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Mfume Empowering today’s youth with a vision for the future. pg 6 President & CEO of the NAACP

new horizons The Campaign for Morgan State gains momentum. pg 14

Some of Our Brightest Are Also Among Those with the Greatest Need. You Can Make a Difference!


newhorizons THE CAMPAIGN

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page Morgan Staff Vice President University Advancement Bernard L. Jennings Director of Public Relations and Communications Clinton R. Coleman Publication Manager and Managing Editor Ferdinand Mehlinger

Presidential Perspective —Dr. Earl S. Richardson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Morgan on the Move —Bernard L. Jennings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 126th Commencement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4


Art Director & Sr. Graphic Designer David E. Ricardo Photographer (cover) P. A. Greene

New Horizons —Ray Charles Concert . . . . . . . 5


No Free Ride —Kweisi Mfume . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Sr. Graphic Designer & Production Andre Barnett

PLI —Political Leadership Institute . . . . . . . . . . .7

Editorial Staff Editor & Contributing Writer Jannette J. Witmyer Contributing Writers Diana L. Spencer Eric Addison April Ryan Ferdinand Mehlinger


NAACP’s —Stand on ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12


Hotel Morgan —100-room hotel . . . . . . . . . .13

Morgan Magazine is published by the Office of University Advancement of Morgan State University for alumni, parents, faculty, students and prospective students.

New Horizons —Campaign for Morgan . . . . .14

Morgan Magazine is prepared by the Office of Public Relations & Communications.

A Lasting Memory —Jacob John Lee . . . . . . . .17

Opinions expressed in Morgan Magazine are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the University. Unsolicited manuscripts and photographs are welcome, but will be returned only if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Letters are also welcome.


Ain’t Nobody Better than You —Joe Black . . . .18

Correspondence should be directed to:

What’s in a Name? —Helen Roberts . . . . . . . .24

Morgan Magazine Morgan State University 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane Truth Hall, Room 109 Baltimore, Maryland 21251

Coming of Age —Ellison & Du Bois . . . . . . . . .28

443-885-3022 Office 443-885-8297 fax

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Greetings: Here we are at the beginning of another academic year at Morgan State University, and the level of excitement on campus has perhaps never been higher. With record enrollment levels, unprecedented physical development of our facilities and ever-expanding academic programs, Morgan is clearly on the rise.


We are doing all we can to offer students outstanding educational, cultural, artistic, social and athletic experiences, but we also recognize that economic pressures have made it tougher than ever to be a college student today. A number of factors are making college less affordable for many. Staffing, technology and capital costs contribute to higher expenses for colleges and universities, and these higher expenses often are reflected in rising tuition costs. At Morgan, tuition costs have risen about 5.5 percent this year. Concurrently, the economic slowdown and market downturn have contributed to students’ receiving less financial support from home and to colleges and universities’ receiving less federal support. For example, Morgan has endured a 30 percent decline in federal subsidies for work-study programs. But despite the economic pressures, students are coming to Morgan in record numbers and are working more hours to afford an education. This is part of a national trend: more students working longer hours while they study. According to the U.S. Census, more than 60 percent of 18- to 22-yearolds at four-year colleges hold jobs, including 25 percent who work full time. One of the outcomes of this trend is that some students are taking longer to earn their degrees — five to six years rather than four. Money should not be a barrier to an education, and we applaud all of our students who refuse to let the economy hinder them from pursuing their academic goals. That principle is engrained in all we do at Morgan. It is part of the urgency and zeal behind our new capital campaign, New Horizons: The Campaign for Morgan State University. In raising $25 million for scholarships and other university initiatives, we will help widen the doors of opportunity for more promising young people and ensure that Morgan continues to grow to meet their needs. By joining us, you can be a part of this historic effort and a part of making a quality Morgan education possible for more young people. What could be more important or more enduring?


Dr. Earl S. Richardson, President Morgan State University



MORGAN On the Move

Dear Friends and Supporters of Morgan: Every day at Morgan, we focus on providing excellence in educational opportunities for our students, but we never lose sight of the interests and needs of our alumni and supporters. We work hard at being in touch with you; we urge you to make sure that you are equally in touch with us. You are holding in your hands one of the prominent ways that we communicate with you: the recently redesigned and expanded Morgan Magazine. In this publication, you will find news about the growth of our programs and campus, enlightening updates on some of our graduates, and the exploration of issues related to education and our community. For news even faster, our website,, is always available and always current. Turn to it for everything from an interactive map of the campus and telephone directories to faculty profiles and copies of recent press releases. Morgan’s award-winning radio station, WEAA 88.9 FM, is yet another resource. Named the “Best Jazz Station of the Year” by Gavin Magazine in 1999, and cited for producing the “Best Radio Program” by Baltimore City Paper in 2000 and “Best Morning Show” by Baltimore Magazine in 2001, WEAA is the second-largest public radio station in Baltimore and the third-largest African-American public radio station in the nation. On the first Monday of each month, the Live@Morgan program airs on WEAA, offering live conversation with politicians, entrepreneurs, athletes, and distinguished personalities. Live@Morgan also has taken shape as a unique desktop calendar that shares information about Morgan as well as ideas about ways to become a part of our growth and expansion. Morgan’s progress depends, in large part, on you. Join us as a friend and supporter. The time has never been better. As Morgan’s first-ever capital campaign, New Horizons: The Campaign for Morgan State University, continues, so do the opportunities for you to contribute to Morgan’s future and its pursuit of excellence.


Bernard L. Jennings, Vice President University Advancement

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126th Commencement Another Historical First For Morgan —Stacy Davis, Fannie Mae Foundation Chief, delivers Keynote Address.

Morgan State University celebrated its 126th Commencement on Sunday, May 19, 2002 for degree recipients in the undergraduate, master’s- and doctoratelevels programs.


Commencement 2002 was another historic “first” for the University because it has never before awarded degrees in its public health programs and, in addition, Morgan will award its first doctorate degrees in engineering this year.

“Given Ms. Davis’ motivational style and inspirational leadership during her remarkable career, it is an entirely appropriate way to cap off our students’ educational experience here at Morgan,” said President Earl S. Richardson.

Stacy H. Davis, president and CEO of The Fannie Mae Foundation, was keynote speaker. The Foundation has been crucial in helping over 12 million low- and middle-income Americans realize the “American Dream” of homeownership.

The main Commencement ceremony was held in the W. A. C. Hughes Memorial Stadium, followed immediately by the distribution of diplomas and departmental awards during school ceremonies at various locations on the campus. 





Victor Vanacore Conducting

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Brother Ray Charles helped kick off the New Horizons Campaign on May 12, 2002 at Morgan State University’s Gilliam Concert Hall in the Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center. The New Horizons Campaign has raised nearly $25 million for scholarships and financial aid for Morgan students.


