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Seeking Brighter Tomorrows in a Great American City


M o r g a n

M a g a z i n e

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V o l .



2 – Cover Story



President’s Letter

A Brighter Tomorrow

Open for Business

Working for peace, unity and equality

An MSU Task Force addresses the causes of Baltimore’s unrest

The new Graves School complex is a world-class learning environment

Morgan’s 140th Spring Commencement





Calvin and Tina Tyler Donate $5 Million to MSU

No Penalties

Mellon Foundation Grant Lifts Morgan Humanities

Opportunities on the Green

Endowed scholarship benefits students from Baltimore City

22 Endowment Honors a Nontraditional Student Helen Lee lived a remarkable life of service

Morgan graduate Willie Lanier funds a lectureship in business ethics

Nancy Pelosi and Kevin Liles speak to new graduates about empowerment

Golf great Al Wilson gives back to Morgan and the game

A new institute honors historian Benjamin Quarles





Morgan’s NFL Super Agent

Dean of Cheerleading

Educator Greg Barnett negotiates a recordbreaking contract

Ruby Keyes Couch, Morgan Class of ’45

Morgan Magazine is published by the Division of Institutional Advancement of MSU for alumni, parents, faculty, students, prospective students and friends. Morgan Magazine is designed and edited by the Office of Public Relations and Communications. Opinions expressed in Morgan Magazine are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the University. Unsolicited manuscripts and photos are welcome but only with a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Letters are also welcome. Send correspondence directly to: Morgan Magazine Office of Public Relations and Communications 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane 507 McMechen Building Baltimore, MD 21251 443-885-3022 office main

New Speaker Series Expands Minds at MSU Thomas Friedman and Melissa Harris-Perry head the lineup of thought leaders

Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Cheryl Y. Hitchcock Director of Public Relations and Communications

Clinton R. Coleman Associate Director of Public Relations and Communications

Larry Jones Assistant Director of Web Communications


HERMES Platinum Winner

Publications Manager

Ferdinand Mehlinger Contributing Editor

Eric Addison Art Director

David E. Ricardo Senior Graphic Designer

Andre Barnett Graphic Designer

Kirian Villalta Photographers Morgan Magazine Vol I, 2015


P. A. Greene John Moore Contributing Writers

Kevin M. Briscoe Ashley Cox Frank McCoy Donna M. Owens






President’s Letter Alumni and Friends, This past July, I joined 34 other presidents of historically black colleges and universities in signing a letter we drafted, announcing our actions to help bring about peace and unity and an end to gun violence in our country. In this message, we expressed our hope “…that these efforts will foster dialogues that help to accelerate the creation of an environment where all human lives are valued equally and discrimination based on one’s skin color, gender and economic standing will become a relic of the past.” Contrast those words with this statement from Morgan’s vice president for academic outreach and engagement, Maurice C. Taylor, Ph.D., J.D., presented to a diverse audience at the University of Baltimore in November 2015, under the heading “Race and Housing Segregation”: “In Baltimore, where you live and how you live are not merely a function of personal choice.” Clearly, the challenges to realizing the ideals of peace, unity and equality in Baltimore are great. But Morgan, the State of Maryland’s designated Public Urban University, has a prominent, longstanding role in meeting such challenges in its home city, a fact that is hardly news to you, our university’s alumni, friends and supporters. This magazine is filled with examples of Morgan’s beneficial influence on its community, starting with the topic portrayed on the cover: the University’s response to the civil unrest in Baltimore in April 2015. Our “Gray Days Brighter Tomorrows” Task Force, chaired by Dr. Taylor, has presented a list of recommendations for ways to address the problems underlying the unrest, supplementing the numerous programs and initiatives Morgan has already implemented to make a difference. Morgan’s proud corps of successful alumni is well-represented in these pages, in stories that tell of their vital service and high achievements in fields ranging from sports to education to social work. Other MSU high achievers are included here because of their link to the recent growth of the University. You will also read about a $5-million donation from a Morgan alumnus and his spouse, to provide need-based scholarships for Morgan students from Baltimore City. Of course, Morgan faculty are also part of the University’s legacy for the broader community, and you will read about one of our legendary professors, namesake of a humanities and social sciences institute recently launched at MSU. At this pivotal time in the history of Baltimore, as we approach the milestone 150th anniversary of Morgan’s founding, both the city and the university are strong. With your continued support and commitment, they will remain so for many years to come. Please enjoy this issue of Morgan Magazine. Sincerely,

David Wilson President MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME I 2016



Black Lives Matter



A Brighter Tomorrow Morgan Task Force Addresses the Causes of Baltimore’s Continuing Unrest By Eric Addison


n the morning of April 12, 2015, miles from the Morgan State University campus, three Baltimore City Police officers arrested a 25-year-old African-American man named Freddie Gray, in the 1700 block of Presbury St. in West Baltimore. At some point between his arrest by the three white officers and his arrival at the Western District Police Station in the back of a police van, about 45 minutes later, Gray sustained injuries to his spine that ultimately killed him. The incident was tragic but in many ways unsurprising. Gray, a high school dropout, had been arrested numerous times since 2007 for possessing or distributing illegal drugs, in the same community where he met his demise, and he had spent two years in prison for intent to distribute dangerous controlled substances. The community, Sandtown-Winchester, where Gray was born and raised, suffers from a litany of intractable problems, among them: a poverty rate of nearly 31 percent, which is more than double the national average; unemployment at more than 50 percent among residents aged 16 to 64; low educational attainment among adults, a third of whom have not completed high school; a homicide rate double the citywide average and the highest rate of incarceration in the state. Freddie Gray and his family were severely impacted by another problem that has long bedeviled SandtownWinchester: exposure to lead in the neighborhood’s aging, poorly maintained housing stock. Blood tests of

Gray and his twin sister when they were children showed levels of the toxic metal many times higher than that now considered dangerous. Their ability to think, process information and control their emotions was irreparably diminished by the exposure, public health experts say. Decades later, after increased blood testing for lead in the city and stepped-up enforcement of state laws designed to prevent toxicity from lead-based paint, Sandtown-Winchester remains a hotspot for “lead poisoning”: the percentage of its children who test high is more than double the percentage citywide. In addition, mistrust has long been high between the citizens of SandtownWinchester, 96 percent of whom are African American, and Baltimore City Police officers, 46 percent of whom are white and 79 percent of whom live outside of Baltimore City. From Protest to Violence Daily, nonviolent protests against the handling of the case by the police and prosecutors began the day before Gray died at the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center on April 19. The protesters, in Baltimore and other cities around the United States, demanded justice for Gray and his family and linked the incident to recent cases of violence by police against African Americans, such as Eric Garner’s death in Staten Island, N.Y., on July 17, 2014; the shooting death of John Crawford in Beaverbrook, Ohio, on Aug. 5, 2014; the Michael Brown homicide in Ferguson, Mo., four days later; and the shooting death of Tamir Rice in

Cleveland, Ohio, on Nov. 23, 2014. The first violence in Baltimore at a protest of Gray’s death was recorded on April 25, 2015, when a small number of the 1,200 protestors damaged police vehicles and smashed a shop window near the city’s Inner Harbor. Gray’s funeral was held on Monday, April 27, at Shiloh Baptist Church, about a mile and a half from the scene of his arrest. Early that day, Baltimore City Police later reported, they learned of a posting on social media calling for a “purge” — a day of lawlessness — by high school students, that was to start at Mondawmin Mall, a major shopping venue and public transportation hub on Baltimore’s west side. Large groups of teenagers who were headed toward the mall after school that afternoon met dozens of police officers deployed there to prevent the rumored purge. Bus and subway service in the area had been suspended. Some of the students began pelting the officers with bottles and bricks. Police responded with mace and hand-thrown projectiles of their own. The violence spread to adjacent neighborhoods then toward downtown, property damage and looting by citizens ensued, and soon media outlets around the world were broadcasting images of the “Baltimore riot.” By the time order was restored a day later, 33 building fires and 55 vehicle fires had been set, more than 300 businesses had been damaged, Baltimore officials estimated the costs of the unrest at $20 million, and some financial experts forecast long-term losses to the city in the billions of dollars. MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME I 2016


