Association. Take another look at our alumni brethren. And, finally, take another look at yourself and see where you fit in. Identify where and how you can contribute to this ever-changing, constantly growing and continually advancing story of success and transformation that is our Dear Old Morehouse. Sincerely,

Kevin R. McGee ’93 President MCNAA NOTE: MCNAA is an independent 501c3 organization.




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Walter E. Massey ’58 Delivers Keynote Address at Nation’s Largest Annual Meeting of College and University Presidents WALTER E. MASSEY ’58, president emeritus of Morehouse and current president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, delivered the keynote address at this year’s Presidents Institute, a four-day conference presented by the Council of Independent Colleges. The Presidents Institute is the country’s largest annual meeting of college and university presidents, bringing together leaders of independent institutions to explore practical approaches to major issues. Massey addressed the conference theme: “A Dynamic Equilibrium: Essential Missions, Evolving Models.” Drawing on his high-level experience at institutions, including Morehouse, Brown University and the University of California, Massey discussed the delicate balance of preserving essential educational missions while considering evolving business models in higher education. Acknowledging pressing issues of globalization and accelerated change and the challenges and opportunities these new realities present for colleges and universities, Massey said that it is the

Walter E. Massey ’58

institution’s responsibility to prepare students for the unpredictable social and economic conditions that many will face. This means educating students to navigate change, function in a global society and make positive contributions to society as both innovators and entrepreneurs. Addressing the ways in which institutions are delivering on their educational missions, Massey suggested that if col-

lege presidents are to help their institutions move forward effectively and achieve “dynamic equilibrium,” they must consider the following “five drivers”: vision and message, quality, institutional loyalty, organizational effectiveness and creativity. Massey was also featured on April 25th, 2011, in a Crain’s article titled “7 Over 70: Leaders Thrive After Decades in Public Life,” ■

Derick Pearson ’06 To Be Featured on the Cooking Channel’s New Show, Unique Sweets DERICK PEARSON ’06 and his wife, Felecia Hatcher, have taped a show on their new company, Feverish Ice Cream, for the Food Network. The show is slated to air in June on “Unique Sweets,” a spin-off of the popular Cooking Channel Show, “Unique Eats,” which spotlights America’s most exciting and revolutionary desserts. Feverish is an eco-friendly ice cream company that specializes in providing unique ice cream through their mini ice

cream truck, carts and ice cream catering service. The couple started the boutique ice cream business in 2008 after receiving pink slips from their marketing jobs at Nintendo. The husband and wife duo decided to launch their own line of gourmet popsicles called Fever Pops after they struggled to find variety from their vendors. Their handcrafted pops include organic and natural ingredients bought mostly from local farmers markets Among their flavors are key lime pie, strawberry mojito, Arnold Palmer, strawberry lemonade, chocolate banana sea salt, margarita and peach bourbon. ■


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alumninews President Franklin Delivers State-of-the-College Address To New York Alumni PRESIDENT ROBERT M. FRANKLIN ’75 delivered a state-ofthe-college address to Morehouse alumni at a joint reception with State University of New York-Old Westbury, where the Rev. Calvin O. Butts ’72, president of the university, was honored. Butts recently received an honorary degree from Morehouse during the Founder’s Day convocation in February 2011. Two musical selections were delivered by an impromptu assembly of Glee Club alumni who were present. ■

From left: B. Franklin “Frank” Skinner, Dereka Moore with infant daughter, M. Chieoke Moore ’10 and Margaret DeFrancisco