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“At the launch of New Horizons: The Campaign for Morgan State University, we are honored to have the musical genius Ray Charles and Victor Vanacore, along with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, to officially launch this historical event.” — Dr. Earl S. Richardson

May 12, 2002 Morg Carl an Sta J. M te Un urph iv Jam y Fin ersity e s H Con e Art cert . and L s Ce ouis Hall nter Balt e Ha imore yley , Ma Gilli ryla am nd

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Kweisi Mfume (pronounced Kwah-EE-see-Oom-FOOmay) West African translation: “conquering son of kings” o 1949 Born Frizzell Gray, Baltimore, Md. o 1976 Mfume graduates magna cum laude from Morgan State University. While attending Morgan he changes his name to Kweisi Mfume. He also manages WEAA radio, located on Morgan’s campus, and becomes an on-air radio personality. o 1979 In a grassroots election victory, he wins a seat on the Baltimore City Council by a margin of just three votes. o 1984 He receives his M.A., International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University. o 1986 Mfume scores a decisive victory for election to Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, a Congressional seat that he holds for the next decade. o 1996 He is unanimously elected by the NAACP’s Board of Directors as president and chief executive officer of the NAACP. o Author of best selling autobiography No Free Ride: From the Mean Streets to the Mainstream



No Free Ride Kweisi Mfume by Jannette J. Witmyer

Kweisi Mfume is without question one of Morgan State University’s most outstanding graduates. The statement is true in part because of what he’s accomplished but it in greater part because of what he’s done with those accomplishments. In addition to graduating magna cum laude from Morgan in 1976, having earned a bachelor of science degree in urban studies, Mfume has spent 13 years working in radio and nine years in television; served seven years in the Baltimore City Council and 10 years in the U.S. Congress; and has led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as the organization’s president and CEO for the past six years. Along the way, he also earned a master’s degree in liberal arts with a concentration in international studies from The Johns Hopkins University.

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After completing two years at Baltimore City Community College, where he served as president of the Black Student Union and editor of the school’s newspaper, Mfume transferred to Morgan in 1974. He continued his student activism, joined the Student Government Association, worked on the newspaper staff and was elected president of the Urban Studies Association. All the while, he worked full time, mostly in radio. During his first year at Morgan, Mfume, Debyii Sababu (now Dr. Debyii Sababu Thomas, assistant pastor of Payne Memorial AME Church) and several other students pressured the university to petition the Federal Communications Commission for a license for a radio station. Howard University already had a radio station, a media division and plans to start a television station. The group of Morgan students felt that a radio station was critical to their university’s development

“We chose the call letters WEAA, standing for ‘We Educate African Americans.’ The FCC didn’t want to give the students the call letters they had chosen...” —Mfume

and even traveled to Washington, D.C. to get site specs for a station. During their three-year crusade, the students “cajoled, kicked, screamed, pushed and did everything else we could, including protest,” Mfume says. “It was clear to us, for Morgan to be competitive, just from that perspective, we really needed to find a way to help to shape the media arts plan for the future, so that ultimately there would be a licensed radio station there to operate….” he adds. “We chose the call letters WEAA, standing for ‘We Educate African Americans.’ “

Kweisi Mfume directing a WEAA radio broadcast while attending Morgan State as an undergraduate student.

Finally, with just enough funding to construct a tower and put together a makeshift studio on the second floor of Holmes Hall, the station became a reality. The FCC didn’t want to give the students the call letters they had chosen, citing the policy that call letters are supposed to be selected randomly. The students refused to relent, however. Finally, the FCC did. Mfume had an extensive background in radio. He had begun working for James Brown’s WEBB in 1971, and later spent time at WWIN and WSID, also in Baltimore, and as a freelancer at Howard University’s WHUR. This experience came in handy at Morgan. Five months after his graduation in May 1976, he was hired as WEAA’s program director. At 3:00 p.m., on January 10, 1977, Mfume and the station’s staff — Al Stewart, general manager; Larry Dean, news director; and Doris Hawkes, executive assistant — popped a bottle of champagne and signed on the air, with Mfume’s words: “This is WEAA, FM 88.9, the voice of Morgan State University, a station that we hope will be around for as long as this university has been around, a station we hope that every day comes on the air to serve.” Mfume invited Mary Carter Smith to join the station in 1977, and scheduled



her show, “The Griot,” for Saturday mornings. The show became “Griots for the Young and the Young at Heart” and ran for 24 years, ending with Mother Mary’s retirement in January 2001. The “Caribbean Experience” and “two-way talk” programs that Mfume started continue today, and one of his former students, Sandi Mallory, is on daily. In 1978, Mfume decided to run for political office: a seat on the Baltimore City Council. He put together a campaign with no money, soliciting the aid of friends, mostly former student activists with whom he’d worked back on campus. “It felt like the Blues Brothers putting the band back together,” he says. Besides the lack of money, he had numerous campaign obstacles that included an unorthodox name, his youth (He was 27.), and the fact that he was running against a well-established political machine. His campaign theme was “Beat the Bosses.” Fortunately for Mfume, Maryland State Senator Verda Welcome, America’s first black state senator, had begun to work with young, black political hopefuls and had taken Howard (“Pete”) Rawlings under her wing the year before. Mfume recalls, “Verda Welcome felt very strongly about endorsing me, and no one else did…. Pete and I became known as ‘Verda’s Boys.’ “ State Senator Verda Freeman Welcome

In the September 1979 primary election, in his bid to represent Baltimore City’s Fourth District, Kweisi Mfume won the closest (1907 -1991) election in Maryland history, winning by three votes. Although The Sun reported that he had been defeated by 47 votes, Mfume refused to concede, and after three recounts, he was declared the victor. During his City Council days, Mfume never lost interest in Morgan. He was hired by the university as an adjunct professor and taught political science and communications.