Gray Days Brighter Tomorrows Morgan’s Role But what is the long-term cost of inaction against the societal problems named by the Freddie Gray protestors? And what is the role of Morgan State, Maryland’s designated public urban university, in providing solutions to those problems? In a memorandum sent two months after the unrest to 27 MSU faculty members, administrators and students, and MSU Regent Frances M. Draper, Morgan President David Wilson called for the creation of a task force to develop an action plan for Baltimore. “In the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death, the unrest in Baltimore highlighted a number of serious community problems facing the City,” Dr. Wilson wrote, “including, but not limited to, inadequate education, persistent poverty, mistrust of police, high unemployment, substandard housing, high crime, and broken politics. These issues have persisted for years and have not been effectively and systemically addressed.”

THE GRAY DAYS BRIGHTER TOMORROWS TASK FORCE, AS THE GROUP WAS LATER NAMED, WAS CHARGED WITH DEVELOPING A LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE PRESIDENT, TO GUIDE MORGAN’S WORK IN THREE AREAS: • Expanding access to educational opportunity for Baltimore City residents and conducting research to address neighborhood redevelopment, crime prevention, teaching and school administration, and health disparities; • Extending the services of the University’s centers and institutes to improve public services for Baltimore City residents; and • Engaging with other educational institutions, public agencies, community service organizations, foundations and faith-based institutions to implement action plans and programs to address a variety of Baltimore City’s problems.

The Gray Days Brighter Tomorrows Task Force



Maurice C. Taylor, Ph.D., J.D., MSU vice president for academic outreach and engagement, was drafted to chair the 31member group, which included a wide array of Morgan faculty and staff members, students and alumni, and members of the Baltimore community. During its eight meetings on campus — four as a full committee — the task force engaged in robust, sometimes contentious discussion and heard from a number of speakers, including community organizers, Baltimore City Council members and community activists, and Morgan faculty who had special knowledge about topics addressed by the group. The task force sent its final report to President Wilson on May 20. It included 16 recommendations from the task force itself and several others drawn from activities related to the work of the group or individual members.

The task force did not arrive at a consensus about the essential elements of a plan for the city, nor, Dr. Taylor said in February, were they expected to. “We’re not going to have consensus… with 31 people from so many different disciplines,” he said. “We have undergraduates, we have graduate students, we have faculty from all different areas, each with their own sense of what we should be doing. “Morgan has nine schools and one college,” Dr. Taylor continued. “Each of them is already engaged in the community in various ways. The president wants to know whether there is something we’re not doing that we should be doing or something we are doing that we could be doing more of.” n The articles on the following pages outline some of the work Morgan State University is doing in Baltimore City.

Maurice C. Taylor, Ph.D., J.D. MSU Vice President for Academic Outreach and Engagement Chair, Gray Days Brighter Tomorrows Task Force



Gray Days Brighter Tomorrows ‘Black Lives Matter’ Inside Out Art Project Inside Out is a global art project inspired by the French photographer and artist JR. Participants show what they stand for by creating portraits, with the goal of changing the world. More than 260,000 persons in 129 countries have participated in the Inside Out “group actions” since the project began in 2011. Lead Poisoning Awareness News came in September 2015 that imparted a sense of urgency to Morgan students and faculty participating in the MSU-EPA Lead Poison Project Partnership: First The Washington Post reported that both Freddie Gray and one of the officers charged in his death, William Porter, had been lead poisoned when they were children living in the Sandtown-Winchester community. Then the water crisis in Flint, Mich., became public knowledge. The partnership had grown out of informal discussions between administrators of Morgan’s School of Community Health and Policy (SCHP) and officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C., says Lawrence T. Brown, Ph.D., assistant professor in the SCHP. Dr. Brown directed the project as part of his Community Needs and Solutions class in Morgan’s Master of Public Health program, in the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters. Teams of students took on four tasks to prepare for Lead Poisoning Awareness Week, the last week of October: acquiring knowledge about lead exposure and toxicity; developing additional partnerships to spread awareness of the problem and solutions; identifying events to increase the awareness; and developing the group’s awareness campaign. Camille Burke, director of the Baltimore City Health Department’s Lead Control Program, and Barbara Moore, director of the Lead Poison Program at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital, also joined the partnership and provided information to the class. Did the project make a difference in the community? “I think what we saw was that we needed to have a much more robust intervention,” says Dr. Brown. “The latest childhood blood lead surveillance report shows that 65,446 children in Baltimore have been poisoned by lead since 1993 at or above the 10mcg/dL level. Baltimore City must declare a state of emergency, as was declared in Flint, Mich. “…We can begin to put together different sources of funds to get the $2–3 billion needed to eliminate the hazard of lead poisoning in Baltimore City once and for all,” he adds, after noting that his class had no funding for its project. “We know that it can be done. Creating a sense of urgency is part of the push that I hope my class will make next semester.” n

Lead and the Age of a Home The percentage of homes likely to contain lead greatly increases with the age of the home: Source: EPA 6


In the spring of 2015, students in Morgan professor Christopher Metzger’s Computer Graphics II and Computers in Art Design courses collaborated on an Inside Out Group Action on the theme of Black Lives Matter, the movement begun in 2012 in response to the death of Trayvon Martin. The Morgan students created 42 black and white photographs and wheat pasted them onto the exterior of two sites in Baltimore: a police koban at Charles Street and Falls Road; and 1400 Greenmount Ave., the future home of a new “maker space” named Open Works, established by the Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation (BARCO). Leslie King Hammond, Ph.D., senior Fellow at the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation — founder of BARCO — attended the opening reception for the Black Lives

Matter Inside Out Project, at Open Works, in July 2015. She says the group action by Morgan students has continued to draw praise. “In the first week of December (2015), I was able to have the project presented at Art Basel, (an art fair) in Miami Beach, Fla. It is extremely wellattended by people from all over the world,” says Dr. King Hammond, who is also professor emerita, former dean of graduate studies and founder of the Center for Race and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art. “One of the things I think Morgan is extremely good at doing and that was demonstrated clearly through the presentation of the Inside Out Project (at Open Works) was Morgan’s capacity…to reach out and excite the community about things that are meaningful to (citizens of) this city,” Dr. King Hammond says. “We had people stopping on the street…in the middle of traffic, saying, ‘Oh my God, this is wonderful!’ And the students were wonderful. They sat. They talked with people. We need more of that, more of that kind of outreach.” “…I think all urban centers in the United States are in a great state of catharsis and change and transformation….” she adds. “This is a time when the creative community of all of the arts has the capacity to move into these areas and do things that municipalities, politicians, the bureaucracies, all of those institutionalized, administrative structures have been stymied in doing…. We have complex problems. They are not going to take ordinary solutions.” n

The Institute for Urban Research The work of Morgan’s Institute for Urban Research (IUR), “to improve the response of governmental, nongovernmental, private and other institutions to the challenges of poverty, unemployment, poor health, truancy, and other urban and regional problems,” gave it a central role in the work of the Gray Days Brighter Tomorrows Task Force, and Morgan President David Wilson named the Institute specifically in his initial charge to the task force members. The IUR is one of several Morgan entities that grew out of the Urban Studies Institute, which was founded by Morgan professor Homer E. Favor, Ph.D., in 1963. Raymond Winbush, Ph.D., director of the IUR, agrees that many of the problems Dr. Favor and his colleagues addressed remain challenges for Baltimore today. “I think that a major difference is that…what the Kerner Commission called ‘white racism’ is far more virulent today than during the 1960s,” Dr. Winbush says. As for solving that race problem in America, Dr. Winbush says, “I’m far more pessimistic than (at) any other time in my life.” The IUR recently received a grant from Baltimore City to do a demographic comparison of three communities in Baltimore: Ashburton, Midway and Sandtown-Winchester. The Institute’s researchers are interviewing residents in the communities to find what the views and needs of residents are.