M. Chieoke Moore ’10 Receives $25K Blanchard Scholarship

Calvin O. Butts ’72 and President Robert M. Franklin ’75

Former Morehouse College Glee Club alumni, including Henry M. Goodgame ’84, director of Alumni Relations (far left), performs an impromptu selection. MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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M. CHIEOKE MOORE ’10 has been named the recipient of the $25,000 Blanchard Scholarship. Georgia Lottery Corp. President and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco and former BellSouth Telecommunications chairman and CEO B. Franklin “Frank” Skinner recently recognized Moore during a ceremony at the Atlanta Rotary Club’s meeting. As the 2010 winner of the Blanchard Award for Outstanding Stewardship and Ethics in Business, Skinner had the opportunity to award the scholarship to a graduate student. Skinner, who serves on the Morehouse College Board of Trustees, designated that the scholarship go to a Morehouse graduate. Moore is currently earning a master of taxation degree at Georgia State University. “I’m working hard, but still need financial assistance to help with school,” said Moore, who with his wife, Dereka, has an infant daughter. “I truly appreciate the opportunity this scholarship provides for my family and me.” The Blanchard Award recognizes outstanding stewards of business and corporate responsibility for success in these areas. Thousands of business and civic leaders across Georgia are invited to nominate candidates for the statewide award, which is sponsored by the Georgia Lottery, Georgia Trend magazine and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. The $25,000 scholarship that accompanies the Blanchard Award demonstrates the need for business support of education at all levels in Georgia. ■

classnotes 19 5 0 s Willie “Flash” Davis ’56 was recently featured in the New England Patriots Gameday program booklet. Davis, an avid Patriots fan, was recognized for his 50 years as a fan and in celebration of his 75th birthday.

19 6 0 s James L. Hudson ’61 was recently named director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Previously, Hudson was a Research Fellow on housing services at The Urban Institute and a member of the firm Rhyne & Rhyne. Hudson has been a venture capital principal for the past 23 years, focusing on projects in energy cogeneration and efficiency, real estate development, commercial enterprises and consumer products. Johnny L. Houston ’64 recently retired from Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) after 26 years of service. During his career in academia, Houston became a distinguished mathematical/computational scientist, an acclaimed international scholar, a proactive and visionary leader of systemic reforms, a promoter/supporter of education and humanitarian causes, and a civic activist. He has been named professor emeritus of ECSU.

19 7 0 s Howard B. Brown Jr. ’70, former banking commissioner of Connecticut, has joined the law firm of Bush and Miller, Attorneys at Law, P.C., in Atlanta. Brown is also a licensed mediator before the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. His contribu-

tions have been recognized by The HistoryMakers Organization. Roderic I. Pettigrew ’72, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Pettigrew was recognized for the use of MRI in human blood-flow studies and leading advancements in bioengineering research and education as the initial director of NIBIB. A renowned physician and nuclear physicist, Pettigrew was the first Bennie Achievement Award recipient in 1989 and has led a very distinguished career in medicine and biomedical research for more than 30 years. Vincent L. Wimbush ’75 was recently selected to serve as president of the Society for Biblical Literature, the world’s largest organization of Biblical studies founded in 1880 to further the academic study of the Bible and related literature. Edwin Moses ’78 was recently appointed to the Laureus World Sports Academy, which is composed of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time. He serves as one of the jurists who selects the athletes to be honored for their premier performance on the international sporting calendar.

ages students to pursue their dreams through higher education. He also discussed his professional and educational background, and the power David Jones ’83 has been promoted to vice president of human resources at Stanford University. He previously was associate vice president for employee and management services. Jones holds law degrees from Howard University and the Georgetown

University Law Center. education has to transform one’s life.