Rap the Vote: ‘Tough Love’ ‘Tough Love’…Finding a Way to Prepare Hip-Hop Culture for Political Action is one of Mfume’s goals. When he ran for the seat in Congress that was vacated by U.S. Rep. Parren J. Mitchell in 1986, he was elected with 56 percent of the vote in a field of 11 candidates. William Donald Schaefer, Baltimore’s former mayor, was elected governor of Maryland that same year. Although the two had been bitter enemies in the past — “I didn’t like the way he ran the city, and he didn’t like the way I ran my mouth,” declares Mfume — they buried the hatchet for the good of the state. Shortly thereafter, Schaefer asked Mfume to serve on Morgan’s Board of Regents, a post he now has held for more than a decade. Mfume says of his dedication to the board, “The University did so much to shape my life that I want to do whatever I can to find a way to develop its future. I do a lot of things. I serve on a lot of boards, but that’s the one that I treasure most.” While serving in the U.S. Congress, Mfume fought tirelessly for Morgan and all of the country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He recalls arguing on the floor of the House of Representatives for funding provisions for HBCUs, while opponents argued against the need for black colleges at all. His challenge to the House came in the form of a reminder: “As long as we have in this country a Harvard and a Yale that remain essentially WASP, even though others may attend, that is not considered inconsistent. And as long as we have a Brandeis and a Yeshiva that remain essentially Jewish, even though others may attend, that is not considered inconsistent. As long as we have a Catholic U. and a Notre Dame that remain essentially Catholic, even though others may attend, then logic tells me that we ought to have a Morgan and a Howard and a Morehouse and a Fisk that remain essentially black, even though others may attend.” “That is the argument to which they have no

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counter argument,” Mfume says. “It ends it all right there.” As president and CEO of the NAACP, Mfume has used the same brand of logic in his approach to issues that the organization must tackle. For example, while the organization has registered thousands of people to vote, Mfume wanted to make inroads into all age groups. Once he retired the NAACP’s debt, he wanted to recreate the association’s Youth, College and Young Adult Division. Using initiatives like “Rap the Vote” and working with the likes of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, his plan has worked. “In order to get young people involved you have to involve young people,” he believes. “You can only do that if you deal with them where they are and at a level of clarity that they understand and gravitate toward.”

Hip-hop mogul JaRule

For Mfume and the NAACP, this meant “finding a way to unearth and involve the hip-hop community and do it through ‘tough love.’ “We have serious problems with some of the lyrics that come out of hip-hop music,” he says. “They defame and they deface and they degrade our communities and, in some instances, our elderly and our women. We did not want to pretend [as we reached out to the hip-hop community] that we were turning a blind eye to that. We spoke about it. We continue to speak about it. Fortunately, Russell Simmons believes, quite frankly, the hip-hop community has a responsibility to not only mirror the community through their lyrics and through their music, but also to set an example and also make a difference.” Mfume’s student activism in college had sprung 9

Def Jam Founder Russell Simmons believes the hophop community has a responsibility to set a good example for youth.

“I think that’s required of us, as we come through these institutions, to give back.…” —Mfume

“The reason the university has been around for over 100 years and continues to do well and grow is because it’s got a great group of former students who remember what it was like when they were students and how Morgan made a difference [in their lives].” — Mfume from a grass-roots base and lacked any real, formal direction. As a result, when the NAACP decided it wanted to establish a couple of universities in the South and Mid-Atlantic region as Centers for Political Action, Mfume says, “It was an easy notion that Morgan should be one.”

Each year, on Fathers’ Day, Mfume participates in a program Morgan holds for special students. These are students who are challenged in terms of finances and their abilities, students, he says, that many have given up on. He says he cannot and will not: “I was one of them.”

Through a $500,000 grant that it hopes to repeat in a year, the NAACP is helping several black universities get involved in a nonpartisan way in developing leadership and affecting the electoral process. He says, “The NAACP is proud and honored to do this at Historically Black Colleges and is committed to trying to find ways to, with outside donors, match that dollar amount.”

As participants in Summer College or Project Access, the students will not enter Morgan in the beginning of the fall semester like the others. Instead, they first spend eight weeks of the summer living on campus and taking courses to be certified as ready to enter college.

Much of Mfume’s commitment is rooted in his own experiences. In many instances, his motivation to help comes from the help that others were willing to extend to him, planting in him a sense of responsibility to do the same thing: reach back to help others along.


“That takes a special kind of student,” Mfume says. This summer, 600 students and their parents attended the program, and, as he does annually, Mfume explained his circumstances and told his life’s story to them. Many are “blown away” by his tale, never having imagined how far he has come. And, as he does annually, he used the revelation to strengthen the impact


of his message: “It’s not how you start in life that counts. It’s really how you finish [that’s important].” Mfume recognizes that “the experience is a crucial step in the evolution of a student, and we’re able to help them make that step.… If we continue to reach out, that will make a difference.” “I think that’s required of us, as we come through these institutions, to give back.…” he says. “You impregnate the minds of new students [with the idea] that they have to do the same thing. I remember people before me doing the same sort of thing….” “The reason the university has been around for over 100 years and continues to do well and grow is because it’s got a great group of former students who remember what it was like when they were students and how Morgan made a difference [in their lives],” Mfume adds. 

Partnership Cultivates Leadership




The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Morgan State University (MSU) entered into a cooperative agreement to sponsor the NAACP-MSU Political Leadership Institute (PLI) for African American Candidacy. The three-day seminar series conducted at four different locations nationwide by the Political Science Department of the College of Liberal Arts has provided interconnected skills in the areas of leadership development, community mobilization, voter registration, voter education, and the proper use of get out the vote (GOTV) campaigns. The Institute has trained approximately 400 African Americans from 17 Southern states. These participants have already, or will in the future assume, positions of leadership for voter empowerment programs and/or candidacy in their own communities. One of the long-term goals of the program is to assist the participants in building empowered constituencies and mobilizing key institu-

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tions that will enable them to work more effectively in the political process and to address the numerous critical issues and concerns of African-Americans. This was the first time since the ’60s that the Department of Political Science has participated in a sponsored program of such magnitude and extreme political relevance due to its geographical breadth and deliberate focus on districts where African-American registration has historically been low and voter turnout poor, or both. As a result of the Institute, which could not have been established without the visionary leadership of the College of Liberal Arts, participants are now able and encouraged to further develop relationships throughout their communities and build constituencies of new registered voters. Thus, the foundation for future campaigns for office and increased African-American involvement in electoral politics in the targeted Southern states has been laid. As for Morgan, the benefits of having conducted an Institute of this sort were manifold. First, it provided the opportunity to almost a dozen political science majors to work as project assistants, teaching aids and conference staff on the PLI. Not only did a large number of Morgan students actually participate in


the training and get on track to become, upon receipt of their certificates, fellow members of the National Voter Empowerment Corps, but more than 60 Political Science majors also attended an IssueOrganizing Political Seminar as well, conducted by Alabama State University in mid-September in Baltimore. Secondly, it enriched the staff and faculty, who, in the framework of the program’s direct recruiting drive, traveled to remote, rural regions in the South. One of the greatest advantages of the obvious spontaneity of such direct recruiting was the opportunity it provided the trainers to observe and commune with their future trainees, while in their own turf. This effort further promoted the University’s commitment to empowering underserved communities everywhere. And last, the Institute has once again revealed Morgan’s tremendous organizational resources and capabilities. By having involved in the process of its organization a good handful of other departments, including Public Relations, Communications, IT Services and the Web Team, PLI has built a strong institutional knowledge in yet another key area and solid infrastructure for the continuation of the efforts of the program in the future. 