Morgan professor Christopher Metzger (second from left) and MSU students in front of their “Black Lives Matter” Inside Out art project on Greenmount Ave. in Baltimore City

“This is a yearlong study,” Dr. Winbush says, “and it will yield information to help policy makers understand better what these community residents say they want/need rather than have politicians impose their will on these communities.” n

Raymond Winbush, Ph.D. MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME I 2016


Gray Days Brighter Tomorrows

Members and friends of the Harlem Park West Community Association, in Lafayette Square Park, during the group’s Exploration and Fun Day last April Harlem Park, Birthplace of Morgan Ronald Bailey grew up in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore City in the 1950s but spent much of his time with family members in the adjacent neighborhood of Harlem Park. He remembers when Harlem Park was thriving. By the time Joy Ross arrived with her family from a middle-class community in Charlotte, N.C., two years ago, determined to make a difference in Baltimore, Harlem Park was a very different place, with high unemployment, a high crime rate, trash-filled lots, a declining number of residents and block after block of vacant houses. Ross teamed up with Lela Campbell, a social work doctoral student at Morgan, to establish the Harlem Park West Community Association, in April 2015. Working with allies such as Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) and BUILD Organizer Gwen Brown, the association has made some headway against the neighborhood’s problems. Ross, who is the association’s president, and board members Campbell and Bailey attended the last meeting of the Gray Days Brighter Tomorrows Task Force on Morgan’s campus. Harlem Park West is seeking a partnership with Morgan to expand the association’s work. “We recently discovered that Morgan started (as Centenary Biblical Institute) in a building in Harlem Park, at Fulton and Edmondson Ave.,” Ross told the group. “We would like for Morgan to be a part of our endeavor and what we’re trying to do.” “As students at Morgan,” said Campbell, “our charge is to go back into the communities and advocate for justice.” n

Ellis Brown (left) of the Morgan Community Mile lends a hand with MSU’s “Solar Rooftop” program. The Morgan Community Mile Working closely with local community organizations, leaders and residents, Morgan President David Wilson established the Morgan Community Mile (MCM) in 2013 to “engage universitycommunity partnerships to make the community a better place to live and work,” in the area within a one-mile radius of the MSU campus. “With the Morgan Community Mile, there are five identified priority areas,” explains the program’s acting director, Ellis Brown. The areas are Health and Public Safety; Education and Youth Development; The Environment; Living, Working Spending; and Improving University-Community Relations. Among the University-led activities promoting health and public safety in the Morgan Community Mile are a smoking cessation program named CEASE and a program named Get SMART, which aims to reduce the incidence of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and use of illegal drugs. Both of those programs were initiated by Morgan’s School of Community Health and Policy. Also, a recent grant to the MCM from Code 3 Association supports community policing in the area. Under Education and Youth Development, Morgan and its School of Architecture and Planning are working with two local elementary and middle schools, with plans to work with two more, in support of Baltimore City Public Schools’ 21st Century Schools initiative. The University has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy, the City of Baltimore and a not-for-profit organization named GRID Alternatives in a “Rooftop Solar” program. Morgan is identifying 30 homes in the MCM to have solar energy equipment installed. Under a Live Near Your Work program, MSU faculty and staff are receiving financial incentives to buy homes within the Morgan Community Mile.

Fulton and Edmondson Ave. in Baltimore City, former site of the academic institution that became MSU 8


As for improving University-community relations, Brown says, “The effort we’ve made is to do a better job of communicating with the community about the different activities (such as lectures or cultural events) that are happening at Morgan and around the area, so that folks can take advantage of those. Our Facebook page started with about 100 likes. We’re up to 700 likes now.” n

OneBaltimore Michael E. Cryor, MSU ’68 Chair, OneBaltimore OneBaltimore In May 2015, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie RawlingsBlake announced the launch of OneBaltimore, “a comprehensive public-private initiative to support the ongoing efforts to facilitate opportunities for the city’s children, families and neighborhoods.” The mayor tapped a Morgan graduate, Michael E. Cryor, Class of 1968, to chair the initiative, which also includes on its steering committee a number of other individuals with ties to Morgan, including MSU President David Wilson. Cryor, a longtime civic leader, is president of The Cryor Group LLC, a strategic communications firm. OneBaltimore is tasked to address the systemic, long-term needs that led to the unrest of April 27, 2015: a difficult challenge, Cryor admits. “We have multi-generations of inequality and despair and the consequences of neglect and discrimination, which present a set of conditions that don’t respond easily to quick fixes,” Cryor says. “But clearly there is evidence of progress.” “After a year of very serious review and engagement, OneBaltimore understands that the longterm solution to the challenges faced by our community requires that we become actively engaged in the emerging innovation economy,” says Cryor. “It’s more than simply a matter of jobs. It is sustaining our participation as entrepreneurs, creators and generators of what benefits our community as well as others.” How can Morgan help? “...I think the question Morgan has to ask itself,” Cryor says, “is, ‘With the many assets that we have, what are we best prepared to do to assist the community in becoming engaged in the innovation economy?” n

Increasing Cultural Competency As dean of Morgan’s School of Social Work and a member of the University’s Gray Days Brighter Tomorrows Task Force, Anna McPhatter, Ph.D. quickly saw how the need for improved police-community relations in Baltimore City could be filled by one of the rare capabilities of the school’s faculty. “Several of our faculty, including myself, have for many years provided cultural competency training for corporations, for school systems, for agencies, for hospitals and so on, when the majority of the people they serve are people of color and the majority of the people providing the services are white,” Dr. McPhatter says.

Presenters to the Task Force Community Organizers Carol Ott, Director, Housing Policy Watch Christopher E. Haley, Research Director for the History of Slavery in Maryland, Maryland State Archives Allison Seyler, Research Archivist, Maryland State Archives William “Pete” Welch, Baltimore City Councilman, District 9 Michael Cryor, Chair, OneBaltimore Joy Ross, President, Harlem Park West Community Association

After the April 2015 unrest in Baltimore, Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department (BDP) reached out to Kevin Daniels, Ph.D., associate professor in Morgan’s School of Social Work. Davis wanted Morgan to provide training for Baltimore Police officers on cultural differences, cultural uniqueness and building relationships with Baltimore City residents on the basis of integrity and mutual respect. Dr. Daniels is an effective community worker, specifically in West Baltimore, where he also pastors a church.

Ronald Bailey, Board Member, Harlem Park West Community Association, and Community Organizer

In October of this year, the School of Social Work began providing the training to officers and cadets of the BDP and Morgan State University police officers. The sessions are being led by Dr. Daniels and two other MSU social work professors, Paul Archibald, Dr.P.H. and Linda Darrell, Ph.D.