19 9 0 s Said Sewell III ’92 was recently featured in Diverse Issues in Higher Education as a member of “Emerging Scholars: The Class of 2010.” Sewell, an associate professor and executive director of the Fort Valley State University Academic Success Center, was profiled for a program aimed at reaching African American male students. According to the article titled, “The

19 8 0 s Gregory A. Williams ’81 recently retired from the United States Air Force with the rank of senior master sergeant. Archie Meyer ’82 recently served as an ExxonMobil “Rock Star” at the national Boy Scout Jamboree celebrating the organization’s 100th anniversary. He spoke to scouts in hopes of encouraging their interests in science, technology, engineering and math-based (STEM) careers as part of The DREAM Tour, a motivational series that encour-

Resource the Renaissance Give online at Office of Alumni Relations at (404) 215-2658


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classnotes Profilesin Leadership New Condom Line Helps Spread AIDS Awareness Jason Panda ’02, Ashanti Johnson ’02 and Elkhair Balla ’01 NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS DID Jason Panda ’02 envision that he would walk into a pharmacy and see his own line of condoms shelved beside industry giants such as Trojan, Durex and Lifestyle. In fact, when he majored in biology at Morehouse, his aim was to become a lawyer—and he did just that. Despite obtaining his law degree from Georgetown University and thriving as a corporate attorney in New York City, Panda felt unfulfilled. After a suggestion from his mother, Panda partnered with fellow Morehouse B Condoms founder Jason Panda ’02 with partners brothers Ashanti Johnson ’02 and Ashanti Johnson ’02 and Elkhair Balla ’01 Elkhair Balla ’01 to launch their own condom line: b condoms. B condoms has a simple, yet alluring motto: “b cool, b safe, b yourself,” said Panda. “We want b condoms to be inclusive so that if we’re talking to African Americans, we can say ‘b African-American.’ If we’re talking to the church, we can say ‘b spiritual,’” Panda explained. With the rise of HIV and AIDS cases in the African American, Latino and gay communities, the duo visualized a condom that would be inclusive and reliable and, most of all, give back to those diseasestricken communities. The company, which launched on Dec. 1, 2010, invests part of its profit in organizations with a mission to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections in at-risk areas. “We want to be able to raise awareness about what is happening [in our communities],” Panda said. “I’m glad that I was able to hook up with another Morehouse Man who felt just as passionate about this issue and who was willing to take a leap of faith. “We are not solely profit-driven. The goal is to decrease the trajectory of HIV and AIDS in the most [affected] populations,” he said. “We [operate] through a grassroots approach. We partner with tons of non-profits that have their hands in the most at-risk neighborhoods.” B condoms has partnered with organizations such as Bronx AIDS services, AIDS Atlanta, AIDS Alabama and, more recently, the Magic Johnson Foundation. The company also is reaching out to college campuses in an effort to spread awareness. Although their competitors have years of history, Panda believes that b condoms will soon thrive because of its ingenuity and culturally specific knowledge. He gives credit to Morehouse, which he said taught him and partner Johnson and Balla to believe in themselves. That self-belief, he said, has equipped them with the skill set to compete in the condom market. Panda also values the support of his Morehouse brothers, mentioning how alumni from all over the world, including Nigeria and the Bahamas, have requested product shipment. “The Morehouse brotherhood and network are something really strong and something we can take pride in because we can support and value our own,” he said. “Benjamin Elijah Mays said, ‘Whatever you do, strive to do it so well that no man living and no man dead, and no man yet to be born can do it any better’ and that’s what we plan to do with b condoms.” ■ –Gerren K. Gaynor ’11




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Black Men’s Ministry,” Sewell seeks to reshape the conversation about black men and the public policies that affect them, especially criminal justice. He has received several awards including Georgia Trend Magazine’s “40 Under 40” honor. H. Lamar Willis ’93 was recently re-elected to his third term on the Atlanta City Council. During the present term, he has been assigned to the City’s Finance/Executive Committee, Public Safety Committee and the Transportation Committee. In addition, his colleagues on the council appointed him to serve on the Atlanta Regional Commission. Charles E. “Chuck” Hobbs II ’94, a Florida trial lawyer, recently garnered first place honors in the 55th Annual Florida Bar Media Awards. Hobbs, writing for the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper, was lauded for a series of articles that he penned regarding both the United States Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court, including an analysis of the Florida vs. Sullivan and Florida vs. Graham cases that overturned life sentences for certain juvenile offenders. Mark Anthony Chubb ’96, an assistant professor of music at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, wrote the musical score for the short film “Drain Desert Tanner,” which was recently screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Chubb won the best composer award in the competition, and the film also garnered additional awards for best actor, best director and cinematography. Douglas Scarboro ’97 recently joined Memphis newly elected Mayor A.C. Wharton’s administration as head of the Office of Talent and Human Capital. Scarboro previously served as director of community engagement at The Leadership Academy, where he developed programming and events.