NAACP’s stand on ... Banning the public display of symbols of hate, human bondage, and suffering should be part of the War on Terror.

The United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% (2 million) of the world’s 8 million prisoners. Most inmates are of African-American or Latino descent and have had their right to vote in national elections revoked for life.

Voting Rights

Terrorism and the War on Terrorism

The Confederate Flag

“Our Advocacy is in the streets. It’s in the courts. It’s on Capitol Hill. . . . Most people see us in the streets, advocating on behalf of all people’s right to vote and registering people and turning people out. The numbers in the last elections are attributed to the huge effort that the NAACP made. We spent close to $18 million Mfume says.”

The theme of the NAACP’s Houston convention this year, “Freedom Under Fire,” speaks directly to the issues of terrorism and how the war on terrorism is being fought.

In Mfume’s words, “The Confederate flag is probably one of the most repulsive symbols in American history and American life that people can point to today. It was the banner and symbol that terrorist groups, from the Klan on down, used to maim and to murder and torture people in this country. So many acts of hatred were aimed at not only blacks but Jews and Christians…”

When a convicted felon is released from prison after serving his time, he is denied the right to vote. Currently, the NAACP is working with Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) on a “Felony Re-Enfranchisement Bill” that will restore the right to vote to convicted felons who have served their time. Mfume says, “It doesn’t make sense, if you pay your debt to society that then, somehow or another, you are forced to pay for the rest of your life by not being able to vote. I know, and I will say it on the record, that that is aimed primarily at black men. It’s aimed at Latino men. It’s designed, quite frankly, to keep Democratic voters off the rolls, simply because those groups traditionally vote Democratic.” 

Says Mfume while speaking of the September 11 terrorist attacks, “We condemn those things. We deplore it, and we support actions to end that kind of terror as long as those actions are within the letter of the law and don’t, at the same time, deprive individuals of their basic rights here in this country. “For us [NAACP], it’s important to note that while we are at war and while we are trying to root out terrorism, our freedoms here in this country, in many instances, are under fire and under attack. “The anti-terrorism bill passed by Congress shortly after September 11 depreciates, in many respects, the gains that have been made in terms of civil rights because it vests within the government and the Justice Department so many provisions for detention, for surveillance, for apprehension, for conviction…. Our concern is that it’s not used against Americans in a way that takes rights away that we fought so hard to get. “[As black people], we know terror in a different way. That while we all got to know it on September 11 in a real naked form, people who are black in this country have been living under terror for some time now and particularly the further you go back in history. The Ku Klux Klan was America’s first terrorist organization. The fact that they still exist today says something, I think, about the willingness of our government to deal with domestic terror.” 

To the argument that the flag has symbolic, historic purposes he says, “It is historic, which is why it ought to be in a museum, under glass with historical literature beside it, and not flying on the grounds of the state capitol.” “Many people do not realize that the Confederate flag did not fly over South Carolina after the Civil War. After Dr. King and others kicked off the civil rights movement, it was dusted off and hung to defy black people and the civil rights movement in 1960.” “The fact that in 2001 the Confederate flag was voted Mississippi’s official state flag says an awful lot about where we are not in this country.” 

Mississippi State Flag



Hotel Morgan by April Ryan

April Ryan is a 1989 graduate of Morgan State University.

How do you create a new cadre of trained hospitality workers from the ranks of college students and benefit a down-on-itsheels neighborhood, too?

Morgan grad and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which he says has supported lots of other Morgan projects.

Morgan State University President Dr. Earl S. Richardson says the answer is a 100-room hotel and conference center that would rise in the nearby Northwood community and double as an on-site training laboratory for students of Morgan’s School of Hospitality Management.

“The concern that I have with the hotel proposal is that the program at Morgan would undermine an already quality program at another historically black institution, the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.” But Blount is confident the hotel could keep its rooms filled, despite the unromantic location, because of the shortage of hotel beds downtown.

That vision, which would cost the state about $50 million, is not one shared by all in Annapolis. But Richardson says it’s closer than ever to reality, now that it’s won the support of State Senator Clarence Blount and other African-American senators, as well as Northwood-area community groups.

“We are trying to get more hotels to accommodate what we are doing with the convention center, so we can rival Detroit, New York, and Atlanta for larger conventions,” says Blount. “There is no other institution to accommodate the hospitality industry, and it’s a void that has to be filled if we are going to be competitive.”

The development would include a subway extension to the Morgan area and a takeover of a third of the struggling Northwood Shopping Center, which would be upgraded with new shops. According to Richardson, a professional management team would run the hotel, but students would play a major role. “We are talking about a major operation here, something that goes beyond the boundaries of Morgan to provide a valuable service to the community,” says Richardson.

Professionals in the region’s hospitality industry, like Bob Brown, corporate catering manager at the Hyatt downtown, generally welcome the Morgan idea, even though Baltimore has at least one other training ground for hotel workers, a school-to-work program at Southwestern High School called the Academy of Travel Tourism and Hospitality.

The plan is similar to one on the Eastern Shore, where the University of Maryland has created a student-run hotel with banquet halls and conference rooms. Other successful student-run hospitality facilities include Baltimore’s Inn at Government House and Hopkins Inn. But there have been failures, too: A student-run hotel at Howard University went out of business for lack of funding from the perennially cashstrapped District of Columbia government.

“One of the major issues is the lack of dedicated, welltrained hospitality employees,” says Brown. “Service is an international concept, but a lot of the people who apply for positions locally don’t really seem to see the service industry as a viable career.” With training proposals like Morgan’s, a tourism destination like Baltimore has a chance to distinguish itself as a city where service is important, says Brown. “And the fact that it is a minority-run hotel is important, because it expands that arena for African Americans to participate in the hospitality industry.” 

Despite support in Annapolis from people like Blount, the Morgan plan has its detractors, too, such as Del. Howard “Pete” Rawlings, who says it “is not going to address the convention problem in Baltimore City.” The long-recognized need in Baltimore City is for a “major headquarters hotel next to the convention center,” says Rawlings, who is a

This article was first published in the September 2002 issue of Baltimore Magazine.