Andre Robinson, Executive Director, Mount Royal Community Development Corporation

“We really want to get police officers open to the idea of cultural competency training. And we want to let them know that it’s a learning process…an ongoing process, even for us,” Dr. McPhatter says. n

Gwen Brown, Organizer, Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) Lela Campbell, President/Founder, A Step Forward, Inc. and Board Member, Harlem Park West Community Association Gary Rodwell, Ph.D., Executive Director, Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation

Morgan Faculty/Staff/Students Raymond Winbush, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Urban Research Lawrence Brown, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Community Health and Policy Celeste Chavis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Transportation and Urban Infrastructure Studies Lela Campbell, Doctoral Student, School of Social Work MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME I 2016


Open for Business The New Graves School of Business and Management Complex By Frank McCoy


n Nov. 13, 2015, with fanfare provided by its marching band, Morgan State University formally opened the new facility for its Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management. MSU President David Wilson set a joyful tone in his remarks to the large audience assembled for the event, which included Morgan students, alumni, faculty and staff; local and regional business leaders; the University’s Board of Regents; and state officials, among them Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford, Sen. Joan CarterConway and Sen. Nathaniel McFadden, a Morgan alumnus, Classes of 1968 and 1972.



The new facility “is going to provide our faculty with the tools they need to teach at a higher level and our students with opportunities to be innovators on the global stage and to learn in a world-class environment,” Dr. Wilson said.

Groundbreaking Ground was broken in 2013 for the nineacre School of Business and Management complex, the flagship building of Morgan’s new West Campus, which is connected to the main campus by a new bridge over Hillen Road. The State of Maryland provided $81 million to construct the 138,000-square-foot facility. MSU provided an additional $1 million. The adjacent facility, the 125,000-square foot, $67-million Martin D. Jenkins Behavioral and Social Sciences Center, now under construction, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017.

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, based in New York City, was the lead architect for the Graves School project. Baltimore’s Ayers Saint Gross was the architect of record. Black-owned companies in the Maryland area that participated in the facility’s design, construction and contracting included Cain Contracting, Horton Mechanical Contractors, Couser Supply Inc. and Premier Consultants International.

Vast Improvement Approximately 1,300 students are enrolled in degree programs in the Graves School, including 150 pursuing master’s degrees and 20 in doctoral programs. The school has 70 faculty

Earl G. Graves, of Morgan’s Class of 1957, cuts the ribbon during the opening of MSU’s new School of Business and Management facility.

and staff members. The school’s new home is a vast improvement over McMechen Hall, the aging previous venue, which opened in 1972 and is less than half the size of the new complex. McMechen will be put to other use by the University. Among the features of the new facility is an oval-shaped Capital Markets Laboratory: a simulated New York Stock Exchange trading hall, which hangs from the top of a soaring atrium. The 1,275-square-foot hall boasts Bloomberg terminals, 36 dual-screen computer monitors, projectors and a whiteboard. The atrium wall below the laboratory has an 18-panel video display. Nearby are a 299-seat auditorium and 12 team rooms — spaces that have the latest technology tools. The building has six tiered classrooms, five flat classrooms and a dozen offices. The average size of a class will be 25 to 30 students. The complex is also environmentally friendly: the University expects the six-story, triangular building to receive LEED Gold Certification. Kim I. McCalla, associate vice president, MSU Facilities, Design & Construction Management, says the lawn fronting the School of Business and Management entrance “was designed so that the students will share the quad, creating synergy and a close relationship.”

Top 5 Percent MSU administrators expect the facility to foster interdisciplinary and external relationships as well. For example, during its first month in its new location, the School of Business and Management hosted Morgan’s ASCEND Scholars biomedical sciences program, the Target Foundation and an SAP Corporation supply chain management user group. The Graves School is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). Fewer than 5 percent of business programs worldwide have AACSB accreditation. The school also has four outreach centers, the newest of which are for programs in project management and entrepreneurship. They join the Entrepreneurial Assistance and Development Center and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Strategy.

Lasting Legacy Fikru H. Boghossian, Ph.D., professor and dean of the Graves School of Business and Management, speaks about the school’s potential in its new location.

opportunity: we have the opportunities to do things like never before. The last word that comes to mind is legacy: we have champion alums who broke new ground. This school has produced new leaders and entrepreneurs. Mr. Graves is an example.” The namesake of the school, Black Enterprise magazine’s founder and publisher, Earl G. Graves Sr., donated $1 million to the school decades ago, to advance education. He reminisced before cutting the ribbon. A recipient of a bachelor’s degree in economics from Morgan, Class of 1957, Graves said that when he arrived on campus 62 years earlier, he had “dreams and an aspiration to make a difference, but not with a plan.” Today, his dream is that the Graves School of Business and Management will assist generations of aspiring entrepreneurs and other ambitious students in making their own imaginings real. n

“There are three words that come to mind when I think about this new building,” says Dr. Boghossian. “The first is excitement, excitement in the sense that this building offers a learning experience like no other. The second word that comes to mind is



Graduates Celebrate

Morgan’s 140th Spring Commencement House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Delivers Keynote


housands of students, alumni, family, friends, faculty, administrators and invited guests gathered in the Talmadge Hill Field House on the campus of Morgan State University on May 21, 2016, for MSU’s 140th Spring Commencement exercises. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered the keynote address, and MSU President David Wilson congratulated the more than 800 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree recipients, who joined 300 other members of the Class of 2016 who received their degrees in December 2015. Standing out from the crowd in golden regalia were more than 60 members of the 50th anniversary Class of 1966, which was recognized by Dr. Wilson and by Pelosi for its active role in the civil rights movement during the 1960s. “Today is an auspicious occasion for this university, as we induct the newest members of this special family that we call Morgan alumni,” said Dr. Wilson. “This represents the culmination of years of hard work on the part of these students. They are now poised to leave this campus and proceed to make a difference in their communities and, indeed, the world.”

Pelosi, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree during the ceremonies, and Morgan alumnus Kevin Liles, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws, both spoke to the degree candidates in the audience on the theme of empowerment. “My wish for you today is for you to know your power to make history, to make change, to be transformative,” said Pelosi, who hails from Baltimore and was the first woman elected Speaker of the House. “Wherever you imagine your life heading, do not underestimate your power to do something unexpected and extraordinary.”

Members of Morgan’s Class of 1966 12


Liles, founder and chief executive officer of KWL Enterprises and founder and partner of 300 Entertainment, was a former NASA Scholarship student in one of the first classes of Morgan’s Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. School of Engineering. Beginning at a young age, he built an extraordinarily successful career in the recording industry, rising to chief executive officer and president of Def Jam Recordings, and executive vice president of Warner Music Group.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (above) and MSU alumnus Kevin Liles, CEO of KWL Enterprises (below) receive honorary doctorates during Morgan’s 2016 Spring Commencement.