classnotes Charon Darris ’98, Melvin Jackson ’98, and R. L’heureux Lewis ’00 have combined their professional resources and expertise to empower youth in Harlem. The three men serve on the board of directors of Achieving Leadership’s Purpose, Inc., a civic leadership training program for high school juniors and seniors in the Metropolitan New York area. Other Morehouse men affiliated with Achieving Leadership’s Purpose include Charles Ray ’92, John Saunders ’92, Ganja Iles ’99, Cory Green ’06 and Timothy Nesmith ’11. R. Erich Caulfield ’98 has been chosen as one of 13 members of the prestigious 2010-11 White House Program Fellows. Founded in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the program offers exceptional young men and women first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government. Caulfield is the chief policy adviser to Newark, N.J., mayor Corey Booker and is also the city’s business administrator. William Sellers IV ’98 recently completed a fellowship at the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Mt. The Center is a not-for-profit institution that seeks to address environ-

mental challenges by applying freemarket principles. Sellers studied how timber development could extend property rights to individuals in certain sub-Saharan African countries.

2000s Bryce Hairston Kennard ’01 was recently selected to star in the CENTRIC TV hit reality series “Keeping Up With the Joneses.” The series documents the making and national launch of Jones Magazine, a shopping and lifestyle publication for affluent, multicultural women. Kennard, a native of Houston, takes on the role as vice president for marketing and society editor for the magazine. Manu O. Platt ’01 was recently selected for the 2010 National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award. The award comes with a $1.5-million grant for five years to fund studies of strokes in patients with sickle cell disease. Jule McReynold Jr. ’02 recently opened his new law office, The McReynolds Law Firm, P.C., in Atlanta. Julian DeShazier ’05 was recently appointed senior pastor of University Church of Hyde Park in Chicago. Quadricos Driskell ’05 was recently featured in an article in BBC News regarding the victory of Scott Brown of Massachusetts to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat in the U.S. Senate. Driskell is a member of the Young Republicans. He also was recently named “40 under 40” by the

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Curtis Jamison ‘07, pictured with wife Lyndosha, recently graduated from the Morehouse School of Medicine and will do his residency in internal medicine at Emory University. Jamison was the head counselor/teacher assistant for the 2007 HCOP Morehouse Spelman Summer Science Program and the Thomas J. Blocker Health Careers Summer Scholars Program.

EnVest Foundation, which connects savvy, working-wealth professionals with educational and social issue non-profits in the National Capital Region (Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. region). Chosen from a group of 162 applicants, Driskell was one of 40 individuals selected. Bakari Sellers ’05 was recently featured in Time Magazine’s article “40 under 40,” which deemed him a rising star in American politics. When elected in 2006 at the age of 22, Sellers became the youngest member of the South Carolina General Assembly. Nicholas Richards ’05 was recently featured in the New York Times for his leadership of the Abyssinian Fund, which is supplying Ethiopian farmers with

the training needed to boost the quality of their coffee. Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, and farmers have long had the financial aid needed to support them, but no expert support to train them on how to manage the business side. Richards is president of the Abyssinian Fund and serves as assistant pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, N.Y. Ryan Shepard ’08 was recently admitted to the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was selected as a Harvard University Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. The fellowship provides an extensive co-curricular program coordinated by the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and includes tuition and fees. S P R I N G