With training proposals like Morgan’s, a tourism destination like Baltimore has a chance to distinguish itself ... FA L L 2 0 0 2



New Horizons: Campaign Steering Committee Mr. James H. Gilliam, Jr. and Dr. Linda G. J. Gilliam, Campaign Co-Chairs

Mr. Paige Davis Mr. Willie Lanier Ms. Monica McKinney-Lupton Dr. Cecil Payton Mr. Martin Resnick Mr. William Roberts Ms. Roslyn Smith Mr. Stanley Tucker Mr. Calvin Tyler. Jr. General (R) Johnnie E. Wilson

Morgan is committed to: educating an academically, demographically, and racially diverse student body; teaching and fostering a close interrelationship between teaching, research, and public service; offering a comprehensive range of academic programs with a particular emphasis on business, education, engineering, and the sciences; serving the public schools, particularly those in the Baltimore area; and forming partnerships with business, industry, and government agencies that serve to expand and strengthen academic programs.

A Message from the Campaign Co-Chairs, James H. Gilliam Jr. and his wife, Dr. Linda G. J. Gilliam

Morgan State University Board of Regents Mr. Dallas R. Evans, Chairman

Mr. Francis X. Kelly, Vice Chairman

Mrs. Shirley Marcus Allen, Secretary The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings Mrs. Frances M. Draper Mr. Frank Edmonds

Dr. Charles W. Griffin Mr. Neal M. Janey

Dr. Shirley Malcom Mr. Kweisi Mfume

Mr. Martin R. Resnick Mr. William Roberts

Rabbi Murray Saltzman

Ms. Tara N. Doaty, Student Regent General (R) Johnnie E. Wilson


Scholarships and Need-Based Financial Aid

$ 9 million

Unrestricted Endowment

$ 8 million

As many of you know, the University launched the public phase of its capital campaign on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2002, with a wonderful concert in the new Murphy Fine Arts Center featuring Ray Charles and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Since that time, we have been working closely with an exceptional group of alumni and friends who have volunteered to serve on the campaign committee and make the first-ever capital campaign in the history of the University a success. The response to the campaign by individuals, corporations and foundations, despite these uncertain economic times, has been extraordinary. Donors have been eager to help Morgan educate its many deserving students and we are very close to achieving our original goal of $25 million. For us to meet and hopefully exceed that goal, however, will require the full support of all of our alumni and friends. This capital campaign means so much to Morgan and the nationwide community it serves. One of the campaign’s primary objectives is to raise additional funds for scholarships and financial aid. More than 90 percent of Morgan’s students need financial assistance, and every year 400–500 students must withdraw because they do not have the funds to stay in school. With so many of our youth at risk — particularly our black males - to have to turn students away when they are highly motivated and truly want a college education is heartbreaking. Most publications you will now receive from the University, including this one, will contain an envelope that can be used to send contributions and pledges to the Morgan State University Foundation for the campaign. If you have not yet made a contribution, please reflect on what Morgan meant to you and what it means for today’s youth. Reach back and help our students by sending a generous contribution or making a pledge today. Please share your success. We appreciate your support of our great University!

Athletic Programs

$ 5 million

Alumni House

$ 3 million


$25 million


The Mission of Morgan State University


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Donate to New Horizons: Become a Member of a Giving Club Heritage Society The Heritage Society is reserved for individuals who have made provisions for Morgan in their estate plans for at least $10,000. Even though the University will not benefit from these gifts right away, they can count immediately towards the campaign and the donor is eligible to become a member of the Heritage Society. The lapel pin pictured is exclusively for Heritage Society members. When making estate plans, please consider including charitable donations. Charitable donations are tax deductible and can save your estate from higher estate taxes. Some of the planned gifts that are accepted by the Morgan State University Foundation include bequests, real estate, insurance policies, and charitable remainder trusts. For more information on planned giving, please call the Development Office at 443-8853040 to receive a Ways to Give brochure for more information. As always, please consult your estate-planning advisor for the plan that is right for you.

Eliza Jane Cummings Society The Eliza J. Cummings Society is reserved for donors that make a gift to the Foundation of between $100 and $499. Mrs. Cummings was very influential in raising funds for a new building on the site of the original Morgan campus on Fulton and Edmondson Avenues. Even though she was not an employee or an alumnus of the University, she felt that Morgan needed a new building. Her daughter, used to go with her on solicitation visits as a small child, was the first African-American woman appointed to the Board of Regents. Ms. Ida Cummings petitioned the Board to have a building named in her mother’s honor. The current Cummings Hall, built in 1951, was originally named Banneker Hall. It was renamed in 1964 in honor of Eliza J. Cummings and is currently an honors dorm for male students.

What to Do With ‘Obsolete’ Insurance Do you have a life insurance policy you purchased years ago to provide financial protection – and no longer need it? If so, it may be a great asset to give the Morgan State University Foundation. Consider the benefits when you irrevocably name the Morgan state University Foundation as both the owner and beneficiary of the policy:

1. You receive an income tax deduction. When you fill out your itemized tax return, you can claim a charitable deduction for the cost basis of the policy or an amount approximately equal to the cash surrender value. For deduction purposes, the gift is treated as though it were cash. This means you can deduct the gift up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income. And if you can’t use the full deduction in the first year, you can carry forward the unused portion up to five additional years.

2. You reduce the size of your estate. At death, the face value of most life insurance policies is includable in the taxable estate of the deceased. For some estates, this can mean a significant increase in estate taxes. However, transferring the policy during life will remove this “hidden” asset and reduce the size of your estate and any applicable taxes.

3. You leave your current income undisturbed. Many people desire to give more to Morgan, but are concerned about their own cash flow and any unforeseen emergencies. They are reluctant to reduce investment assets. We at Morgan do not want any of our friends to jeopardize their security in making charitable gifts. At the same time, it’s quite possible that you have either forgotten about an “obsolete” life insurance policy or consider it an unneeded asset. In any case, the beauty of giving such a policy is that it doesn’t affect your current income stream.

Easy to Do Making a gift of life insurance is easier than you might think. Your life insurance professional can help you obtain a transfer form from the insurance company, or you can contact the company directly. Of course, the Development Office is ready to assist you as well.

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Please let us know if you have included Morgan State University Foundation in your estate plans so that we can acknowledge you in our Heritage Society.

You may contact Ms. Heidi Bruce, Development Officer, at (443) 8853040, or email us at

All gifts should be directed to the Morgan State University Foundation, Inc., which has the responsibility for raising private funds for the University. Please make all donations to the Morgan State University Foundation, Inc.

Giving Through Your Will Every year we receive bequests from the estates of deceased friends. These gifts make a tremendous difference, and we count on such gifts as we move into the future. When you revise or create your will for the first time, we hope you will include Morgan. Your estate gift will help us serve the next generation.

Types of Bequests As you consider an estate gift to Morgan, it may be useful to know some of the bequest options you have. For example, you can make your bequest as an unrestricted gift. This permits Morgan to use your bequest where it is needed most. A second type of bequest is designated or restricted to a specific purpose. For example, a gift may be earmarked for a program you feel keenly about or for capital improvements. You could even designate a bequest to establish an endowment. A third kind would be a combination of the first two. That is, part of the bequest might be used as the board sees fit and the restricted part for the predetermined purpose.