“…To 2016 graduates, it’s not about what the world has to offer you. It’s about what you have to offer the world,” Liles said. “We are ‘Generation E,’ for ‘education.’ We don’t want a job, we want to create a job. We are entrepreneurs. We are empowerers…. As the Honorable Elijah Cummings said, we are the generation of being effective but efficient. Don’t waste my time, and I won’t waste your time.” Included among the notable graduates in the Class of 2016 was Herman Brown, a political science major from Salisbury, Md., who was conditionally admitted to the University because of his low SAT scores but went on to become one of the top performers in the College of Liberal Arts. Brown was accepted to five law schools and will attend the University of Baltimore School of Law on a full scholarship. Mariyah Bryant, a business administration major and Graves Honors student, who was a gubernatorial appointee to the Maryland Higher Education Commission, will enter the Finance Analyst Development Program at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Deneisha Gough, with her newly acquired degree in journalism, has been invited to join Sinclair Broadcasting as a television news producer. A posthumous degree was awarded to Raymond Kitson-Walters, who died after earning his doctorate in business administration. Eugene M. DeLoatch, Ph.D. was recognized during the commencement procession for his 32 years of service to Morgan as dean of the School of Engineering. Dr. DeLoatch retired at the end of the 2015– 2016 academic year. n



Calvin and Tina Tyler Donate $5 Million to MSU Morgan Alumnus and Wife Expand Their Endowed Fund for Students from Baltimore



(left to right) Morgan President David Wilson, Calvin Tyler, Tina Tyler and Cheryl Y. Hitchcock, Morgan Vice President for Institutional Advancement


ith their contribution this year to an endowed scholarship fund established in their name at Morgan State University, retired UPS senior executive Calvin E. Tyler Jr. and his wife, Tina, have made a $5-million gift to MSU, the largest individual donation in the school’s history. The fund, which was founded by the nationally known philanthropists in 2002, provides needbased scholarships that cover full tuition for select Morgan students who reside in Baltimore City, the Tylers’ hometown. “This incredibly generous donation from the Tylers will provide many talented, hard-working students with a higher education they may not otherwise have achieved,” said Morgan President David Wilson when the gift was announced. “But more than that, it will help ensure the success of Morgan’s mission and benefit the youth of Baltimore City, at this particularly challenging time and far into the future.”

Who Benefits? Ashleigh Williams is one of those youth now benefiting from the Tylers’ generosity. A junior majoring in biology at MSU, she is planning to attend graduate school and pursue a career in public health. Williams has been a Tyler Scholar since her second semester at the University. She recalls the stressful time before she received her first scholarship. “...The first semester was fine,” Williams says, “however, when it came to the spring semester of my freshman year, I got a bill from Morgan saying if I didn’t pay by a certain date, I’d have to leave school immediately. I was panicking because I didn’t have the money…. I didn’t know how to deal with (the situation) because of the difficulty with financial issues at home. “Then I got an email saying that (I had received a Tyler Scholarship),” she recalls. “I got $7,000, and it helped cover all of my expenses…. I was really, really grateful. It helped a lot.”

Williams has thrived with the financial support, which included a job on campus in Morgan’s Office of Residential Life and Housing. She has a gradepoint average of 3.2 and has earned an additional scholarship through Morgan’s ASCEND program: “A Student-Centered, Entrepreneurship Development Training Model to Increase Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce.” Byron Selby of Morgan’s Class of 2008 is another of the many success stories that have flowed from the Tyler Scholarship. The first Tyler Scholar to graduate from the University, he now works for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he plans to make his career, and volunteers with youth as a basketball coach near his home in Clinton, Md. He says he feels “forever indebted” to the Tylers and to Morgan. “…The Tylers are special not just because they give back with their money but (because) they’re really good, down-to-earth people,” says Selby. “I could probably call them up right now and hold a conversation with Mr. Tyler or Mrs. Tyler…. (The scholarship I received is) special to me, because I was the first to graduate. So I think that holds a special place in their hearts also. And I know it’s a good feeling for them to see how I’ve progressed, because they’ve expressed that to me. I’m going to always give back.”

Circle of Giving “I think anyone who’s had any success in life and has the ability to reach back and help others, this is the time for them to do it,” said Calvin Tyler during an interview last February. Tyler was the first person in his family to attend college when he entered Morgan to study business administration in 1961. But he had to interrupt his higher education in 1963 because he lacked the funds to continue. He took a job as one of the first 10 drivers at UPS in Baltimore in 1964, during the company’s early days. Two years later, he

became a UPS manager and, with much hard work and sacrifice — his own and his family’s — he climbed the corporate ladder, joining the company’s board of directors and becoming senior vice president of operations, the position from which he retired in 1998. “There are two major things I want to achieve (with the endowed scholarship fund),” he said. “Number one, to see as many of our young people graduate with a degree as possible…. The second thing that my wife and I are concerned about, and that’s why we’re providing 10 full-tuition scholarships each year, is that we want more students to get a college degree and graduate debt-free.” The Calvin and Tina Tyler Endowed Scholarship Fund was established 14 years ago with a $500,000 donation. Another $500,000 followed in 2005, and a $1-million gift was announced in 2008. The recent gift of $3 million is “… a vote of confidence in Morgan State University and Dr. Wilson and his staff,” Calvin Tyler said. “(Dr. Wilson) comes from a very humble background, and he can relate to young people who are academically qualified but just don’t have the resources to get a college education. I think he has a real understanding of the plight of those young people.” Cheryl Y. Hitchcock, Morgan’s vice president for Institutional Advancement, pointed out that 90 percent of the University’s students receive financial aid. “The Tylers’ gifts have been exceedingly helpful in our mission to bring in all students who qualify academically,” Hitchcock said. “Morgan’s alumni, as a whole, have been increasingly supportive of the university over the past six years, boosting our institution’s alumni giving rate to a percentage far above the national average. We hope this latest donation from the Tylers will inspire even greater giving.” n




No Penalties Morgan Grad’s $500,000 Gift Funds a Lectureship in Business Ethics Willie E. Lanier Sr.


n May 2015, Morgan State University announced a major financial commitment from one of its favorite sons: a $500,000 gift to establish the Willie E. Lanier, Sr. Endowed Lectureship in Business Ethics in the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management (SBM). Lanier, a 1967 graduate of Morgan, was a standout football player both during his collegiate career and in the National Football League, where he earned induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also has made his mark in business as the president and CEO of Virginia-based Lanier Group LLC and as the senior advisor of Cary Street Partners. “This endowment is a testament to Mr. Lanier’s commitment to academic excellence in the area of business, and we are very fortunate to be the recipients of his generosity,” said Fikru Boghossian, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business and Management. “Every business program has some aspect of business ethics either as a course or a seminar, but what we want to do here at Morgan with the Lanier Endowed Lectureship is unique. No. 1, we want to engage our faculty to do research in business ethics and then publish the findings of the research in journals for wider dissemination. Second, we want to do pedagogical research that investigates and recommends improvements in the teaching of the subject area of business ethics.” The endowment will also support graduate students, especially doctoral students, who do their dissertation research in business ethics, Dr. Boghossian reported. And guest lecturers will be invited to speak to MSU students and the community on the subject. When the revenues of the endowment have grown enough, the SBM will host mini-conferences on business ethics on campus.



Ethics and Excellence Lanier delivered the inaugural guest lecture during the grand opening of Morgan’s new SBM facility, in November 2015. During his talk, delivered without notes to a large audience of students, faculty and others, he used his experiences to draw connections between ethical living, self-esteem and the achievement of excellence. With their Morgan education, Lanier told the students in the auditorium, “You have all that is required for you to be and sit and do anywhere in the world.… What you want to do in an ethical manner is to achieve greatness as long as you breathe air.” In one of his ethical moments along the way, Lanier said, he refused the first offer he received to play in the NFL: a financial offer he said was well below scale, delivered to him in person on Morgan’s campus in a disrespectful manner. “I called the coach of the Kansas City Chiefs the next day, Hank Stram, and I explained to him that, ‘My name is Willie Lanier, graduating senior at Morgan State College. The only thing important to me is graduating from this school. If you think you can send someone here to disrespect me, you’re wrong, because I did not come to play football. I came to get a degree that meant I could challenge anybody in the world….’ It was a moment (when) someone felt that what they had was more important to me than what I

had and what I was doing. And it can never work like that.” To further illuminate his topic, Lanier used one of his remarkable football statistics: during his 11 years in the NFL, he only received five penalties. “So that meant if you played next to me, and you had more than that, I might ask the coach to get you off the team,” Lanier said. “I don’t want you to play at all with me, because at the end…we lose, because we have not maintained excellence at a very high level.” “.…For you, as students, to eliminate any error in your work, every day… if you eliminate penalties from your work, then your professor has to look at you and say, ‘Wow. There’s something about you that’s different.’ ”

Exceptional Example Lanier earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Morgan in 1967, after an outstanding collegiate career in football playing for legendary head coach Earl Banks. He was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round of the NFL draft that year and began his stellar, 11-year career with the team. Considered the first African-American player to star in the NFL in the position of middle linebacker, Lanier is recognized as one of the league’s “100 Greatest Football Players.”