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classnotes Marriages

Respected Physician Worked to Desegregate Nation’s Hospitals

The Rev. Deon Monté Garner ’99 wed the former Kafi Niamba Bogues at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, Va. Both the bride and the bridegroom are Spanish teachers and met while working at the same high school, where Garner currently directs and coaches the speech and debate program; Kafi is his assistant director and coach. Garner is a cum laude graduate of Morehouse with a major in Spanish and has a master’s degree in educational leadership. He also is an associate minister at Gray’s Missionary Baptist Church in Hampton. Julian DeShazier ’05 recently married Mallorie Chapman, a graduate of Hampton University, in a ceremony held in Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago. DeShazier currently serves as senior pastor of the University Church of Hyde Park. He is the son of Morehouse President. Robert Michael Franklin ‘75.




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Dr. James Bertram Ellison Sr. ‘38 died recently after serving as Morehouse College physician for more than 60 years. He was the sole surviving member of the Class of 1938. Ellison joined Morehouse in 1954, and that same year became a member of the historical Doctors’ Committee on Implementation. This group’s courageous efforts helped to desegregate all hospitals in the United States, including Atlanta’s Grady Hospital. During a time in our nation’s history when the injustice of racism undermined the equitable provision of health care services, the Doctors’ Committee on Implementation set out to expose such injustice by touring hospitals, documenting inequities, compiling evidence and presenting the evidence to the public. The work of Ellison and the other members of the committee—including Dr. Otis W. Smith ‘47, Dr. Albert M. Davis ‘38 and Dr. Roy Charles Bell—revolutionized health care practices in Georgia and helped to win for African Americans the right to equal health care services. In the late 90s, the Board of Trustees authorized the naming of the College’s new Student Health Center for Ellison. The James B. Ellison Sr. Student Health Center is located on the lower level of Brazeal Hall.

Passages Rylander D. Rambeau Sr. ‘34 died on June 25, 2010, in Donalsonville, Ga. While a student at Morehouse, Rambeau was a member of the track team and a Chi Chapter initiate of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. The Rev. Charles Houston Sr. ’39 recently died at his home in Hilton Head, S.C. Houston received the 2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award for Hilton Head and was active in the Native Island Business and Community Affairs Association. Prior to relocating to Hilton Head, he served as minister of Shiloh Baptist Church in Tuckahoe, N.Y., for 45 years. Stanford M. Smith ‘46 passed away on February 17, in Atlanta. Smith was an all-conference center on the ’42 Maroon Tiger football team. For several years, he served as the president of the Chicago Morehouse Club and was a vice president of the Morehouse National Alumni Association. He retired as a teacher and administrator in the

Chicago Public School System. Eugene Contello Vaughn Jr. ’49 died recently after a lengthy illness. He was a youth counselor with the district government at the Oak Hill Youth Detention Center in Laurel, Md. He loved working with young people and was affectionately referred to as “Pop” by even the toughest residents and students he monitored and transported daily. The Rev. Jack D. Thomas ‘53 recently passed away in New Jersey. Over his distinguished ministerial career, he served as interim pastor at Pilgrim Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minn.; Queens Village Church in Queens, N.Y.; Memorial Community Baptist Church in White Plains, N.Y.; and interim pastor at Martin Luther King Jr. Presbyterian Church in Neptune, N.J. He also served as supply pastor at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Temple in Asbury Park, N.J. While serving in the ministry, he taught mathematics and science in the Asbury Park public school system for 31 years. Judge John “Jack” Ruffin ’57 died recently of a heart attack at his home in Atlanta. He was retired as