Methods for Making Bequests Once you’ve decided on the kind of bequest, you must determine how the bequest will be identified. You have at least three options. First, you can specify a specific amount or item. For example, you could bequeath a


vacation home to the Morgan State University Foundation, Inc. or certain securities or a set amount of money. Second, you can name the Morgan State University Foundation to receive a percentage of the residue of your estate – the amount that is left after the bills and specific bequests have been made. Finally, you could name the Morgan State University Foundation as a contingent beneficiary to receive that part of your estate that would have passed to another person had he or she been living. For example, a will can indicate that everything is to go to your spouse unless your spouse predeceases you, in which case the assets, or part of them, could be assigned to Morgan. As you think through your estate giving plans, you may want to talk with our Development Office and they explain the giving options you have as well as suggested wording for the various bequest types and methods mentioned above. All of this will assist your attorney when you meet with him or her to discuss and finalize your will. As you proceed with your estate plans, we strongly encourage you to inform us about any bequest decisions affecting Morgan. This will help ensure that we can honor any restrictions you have placed in your bequest. It also helps our long-range planning efforts if we know where future resources are being directed. Best of all, it gives us the opportunity to thank and honor you in advance and to include you in our Heritage Society. 


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A LASTING MEMORY… Memorial Fund provides scholarships to deserving young people

Daisy and John Jacob Lee 1968 — 50th Wedding Anniversary

John Jacob Lee was, we are told, a simple man of ordinary means. He and Daisy Horton Bates were married in 1918, then moved to Reisterstown, Md., where he was a chef at Hannah More Academy for more than 50 years. He and his wife never had children, worked very hard all of their lives and saved enough from their modest incomes to buy several pieces of property in the area. the land, auctioned upon their deaths, is now the site of a new subdivision in Reistertown — Jacob John Lee. But jacob Lee was to leave a legacy worth much more than buildings. His last will and testament established an educational fund to provide opportunities for young people to continue their education.

The J. Jacob and Daisy H. Lee Memorial Fund was created in 1985 to help make possible for others what Jacob Lee, himself, could not achieve because he lacked the financial support to attend college. And even though neither he nor his wife attended Morgan State University, two members of the board that administers the fund did. Lionel White (class of ’56) is a great nephew of Mr. And Mrs. Lee. “I just think it was something we needed to do,” says Mr. White. “I needed financial help when I attended Morgan, and although I never asked for help, many of those thoughts came back to me when we established the fund, so I figured it’s time to give back to those who can use it. We wanted to make sure that the money would go toward scholarships for people of color. I chose Morgan because I was familiar with it.” The J. Jacob and Daisy H. Lee Memorial Fund has given $75,000 to Morgan to establish an endowment to provide educational opportunities for its students. But it won’t end there, according to Lionel White. “We are already preparing to make our contribution to Morgan an even $100,000 with a second donation of $25,000 to help even more young people realize their dream of a college education, he says.” To Jacob and Daisy Lee, the Morgan family says, “Thank you!”  Founders of the J. Jacob and Daisy H. Lee Memorial Fund

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Joe Black


by Eric Addison

With a flipping motion of his hand, Nathan Selzer tossed a baseball to the young kid who was walking by his auto body shop, Handy Andy Auto Rebuilders, in Plainfield, N.J. It was during the Great Depression. Selzer was Jewish, and the 10-year-old kid, who lived next door to the shop, was black. But this small, random, color-blind act of kindness was just part of Selzer’s M.O., his way of doing business in this mostly African-American and Italian neighborhood on the wrongAmerican side of the tracks

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a star athlete at Plainfield High. He won a scholarship to Morgan State College, now Morgan State University, where he studied in physical education and psychology. On weekends during his college years, he pitched for the Baltimore Elite (pronounced ‘E-Light’) Giants of the “Negro Leagues,” the catch all term for the leagues that blossomed on the other side of Major League Baseball’s “color barrier.” He received his bachelor’s degree from Morgan in 1950 and then followed Jackie Robinson and a

during those racially segregated times. Civility was part of his character; that was just the way he was. The kid caught the ball and looked up to thank the man, who by then was halfway down the block in his car. The kid took the ball home — the first baseball he’d ever touched. He slept with the ball and dreamt with it in the house where his mother, Martha, also fed his dreams with her maxim: “Ain’t nobody better than you.” The kid grew up and became


handful of other great black players into the majors. These men had been chosen because of their athletic prowess, yes, but also because of their characters — their potential to stand up in a dignified way to the racial hatred of many white fans and players, on and off the field. The next year, the kid now a man, Joe Black delivered in a big way, pitching the Brooklyn Dodgers to a 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees in the first game of

the 1952 World Series. He virtually carried the Dodgers on his back that series, starting the first, fourth and seventh games, although he had entered the series as a relief pitcher who sometimes 1952 World Series program.

know he could pitch that well…. That man can play anywhere,’ “ Irvin says. “He had a high, hard fastball. I knew he was going to make it. I had no doubts at all about him, and he was confident in himself. “…Great athlete, fine person,” Irvin says. “I thought he ate too much,” he adds with a laugh. “We called him Digits, because he had big fingers. He was smart, excellent student…helpful. We both did pretty well academically. After we left school, I used to call him. I’d say, ‘Joe, you know you were sui generis.’ Because he was, one of a kind.” *

arrived at games with an FBI escort because of death threats against him. Black pitched well in his second and third starts as well, but the Dodgers lost the championship. However, Black, 1952 National League Rookie of the Year and the first African-American to win a World Series game, had earned something much greater for himself and his people. Calvin “Cal” Irvin played football with Black at Morgan State for three years. Irvin left Morgan early and went to the University of Illinois, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He played with the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues for part of a summer, decided the baseball lifestyle wasn’t for him and moved on to Columbia University, where he got his master’s. He had a long career as an athletic coach and retired from North Carolina A&T State University as athletic director. He says he was not surprised that his good friend Joe Black made the majors and did well, as had Irvin’s brother, Hall of Famer Monte Irvin. “I saw him pitch. I said, ‘Man, I didn’t




At Hubbard Junior High School in Plainfield in 1960, teacher Joe Black called the roll. Black had played in the major leagues for a total of six seasons, pitching for Cincinnati and Washington after leaving Brooklyn, before a shoulder injury ended his career and began the next outstanding chapters of his life. He had returned to Plainfield and gained almost universal respect and admiration for his skills as an educator and mentor of young students. Steven M. Selzer, now an attorney in Rockville, Md., remembers. “…I came to junior high, seventh grade, and Joe is counting out the roll call. He says ‘Selzer, Steve.’ And I look at him, and he looks at me. And he says, ‘Are you Nathan Selzer’s son?’ And I go, ‘Yes, that’s right.’ And there was sort of an electricity there, and that’s when we formed the bond.” The bond between Selzer and his mentor and friend, Joe Black, would last for the