Dean Fikru Boghossian (left) and Willie Lanier

Lanier resides in his home state of Virginia and serves as chair of the Morgan State University Foundation, which will administer the new endowed lectureship. Proceeds from the investment of Lanier’s gift will provide two-year awards of supplemental financial assistance to selected members of the SBM faculty who conduct research in business ethics. “Willie Lanier provides an exceptional example of how Morgan State University graduates continue to make great contributions in their post-collegiate careers while also recognizing and supporting the foundation of their success,” said Morgan President David Wilson. “With this halfmillion-dollar endowment, Morgan will be able to expand upon the efforts of our School of Business and Management to cultivate a climate of ethical business practices in boardrooms across America.” “Life provides you with opportunities to reflect upon the values and principles that have come to define who you are, and (it) allows you the space to determine what is important,” said Lanier. “I attended Morgan for the education and to cultivate a relationship with the University. Athletics provided the means for my education. Committing to this lectureship allows me to build upon the things I learned as a student in the business school and make a positive contribution to an area that touches all aspects of what we do in life: ethics.” n

Seeking Additional Support Dr. Fikru Boghossian, dean of Morgan’s School of Business and Management (SBM), has great expectations for the school’s Lanier Endowed Lectureship in Business Ethics as well as other recent initiatives. “We hope other supporters of the University and especially supporters of the SBM will supplement the funding of this endowment and others, as well, that we are developing right now,” says Dr. Boghossian. “Hopefully, they will grow.” Morgan graduate Kevin Hawkins, recipient of a Bachelor of Science in information science and systems from MSU in 1988, funded Morgan’s first endowed lectureship, in entrepreneurship, with a gift of $100,000, Dr. Boghossian reported. The University is also considering a proposal to establish a Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CIEED). The proposal for the CIEED has been written, and the University is actively seeking funders for it — corporations as well as individual supporters of Morgan.



Mellon Foundation Grant Lifts Morgan Humanities New Institute Honors Legendary Historian Benjamin Quarles By Eric Addison

“The Institute will focus on students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. And we will also focus on increasing the number of African-American faculty and faculty of African descent….” — Dean Pamela Scott-Johnson, MSU College of Liberal Arts

Historian, scholar and educator Dr. Benjamin A. Quarles


Established through a generous grant from




rom his post as professor and chair of the Department of History at Morgan State College (now University), from 1953 to 1974, the legendary Benjamin A. Quarles, Ph.D. helped set the standards and direction of pedagogy, research and writing in his field, across the nation. He also served as a role model and mentor for generations of young scholars. Dr. Quarles was one of the “giants” of the humanities at Morgan, among a cast that included names such as professor Arthur C. Lamb, Ruthe T. Sheffey, Ph.D. and Dr. Jean F. Turpin, said Pamela Scott-Johnson, Ph.D., former interim dean of Morgan’s College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Quarles exemplified a “commitment to the narrative of black life and culture, in America and in the Diaspora,” she added, a commitment that she believes is at the heart of Morgan and all other historically black institutions of higher learning. This past fall, the College of Liberal Arts launched the Benjamin A. Quarles Humanities and Social Sciences Institute, an intellectual, cultural and academic center and resource at Morgan. The institute was established with a $500,000, three-year grant to the University in June 2015, from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The vision of the Quarles Institute is to increase the enrollment, retention and graduation of undergraduate students majoring in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who go on to enter graduate programs.

n Through the Benjamin A. Quarles Faculty Fellowship, five grants are awarded annually: three to support publication, exhibition or performance of research and two for teaching/faculty development and professional enrichment. n The Institute’s Graduate Fellowship provides three grants per year to doctoral students to enhance and complete their dissertation research. n The Quarles Undergraduate Fellows receive stipends to participate in a summer “Program in Interdisciplinary Perspective on the AfricanAmerican Legacy.” Eight students each year receive campus housing for eight weeks and receive rigorous training to conduct research on primary resources in a number of locations, including the Baltimore AfroAmerican newspaper offices and the Beulah Davis Special Collections at Morgan. n The Quarles Summer Outreach Institute is a six-week program for underrepresented minority students in Baltimore City public high schools, designed to give them knowledge of and exposure to the fine arts. Among the activities for eight students each year are designing exhibits using works of art from Morgan’s James E.

Lewis Museum of Art; researching, analyzing and digitizing artwork and taking field trips to arts venues. The Mellon Foundation grant that made the Institute possible was the foundation’s first award to a public historically black college or university (HBCU), Dr. Scott-Johnson reported. The New York-based not-for-profit “endeavors to strengthen, promote and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.” “The Mellon investment in Morgan… will ensure that we continue to tackle those issues in our society that stretch our minds, challenge our biases and broaden our perspectives on the issues so essential to our nation’s vitality and competitiveness,” said Morgan President David Wilson. “Through the Benjamin Quarles Institute, we are raising our hand and saying ‘yes’ to taking a leadership role in preparing the next generation of diverse scholars in these critical disciplines.” n More information about the Benjamin A. Quarles Humanities and Social Sciences Institute is available on the Institute’s website, at

“The Institute will focus on students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” Dr. Scott-Johnson said. “And we will also focus on increasing the number of African-American faculty and faculty of African descent who are engaged in scholarly research and teaching (of the) humanities and social sciences on historically black college and university campuses.” The Institute provides benefits to four constituent populations: MSU faculty, doctoral students and undergraduates in the humanities and related social sciences, and high school students in Baltimore City.

At the inaugural meeting of the Quarles Humanities and Social Science Institute: (left to right) MSU President David Wilson; special guest Pamela Quarles, daughter of Dr. Benjamin A. Quarles; and Dr. Pamela ScottJohnson, former interim dean of Morgan’s College of Liberal Arts MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME I 2016



Opportunities on the Green

Golf Great Al Wilson Gives Back to Morgan and the Game By Donna M. Owens



“For me, golf is an expression of freedom.” — Al Wilson, Morgan Class of 1970


t’s a bright, windy February morning at Clifton Park Golf Course in Baltimore, and Allen J. (“Al”) Wilson is enjoying a golf outing with friends. Dressed sportily in an argyle sweater, corduroy slacks and a matching cap, the Morgan alumnus cuts a dapper figure, as he gracefully swings his club and drives a golf ball down the manicured fairway. “I’ve been playing for 60 years, and I love the game,” says Wilson, 68, who earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from Morgan in 1970. “For me, golf is an expression of freedom.” As Wilson zips around the municipal course in a golf cart, it’s clear that the retired juvenile justice administrator is in his element. He chats and jokes with golfing companions Susanne Riveles, Ph.D., longtime pal Henry Mouzon and cousin Anthony Brandford. “Al taught me the game,” says Brandford, who, like Mouzon, is a fellow Morgan graduate. Indeed, golf has played an integral role in Wilson’s life, which began in a rural community in Howard County, Md. After his parents separated, his mother struggled to provide for him and three siblings. “We didn’t have running water,” he notes. “We went to class in a two-room schoolhouse.” When Wilson was about 8 years old, the family moved to public housing in Baltimore’s Westport neighborhood. An