Augusta’s first African American superior court judge and played a role in many civil rights milestones. Ruffin was the first black member of the Augusta Bar Association and argued countless cases for civil rights. The most notable was Acree v. Board of Education, the case desegregating Richmond County (Ga.) schools. In 1986, he was appointed Augusta’s first African American superior court judge and retired from the bench in 2008 as a judge for the Georgia Court of Appeals. Ruffin served for several years as chief judge on the Court of Appeals— again, the first African American to do so. He was a widely respected judicial authority and civil rights activist for several years and a dedicated Morehouse man who had joined the business administration and economics faculty at Morehouse in the fall of 2008. Chuck Burris ’71, the first African American mayor of Stone Mountain, Ga., was recently memorialized after suddenly passing away in Maryland, Feb. 2, 2009. Burris was elected mayor of Stone Mountain in 1997. His lifelong commitment to service

classnotes has included involvement with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., 100 Black Men, DeKalb Chapter, Leadership DeKalb, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Martin Luther King March Committee, Stone Mountain Memorial Association, World Conference of Mayors, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Conference of Black Mayors, Georgia Conference of Black Mayors, DeKalb Democratic Club, Georgia Municipal Association, Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta, Bethsaida Baptist Church -Stone Mountain and the National Democratic Club. The Rev. Dr. John Wesley Pace ’72 was funeralized on March 20, 2010. He had recently retired as senior pastor of Red Oak United Methodist Church in College Park, Ga., and was chief chaplain at the Clayton County (Ga.) Jail. Fitzpatrick Upshaw ‘67 was recently funeralized at Allen Temple A.M.E. Church in Woodstock, Ga. Dwight Deans ’75 recently died after a lengthy illness. A memorial service was held on January 15, 2011, at Green Forest Community Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga.

Births William C. Patton III ’97 and his wife, Marcela, proudly announce the birth of their daughter, Miriam Lugo Patton, born on March 24, 2010. They reside in Cleveland, Ohio. William is the son of William Patton Jr. ‘65, and grandson of Pierpoint Geer ‘25.

Profilesin Leadership Great Call: Side Job at Morehouse Becomes NBA Officiating Career Derrick Stafford ’79 DERRICK STAFFORD’S PATHWAY to a career as an official in the fast-paced National Basketball Association began at Morehouse – while he was playing football and baseball. “My head football coach, Michael Gray, and my baseball coach were officiating basketball,” said Stafford ’79. “They talked to me about it; I started doing it just to make a little money while I was in school.” That side job has become a long, distinguished career in the NBA for the business administration graduate. He’s made calls in some of the most important basketball games over the last 25 years. He’s also been screamed at, berated and hated for being the final judge of plays on a floor full of millionaire coaches and ballplayers (many of whom he has tossed out of games). It’s a job he’s loved and has been lauded for during his NBA career. Stafford started out officiating high school and small-college basketball games. He moved up to the Continental Basketball Association, which was basically the minor league for professional basketball. The NBA hired him in 1987. Since then, the Atlanta native has officiated more than 1,000 regular season games, and has been a referee in all-star games and playoff games, including the NBA Finals. One of Stafford’s most memorable games involved Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. “I had Michael Jordan’s first home game in Chicago after he came out of retirement,” he said. “The atmosphere there was unbelievable, and that’s something I will never forget.” Despite coming from a smaller school, Stafford, an All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference defensive back and outfielder, was not intimidated by the NBA. He credits Morehouse for helping to instill in him pride, confidence and competitiveness. “Morehouse always taught you to try to be the best that you can be, no matter who you were competing against,” Stafford said. “I took that attitude in trying to be the best that I could be and realized that I was one of the best, no matter what I was doing or who I was competing against. “Once I got to the NBA, I just felt in my mind that I deserved to be there.” ■ –Kevin Mallory ’11

Derrick Stafford ’79 on the court with Shaquille O’Neal during a NBA basketball game.