Black received his bachelor’s degree from Morgan in 1950 and then followed Jackie Robinson and a handful of other great black players into the majors. MORGAN MAGAZINE


next 40 years, until Black succumbed to cancer this past May 17th in Scottsdale, Ariz., at age 78. “He was a commanding figure, about 6 foot 3, 220 pounds, with a deep voice. And he loved knowledge,” Selzer says. “He wanted to impart knowledge, and he loved discipline as well within the schools…. He came up with something he called happy hour, and he applied it to people who acted out in his class. They would be invited to school an hour early, to the gym, where they would experience a nice, hour-long workout which he enjoyed tremendously. I went one time when I acted out in his class, and that was enough. It’s sort of funny because when I went off to college at George Washington University in D.C., I was seeing all these signs that said, ‘Come on in! Happy Hour!’ I said, ‘I’m not going in there!” “He was a tough teacher,” Selzer says. “He believed that education was serious business. And while he had a great sense of humor, it was very important to him to impart good values.” As remarkable as this story of intergenerational, interethnic friendship in black and white may seem, it is only one of many, many remarkable stories in which Joe Black starred as a friend and guide, hero and angel. After seven years in the Plainfield school system, he took a job with Greyhound Corporation as a marketing representative. Five years later, in 1967, he became vice president of a Greyhound subsidiary and the first black vice president of a major transportation company in the U.S. Two years after that, Greyhound made him corporate vice president. He stayed with the company for 20 years, accepting with grace the many ancillary responsibilities that came with being one of the small number of black senior executives in Corporate America at the time and uplifting the lives of people all along the way, inside his family and out. “My father was the most amazing person I’ve ever met and probably ever


Jackie Robinson

will,” says his daughter, Martha Jo Black, an event planner for Winston & Strawn, a law firm in Chicago. Martha is Joe Black’s only child from his second marriage to MaeNell Rodgers. The marriage ended in divorce in the mid-1970s, when Martha was six and her father’s busy career at Greyhound in Phoenix, Ariz. was in full swing.

confidence and his belief in the abilities of black people. “At Morgan, they taught me I was somebody,” Black told Mike Littwin of the Baltimore Sun in 1987.

The number and diversity of people who called Joe Black a friend is a testament to the kind of giving life that he lived. Entertainment legend Bill Cosby; fellow pitching great Sandy Koufax, who became Black’s protégé when “He was a tough teacher. He believed that Koufax entered the major leagues as a 20-year-old education was serious business. And while in 1955; and Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox, were among the crowd of 200 he had a great sense of humor, it was very at a memorial service for Black held at a church in important to him to impart good values.” Plainfield. Six hundred more attended his funeral in Phoenix. —Attorney Steven Selzer “My father won custody of me and raised me by himself,” Martha relates. “My father did everything from braiding my hair, to taking me to the hairdresser, to talking about sex education, to making sure I studied [and] teaching me regarding saving money, to being the best friend I have ever had. I mean, I’m 33 years old, and until my father passed away, I talked to my father every day, about everything.” Her father took her to church regularly, Martha says. “When I was young, he’d take me to a Catholic church one day, Presbyterian the next. He’d say, ‘Ok, which church do you want to go to?”

Baseball, it seems, was only fate’s vehicle to deliver Joe Black to the world. He was much bigger than the sport. “We didn’t really know what he had accomplished,” says Steven Selzer of his seventh-grade teacher. “But we knew that he was a major league pitcher. We knew that he was a big, intelligent man to be reckoned with.… And this was Central Jersey, you know, with all kinds of wild things going on, people training for the Mafia and everything else. But what he taught us is that it was truly important to learn as much as you could while you were in school, gather all the knowledge you could — knowledge was power — and don’t let anybody intimidate you, because you’re tougher than you think.” 

“God sincerely blessed me,” she says. “I had a father [and] mother in one person.” Joseph Frank “Chico” Black of Chandler, Ariz., is Joe’s son from his first marriage, to Doris Parrish. Chico Black was born a few months before his father’s historic World Series win. He stayed very close with his father after his parents’ divorce and saw him frequently, he says. He remembers his father as being “very strong…. He wanted to make sure that he prepared his kids for life. He was a fun person. He had a great personality; you just had to really get to know him. He was always there for you. He always liked to help others. Sometimes a little stubborn, but, mostly, he was a good friend.”

Another Trophy for Joe Joe Black is seen accepting a trophy from Dr. Earl S.Richardson during a reception in his honor held on Morgan’s campus.

Black’s energy seemed limitless. He had a long-running, nationally broadcast radio spot and column in Ebony magazine, called “By the Way.” After retiring from Greyhound, he was active as a lobbyist for black ballplayers and with the Baseball Assistance Team, an aid organization for former major leaguers. He worked in Community Affairs for the Arizona Diamondbacks. A lifelong lover of knowledge with an insatiable intellectual curiosity, Black took law courses at Arizona State University in the early 1990s, when he was in his late 60s. He published an autobiography, “Ain’t Nobody Better Than You.” The title was taken from his mother’s early words of encouragement, but he credited Morgan State with reinforcing that message and solidifying his self-

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February 8, 1924 - Born in Plainfield, N.J.


1950’s Fall 1942 - Enrolled as a freshman at Morgan State College

1950 - Graduated from Morgan with a B.A. in Teaching

1943 - Began playing baseball for the Baltimore Elite Giants

1951 - Drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers

Drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II

1952 - Won opening game of the World Series, first Black pitcher to win a World Series game

1946 - Completed military service and returned to Morgan

Named National League Rookie of the Year 1957 - Retired from baseball Began teaching in the Plainfield, N.J., public schools




1963 - Began working for Greyhound Corporation as a special markets representative


1969 - Named vice president of special markets for Greyhound, first Black vice president of a major U.S. transportation company

1983 - Published autobiography, “Ain’t Nobody Better Than You” 1987 - Retired from Greyhound

May 17, 2002 - Died of prostate cancer in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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“Helen Roberts took care of her students…. That’s our foundation. That’s our legacy.” —Mike Ashby, chef at the Helen Roberts FacultyStaff Dining Room


Carrying Helen Roberts



Certain meals conjure up images of family and feelings of comfort. During her decades-long reign as Morgan’s dean of Food Services, Helen “Mom” Roberts excelled at using food as a means to transport Morgan students and faculty back home. In April 2002, Morgan President Dr. Earl S. Richardson dedicated the new faculty-staff dining room in honor of Roberts. The dining room menu carries a meal prominently named after her, an appropriately nurturing dish of succulent roast beef served with homemade mashed potatoes and rich brown gravy.