“adventurous” uncle, Sherman Snell, introduced him to the game of golf. “He and my older brother, Thomas, built a little three-hole golf course in the neighborhood,” Wilson recalls. He began accompanying his uncle to the city’s Carroll Park Golf Course, where the industrious youngster earned money as a caddy. “There were black doctors, lawyers and professionals playing golf,” Wilson says. “It was a whole new world to me.” Wilson soon began caddying for a prominent African-American dermatologist named Lewis Harmon. “He became my mentor,” Wilson says. “His wisdom, knowledge and education propelled and inspired me.” By his teens, Wilson was playing on the golf team at Carver Vocational High School, and his mentor encouraged him to consider college. He took that advice to heart, applying to Morgan in the 1960s and receiving a golf scholarship. Dr. Harmon helped underwrite his college expenses, including off-campus housing, and Wilson became the first person in his family to attend college. Wilson relished campus life, pledging a fraternity (Groove Phi Groove) and honing his golf game. He was part of the team that won the 1967 CIAA Golf Championship, and he and his peers were later inducted into the Morgan State University Hall of Fame.

Wilson remains devoted to his alma mater. He serves on Morgan’s Golf Committee, which helps with fundraising for the University’s athletic department. In 2013, Wilson took his support of alma mater one step further by providing for Morgan in his estate plan. His gift will provide scholarships to scholar-athletes who are actively involved in intercollegiate athletics at Morgan State University. Wilson also promotes the game of golf everywhere he goes. Several days a week, he coaches kids at the Salvation Army’s Boys & Girls Clubs. He’s conducted golf clinics for wounded warriors and given lessons to everyone from former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele to Morgan President David Wilson. Having played in the U.S. Open Qualifier and the PGA Monday Qualifier, he’s been nominated for induction into the African American Golfers Hall of Fame. He looks forward to receiving that honor someday. “Golf has opened so many doors for me,” Wilson says. “It’s a game of expression, of freedom and space. When you’re out there with Mother Nature, it does something good to you inside.” n Wilson can be contacted for lessons and corporate seminars at the Tee Mac Golf, LLC website,



Endowment Honors a Nontraditional Student Helen C. Lee, Class of 1957 June 5, 1915–May 23, 2016 By Eric Addison


nside her elegant home in West Baltimore in the summer of 2015, six weeks after her 100th birthday, Helen Cole Lee of Morgan’s Class of 1957 handled our questions with the poise of a veteran. Her employment in the 1960s had given her adequate preparation.

Helen C. Lee



Lee came to Morgan in 1954, while her husband maintained his busy medical practice, two of their children were in high school and their youngest was a toddler. support of her mother and aunt, she left home that year, traveling by train alone to begin training at the school. “It was a very pleasant experience…and (one) I’ve never regretted,” she said. “I was younger than most of the students, and they just kind of took care of me.” At Henryton, she also met C. Dudley Lee, M.D., a physician on the school staff, who became her husband. The couple married in 1935, and after Helen completed her secondary education at Storer College in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., they had three children: Dudley Jr., Gwendolyn and Helen. Lee came to Morgan as a nontraditional student in 1954, while her husband maintained his busy medical practice, Dudley Jr. and Gwendolyn were in high school and Helen was a toddler. In her new academic setting, she again easily bridged an age gap, getting along well with her classmates, most of whom were more than two decades younger. She made lasting friendships and became a member and 1957 campus queen of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Lee and her granddaughter Jenifer Bannister (July 17, 2015) “Once upon a time…I was a social worker,” Lee explained, “and, you know, (in that occupation), you have a lot of interviewing to do.”

Pinderhughes was the closest of friends with Lee’s youngest daughter, also named Helen, who passed away in 1992 at the age of 40.

Over the next hour, she outlined her remarkable life, characterized by her gentle but adventurous spirit, her high intellect and her service to others: a life that had added much to the proud tradition of Morgan alumni.

Helen Lee, the elder, was born in Anderson, S.C., a small town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The first of three children of Marshall and Lillie Cole, she was a precocious student who possessed a strong yearning to improve her life and help others. At age 16, she increased her true age by a year to apply for enrollment in the Henryton State Hospital Training School for Nursing in Carroll County, Md., an institution she’d read about in the Afro-American Newspaper. Against her father’s wishes but with the

On May 23 of this year, Lee departed this world, but she remains rooted in the memory of her loved ones, including attorney Alice G. Pinderhughes, a board member of the Morgan State University Foundation who called Lee her “second mother.” Growing up,

Lee earned her A.B. degree from Morgan in sociology in less than four years, then went on to get a Master of Social Work degree from Howard University. Her long, distinguished professional career included service with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, the Baltimore City Department of Education and Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. She retired from her last job, as director of social work in the admissions unit of Rosewood State Hospital, in 1980. In 2014, attorney Pinderhughes joined with other friends and family members of Lee to initiate the establishment of the Helen C. Lee Endowed Scholarship Fund for Nontraditional Students. “The fund extends the legacy of Mrs. Lee,” says Donna Howard, director of Development for MSU. “It will benefit generations of Morgan students.” n



Morgan’s NFL Super Agent By Kevin M. Briscoe

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston ends an offensive play in a game against Denver.


ustin Houston is — in the modern-day vernacular used to describe a transcendent talent — a beast. A highly regarded outside linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, he led the National Football League in 2014 with 22 sacks, including a four-sack performance in a win against the San Diego Chargers in the season finale. Since coming into the NFL in 2011 out of the University of Georgia, Houston has amassed 264 tackles, 56 sacks, three interceptions, eight forced 24


fumbles with four recoveries, and a defensive touchdown. The Chiefs placed a non-restrictive franchise tag on Houston before the 2015 season, which would have paid him the average salary of the top five players at his position: $13.195 million. But Houston became a free agent, instead, and turned to the one man he believed could ensure his financial future for years to come.

Enter Greg Barnett, 2001 graduate of Morgan State University. The 41-year-old, White Plains, N.Y., native is the “super agent” who, along with another super agent, Joel Segal, negotiated a six-year, $101-million deal for Houston, with $52 million in guaranteed money, in the final hours before the deadline on agreements for franchised players. Certified as an agent by the NFL Players Association since 2004, Barnett has

Morgan graduate Greg Barnett (right) negotiated a record-breaking contract for Houston in 2015.