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A Morehousetrained musician's career is a winding stream of disappointments, twists and resounding success By Melvin Jones ’01

At age 24, Melvin Jones ’01 became the youngest collegiate band director in the College’s history and in the country.


hile attending Morehouse College, I always felt that the education I was receiving was top-notch. The evidence lay in the many buildings, published musical scores and textbooks bearing the names of my professors and other alumni. However, the real-life, future-shaping lessons came from the mentoring in between class sessions. Amongst those pivotal dealings, the most important words actually came from Dr. Uzee Brown: "Life is like a river, in that it does not simply stop when a rock is placed in its path; it goes around it, under it, and even over it to continue flowing." That bit of knowledge, I believe, defines my unplanned path to success and ultimately my self-actualization. My earliest career aspirations actually involved the visual arts, as my first professional earnings were from drawing portraits. I was even offered an entry-level artist position at one of my favorite comic book companies. However, that particular talent was constantly overshadowed by my highly-awarded musical abilities, so much so that I had been offered significant MOREHOUSE MAGAZINE



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musical scholarships by three major universities during my senior year in high school. Apparently, I was never meant to attend either of those institutions as my required entrance auditions were complete failures. There's nothing as depressing as having a recruiter “change his mind” about a previous offer due to a bad audition (especially three times!). After those failed attempts, I decided to give up on the idea of college and work a regular warehouse job allowing all of my God-given talents to go to waste. Then, in the midst of my educational uncertainty, I was directed to give Morehouse College a try. The school cost much more than my parents could afford, but they still supported my [fourth] audition attempt. Surprisingly, this audition went so well that the band director, Dr. Tim Turner, called to award me the college’s first full presidential scholarship in music! I had as much fun as any other freshman and subsequently endangered the academic requirements of my scholarship. All the while, I was still intent on pursuing a career in visual arts,

Ebbs more specifically in computer-aided drafting and design (CADD). The Music Department chair at the time, the late Dr. Calvin Grimes ’62, encouraged me to focus more on my musical studies, so, at his advice, I did. The rewards from that advice began to manifest almost immediately. I’d already made lifelong friends in the marching band program and all around the campuses of Morehouse, Clark, Spelman and Morris Brown. The very next semester, the Morehouse Jazz Ensemble performed a nine-day tour across Europe, including France, Germany, and Holland. Those experiences solidified my new career as musician. I quickly discovered that delving into a career in music is like diving into an ocean. There are so many options from teaching to performing to marketing to business options...WOW! Jazz emerged as the focus of my interest through Dr. Turner’s mentoring, as I and some of the other jazz ensemble members formed our own professional Latin jazz band named Rio Negro. We represented the school at various highprofile functions, which eventually fed into our

TheRoadTaken own fan-base and musical reputation. That awardwinning ensemble eventually went on to record three albums and perform all around the country. My ultimate realization of the professional possibilities came when Dr. Turner sent me along with two other band members after marching band rehearsal to LaFace Records to record songs for Dallas Austin and TLC on their triple-platinum selling album, "Fanmail." This was the experience I needed to move forward as a performer. The experiences and musical contacts made while at Morehouse equipped me to pursue graduate studies. At the direction of both the Morehouse College music faculty and Spelman College’s Joe

With the guidance and support of all of my former music professors turned colleagues, I was able to transform both the Marching Band and Jazz Ensemble into a more visible part of the campus community. Serving as shining examples of how Morehouse men should carry themselves, those students taught me just as much as I could ever teach them in regards to service and civility. I was proud to carry on the traditions of mentorship handed down to me by Drs. Morrow, Brown, Grimes, Turner, and many others by providing the guys with the same types of opportunities I had while in school. The products of our collective labor came through such successful student-formed groups as

&Flows Jennings, I was led to a successful audition for the late great William Fielder at Rutgers University (whose student roster included Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and Kenny Garrett). While pursuing my master's degree, I lived in a large apartment filled with phenomenal musicians: Sean Jones (Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Marcus Miller), Lee Hogans (Prince, Jay-Z), Jerome Jennings (Sonny Rollins), Corey Rawls (Kenny Garrett). The combination of intensive instruction from Fielder and constant interaction with other great musicians allowed me the opportunity to grow as a musician. While in Jersey, I was able to play with so many greats in so many different settings all over the map: Jennifer Lopez, Ray Charles, and eventually the late Illinois Jacquet. But my journey was not yet complete. During the summer of 2004, just three years after my graduation, I accepted the call to serve as the interim director of bands for my alma mater, Morehouse College. At the age of 24, I became the youngest collegiate band director in the College’s history and in the country. It was an honor and an extremely difficult job to undertake, but one which I would go on to serve for nearly six years.