Portrait of Helen Roberts (1876 – 1981) by Eric Briscoe Class of ‘95

“Helen Roberts took care of her students,” says Mike Ashby, chef at the Helen Roberts Faculty-Staff Dining Room. “She made all of them feel at home and comfortable. That’s our foundation. That’s our legacy. Our dining room concept is home-style or comfort-eating. Everything is prepared fresh, tasty and affordable. We want this to be a special place for faculty, staff and administrators, a place where they are not interrupted, where they can enjoy meals at a pleasurable pace.” Located on the top floor of the Spencer Building, in a space that was once a greenhouse, the Roberts Dining Room features glass on three sides, a broad patio and a breathtaking view of the campus. The view reveals the tremendous progress the school has made since the day Roberts first arrived.

From librarian to dean to homecoming queen Born on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in February 1876, Roberts came to Morgan in 1929 as a substitute for the dean of women and librarian. At that time, the Morgan campus consisted of three framed buildings and a stable used for indoor sports.

What’s in a Name:

A Glimpse at the Names of organ’s Buildings & Facilities

g on a Tradition of Caring: Faculty-Staff Dining Room Honors a Legacy of Culinary Skill & Love by Diana L. Spencer FA L L 2 0 0 2

A short while after Roberts arrived, she was transferred to direct the food service program. In total, Roberts dedicated 42 years of her life to Morgan, becoming as much a part of the campus as any building or academic department. One faculty member remarked, “She was a full professor among those who claimed teaching as their profession.” Colleagues said “Mom” taught that there is a correct and incorrect way to do everything. The late James H. Carter, former business manager of Morgan, once noted that even past her 80th birthday, Roberts — who lived to be 105 — “ran circles around younger employees, because she did more work, was more consistent, and handled the students better because of their high respect for her. And she was never absent from her job.” Roberts was also well-known for her devotion to Morgan’s athletes. Chef Ashby remembers that his father, who played football for Morgan, “talked about how Helen Roberts used to make big cookies for the athletes.” She consistently attended games and, at age 82, was honored for her loyalty by being named homecoming queen.


Homecoming for Ashby, too It was in part the stories Ashby’s father told him about Morgan, about caring staff like Roberts, that convinced Ashby to attend Morgan. “I have been on and off campus since 1992,” he says. “I am the chef to open the new Roberts room, but I also had a part in opening the first Roberts room [in the old Refectory] in 1992.” Ashby came to Morgan as a business major and football player. He soon found himself working in the school’s cafeteria, just as he had in high school. “I discovered that I really liked food service management,” he says. After Morgan, Ashby went to culinary school in Philadelphia and studied briefly in France. His return to work at Morgan follows a career that has taken him to restaurants, colleges and universities in New Orleans, West Virginia, Philadelphia, Florida and the Carolinas. “I get a big thrill out it,” he says, “because I went to school with some of these folks who are now administrators and faculty.” Ashby oversees a staff of seven at the Roberts Dining Room. The still-new facility is open for lunch only, but Ashby anticipates that its hours and services will expand. According to Sharon Williams, quality control manager in Morgan’s Business and Auxiliary Services department, “Staff loves the new dining room!”

Art on their plates, art on the walls Exhibitions from Morgan’s art collection, including works by Morgan students, graduates and other African-American artists, are planned to enrich the dining experience at the Roberts Dining Room. The inaugural exhibition features MORGAN MAGAZINE


work by Eric Briscoe (Morgan ‘95), assistant curator of the James E. Lewis Museum at Morgan. This exhibition includes mixed-media pieces, charcoals and a portrait of Helen Roberts that was completed in 1994 while Briscoe was still a student. “Morgan’s business manager, Vinetta McCullough, asked me to do the portrait,” Briscoe explains. “I worked from a black and white photograph of [Roberts] and from what others told me about her. From the stories I heard, she reminded me a great deal of my grandmother. I tried to capture what I heard about her character — about her wisdom, her longevity, that she had been through a lot but was still smiling, still loving what she did.” Although the huge expanses of glass in the dining room cause tremendous glare and limit wall space, Briscoe intends to use interior walls and columns to present various art exhibitions, particularly of work by Morgan’s students. “The dining room offers a great opportunity for our art students to get more recognition, for administration and faculty to see and maybe even buy some of their work,” Briscoe says. Mom Roberts would have liked that: another way to feed the body and spirit, another way to celebrate and nurture students, another way to use dining as an opportunity for building connections. 

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Coming of Age

Constructing a Personal and Cultural Identity

by Ferdinand Mehlinger

Morgan State University will

was Ralph Ellison, and the

celebrate the works of two

book told the tale of a man

African-American literary

invisible “simply because

giants who helped define

people refused to see me.”

20th century American litera-

The book is a chronicle of a black man’s struggle for iden-

ture during the 2002–2003

tity in white America and won

school year.

the National Book Award in 1953.

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, pubRalph W. Ellison (1914-1994)

Today, it is considered one of

lished in 1952, marks its 50th

modern literature’s great works.

anniversary in 2002, and W.E.B. Du

W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)

Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk marks its one hundredth anniver-

The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

sary in 2003.

Du Bois believed that U. S. society permanently segmented

Morgan State University will focus on a common theme in

African Americans into a subclass of secondary citizens.

these two works: “Coming of Age: Constructing a Personal

As a result of this, he said, African Americans had devel-

and Cultural Identity.” This theme will be the focus of convo-

oped a “double consciousness” from the constant

cations and symposia for the 2002–2003 academic year. All

reminders that their status and full rights as Americans

students enrolled in the Honors Program in General Studies,

would never be fully be accepted by white Americans. The

and all freshmen and sophomores enrolled in Freshman

Souls of Black Folk looks critically at the African-American

English, World History, American History, the Black Dias-

quest for cultural identity.

pora, and Introduction to Logic are required to read these

Du Bois, one of the founding members of the National

two books as part of their class assignments: Invisible Man in

Association for the Advancement of Colored People

the fall and The Souls of Black Folk in the spring.

(NAACP) was a graduate of Fisk University and was the first African American to graduate from Harvard with a Ph.D.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison Forty-nine years ago, a relatively unknown writer from Okla-

Du Bois moved to Baltimore in the l930’s, was a colleague

homa stirred the nation’s attention with a first novel that

of Dr. Carl J. Murphy, and resided in Morgan Park. His por-

opened with these words: “I am an invisible man.” The writer

trait hangs in the lobby of Soper Library at Morgan State.



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