extensive experience recruiting and managing NFL players and has negotiated numerous playing and marketing deals. “My role as a sports agent is to serve as a liaison between the player — my client — and his NFL club,” says Barnett, who holds a Bachelor of Science from Morgan and a master’s degree from Goucher College, both in education. “While negotiating Justin’s contract, he was the best linebacker in the NFL, stats-wise, for the (previous) three years. So I wanted to make sure he was compensated for that, while at the same time giving him a chance to hit the free agency market again when he hit the age of 30. “I was able to get him the largest guarantee for a linebacker in NFL history.” Best of Times As a senior vice president with Lagardère Unlimited, the sports and entertainment arm of a Paris-based multinational media conglomerate, Barnett represents 19 active players in the NFL, including three with ties to the Baltimore metro area: Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (Mount Saint Joseph High School, Balti-

more), Houston Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson (River Hill High School, Clarksville) and St. Louis Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin (Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Baltimore). For the upcoming 2016 NFL draft, Barnett is representing Fuller’s brother Kendall, who was a standout cornerback at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md., and at Virginia Tech. Barnett’s journey to this point in his career can be traced back to his years at Morgan, both as a student pursuing a degree in education and as a four-year strong safety on the football team under coaches Ricky Diggs and Stump Mitchell, who is now a running backs coach with the Arizona Cardinals. “I’ve always had a love of sports, and being an educator has helped me tremendously,” says Barnett, who is active in coaching youth sports in the Atlanta area, where he resides with his wife, Katrina, and children, Breon, 9, and Grayson, 5. “Being an educator, you have to deal with many different personalities in one classroom. Every student learned

differently, just like every one of my clients is different.” Regarding the football side, he added: “Playing at MSU helped me by showing me that nothing is guaranteed in sports, no matter what school you’re playing at. (Coach Mitchell) told us that you didn’t have to be good to get to the NFL: you had to be lucky, to catch the eye of someone and remind them of a player that they have on their team. I often use that when trying to market a player in the league.” Soon, Barnett will be sharing stories of his accomplishments in further detail, as he is working now with MSU President David Wilson to set up a seminar series for students. This, he says, will be his testimony about his productive time on Morgan’s campus. “Coming from New York to Baltimore, I had the best times (of) my life at Morgan, and I wouldn’t have changed that for anything,” Barnett says. “I’ve made friends there from all over the country that I consider my best friends to this day.” n



Dean of Cheerleading

Ruby Keyes Couch, Class of ’45 Morgan’s athletic department has produced some of the nation’s greatest athletes, many of whom are now honored as inductees in the school’s Hall of Fame. The football team alone, with 19 championships earned under the leadership of head coaches Edward P. Hurt and Earl Banks, has given Morgan a reputation for athletic excellence that still endures today. But along with those nationally renowned football teams were smaller teams of athletes who performed on the sidelines: the Morgan cheerleaders. The current squad, the Morgan State University Cheer Bears, has won the last six Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships in their sport. Ruby Keyes Couch, of Morgan’s Class of 1945, lays claim to the title of Morgan’s “oldest living cheerleader” and recalls in some detail the school’s first cheerleading teams. Couch, a very spry 92, became one of the first students to cheer for Morgan, after she tried out for the 26


squad in 1941. She now resides in the Hanlon Park community of Baltimore City, in a rowhome next door to the longtime residence of MSU benefactor Calvin Tyler (See the article on page 14 of this issue.). “His family moved there when he was about 11 years old. He grew up there,” Ms. Couch recalls of Tyler. “Calvin was quite a young man. He used to babysit my oldest son. He was one of the first (black students) to attend (Baltimore City College high school) when it integrated.” ‘Cultural Enlightening’ When she arrived as a freshman on Morgan’s campus in 1941, Couch says, she had what she calls a “cultural enlightening.” “I was completely overwhelmed….” she admits. “Morgan was my first experience in an all-black environment. I never even had a black teacher until coming to Morgan.”

By Ashley Cox Originally from Atlantic Highlands, a small borough on the New Jersey shore, Couch and her 12 siblings were among the few black children in her community. But her experience as a minority there was much different from that of most blacks in the then-segregated South. She was one of only two African Americans who played on her high school’s basketball and field hockey teams. Later, at Morgan, she and one of her classmates were the only freshmen to make the seven-member cheerleading team that year. Service and Legacy Although Couch received her degree in physical education, the college did not have a gymnasium. The cheerleading team instead had regular rehearsals in a facility nicknamed “the Dust Bowl,” which was razed in 1956. The building had unfinished floors and a low ceiling, and also housed Morgan’s chapel. The team would only perform at home games,

Ruby Couch with son Earl El-Amin, MSU Class of 1975

“Couch and one of her classmates were the only freshmen to make Morgan’s cheerleading team in 1941.”

Ruby Keyes (kneeling, left) with Morgan’s cheerleading squad, in the early 1940s because the school could not afford for the cheerleaders to travel with the football team. Couch says the only away games they attended during her time on the team were at Lincoln and Hampton Universities. Morgan’s “Dust Bowl”

After cheerleading for three years, Couch moved on to other organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, which she served as dean of pledges; the Student Union and the Swim Club. She also partook in community activism by volunteering with the United Service Organizations (USO) during World War II.

security on Morgan’s campus. Her two sons, Earl El-Amin and the late Eric ElAmin, are Morgan graduates of the Classes of 1975 and 1978, respectively. And one of her grandsons, Earl’s son Idris, plans to transfer to Morgan from Baltimore City Community College. Although she seldom makes the trip to Morgan’s campus these days, Couch still hears about the success of the current cheerleading squad and proudly continues to pay her membership dues to the MSU Alumni Association. n

Today, she remains involved in her community, having served as treasurer of her neighborhood association for more than 50 years and as an active member of her church. She is also the steward of a Morgan legacy in her family. Her late husband, Flan Couch Jr., was the first chief of



New Speaker Series Expands Minds at MSU The event is in keeping with Morgan’s mission of serving as a premier public urban research university rooted in the HBCU tradition. Spring is a good time for beginnings, and Morgan State University used that time well in 2016 with the launch of its Presidential Distinguished Speaker Series. The series, which is ongoing, was developed to bring thought leaders in various fields of study from across the nation to the MSU campus. The event is in keeping with Morgan’s mission of serving as a premier public urban research university rooted in the historically black college and university (HBCU) tradition. Thomas L. Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times and a bestselling author, was the inaugural speaker for the series, on March 31. Friedman, best known for his 2005 book “The World Is Flat,” used his time in the MSU Student Center Theater to discuss some major trends that have emerged over the past 11 years, trends driven by technological progress. As microchips continue to double in speed and power approximately every 24 months, they are enabling the creation of computers that are changing the human experience profoundly, Friedman said. Individuals have been empowered to become global manufacturers, or “makers”; terrorists and other “breakers” have been given powerful new tools; “big data” has ended the practice of guessing in many endeavors; leadership has become more difficult because of the information now easily available to those being led; and, Friedman said, “It’s a really tough time to be a worker…. Every job today is being pulled in three directions at once. It’s being pulled up: it requires more skill, whatever it is, and each year more skill. It’s being pulled out: more machines, robots (and) software; (and) people in India (and) China can compete for it now. And it’s being pulled down: being outsourced to history, made obsolete, faster than ever.”



Before the question and answer session, Friedman offered the young people in the audience five pieces of advice to navigate this new world: “always think like a new immigrant,” “think like an artisan,” “always be in beta (never finished),” value passion, persistence and curiosity above intelligence, and always think entrepreneurially. In his welcome to the inaugural talk, Morgan President David Wilson noted that “…The tradition of big ideas and fighting for inclusion is not new to Morgan. It was at Morgan that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first delivered major aspects of his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, not at the Washington Monument. It was at Morgan where the first college sit-in movement occurred, which led to the integration of shops and restaurants in Baltimore City.… We here at Morgan value the free expression of ideas, we value the free expression of thoughts, and we remain and will forever remain open to diverse speakers who challenge our points of view.” The second talk in the Presidential Distinguished Speaker Series, on April 7, featured Melissa Harris-Perry, Ph.D., wellknown writer, professor and political commentator. Dr. Perry is the former host of The Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC and the award-winning author of works such as “Barbershops, Bibles, and BET:

Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought” and “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America.” She is the Maya Angelou presidential chair, the executive director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center, all at Wake Forest University. n

Thomas Friedman

Melissa Harris-Perry



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Morgan Magazine 2016, Vol. 1  
Morgan Magazine 2016, Vol. 1