“The true calling of this life should be one of service to others and self-actualization, not just making popular choices.”

Othe 54, Fusion and, of course, Jaspects. Currently, former members of the music programs are touring the world with artists like P-Diddy, Maroon 5, Angie Stone, and most recently Bruno Mars. So what can anyone take from my story. Currently, I’m employed as a musician for Tyler Perry’s film and stage productions, a recurring part of the house band for the Mo’Nique Show on B.E.T., an endorsed artist for Phaeton trumCutline pets, a recording artist for Turnaround Records, a traveling clinician, and I’ve appeared on more than 30 major records to date, as well as television shows, tours and major motion pictures. None of my accomplishments would have been possible without the guidance of the previous generations of musicians and the constant encouragement of my professors and family. While I feel that my particular steps were ordered, I would encourage current students to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. I never intended on being a professional musician, let alone a college band director. But having an open mind and being receptive to the words of my instructors have led me across the world and literally immortalized my works as both a performer and teacher. To parents of those students interested in the arts, I would encourage you to support the endeavors of your children. It’s easy for anyone to say 'money is not everything' when they already have money. But those difficult life decisions are best made from the heart and not the head. As I look back on all of the successes and failures that brought me to my current place in life--with my eight-month-old daughter on my lap in the house my wife and I own—I have absolutely no regrets. The true calling of this life should be one of service to others and self-actualization, not just making popular choices. I would like to personally thank Morehouse College for helping this boy become a man, and I pray that the "rocks" of this world (whether they be financial, spiritual or even societal) do not prevent the young rivers enrolled at the 'House from flowing down their own paths. ■ S P R I N G

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Taking some of the work out of networking

Experience Alumni! OFFERS MOREHOUSE MEN A NEW NETWORKING TOOL FOR JOB HUNTING For more information contact: Kellye Blackburn Eccles Career Planning and Placement Non Business Majors Morehouse College 404-215-2703 Pat Bowers Career Planning and Placement Business Majors Morehouse College 404-681-2800 x2644

The Morehouse College’s Career Planning and Placement Office is excited to unveil its latest service, designed with Morehouse College alumni in mind: Experience Alumni! EXPERIENCE REQUIRED eRecruiting is the system currently used to coordinate all job postings and interview schedules for students. Now, Experience Alumni! offers a similar service designed specifically with more experienced candidates in mind. Experience Alumni! gives Morehouse alumni a safe, secure place to look for employment opportunities by providing job postings from companies looking to recruit experienced Morehouse Men. Job opportunities from sites such as CareerBuilder, DICE and HotJobs are also posted. BROTHER TO BROTHER If you know of positions within your own company that you want other alumni to know about, you can post them directly into the system yourself. It is a great system for recruiting other Morehouse Men!

Log in and check out Experience Alumni! at


Henry Lyman Morehouse, the man for whom the College is named, is pictured here as a five-year-old with his family. The photo (circa 1887), along with other photos and the Morehouse family Bible, was digitized and then given to the College by Morehouse's greatgrandniece, Christal Morehouse, during a April 2011 visit.


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Morehouse Magazine Spring 2011  

Morehouse Magazine is published by Morehouse College, Office of Communications, Division of Institutional Advancement. Opinions expressed in...

Morehouse Magazine Spring 2011  

Morehouse Magazine is published by Morehouse College, Office of Communications, Division of Institutional Advancement. Opinions expressed in...