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MORGAN M

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VOLUME I 2008

INSIDE:

Opportunity-Givers—Calvin and Tina Tyler Morgan’s Miss Maryland MSU Hosts Republican Debate Coach and Player: A Tale of Two Heroes

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Save date

activities events  schedules  

2008

murphy fine arts center events:

Please call 443-885-4440 for more information • www.murphyfineartscenter.org

Feb 14

10:00 AM matinee; Sun., Feb 17 4:00 PM—Gianni Schicchi; An English opera in one act written by Giacomo Puccini; Directed by Vincent Dion Stringer; Presented by the MSU Opera Workshop; Tickets: Students/Seniors: $7; General: $10 Feb. 16 8:00 PM, Feb 17, 6:00 PM—The Power, The Passion, and The Pulpit; play from Lamar Hill; Visit www.livebythepen.com; Tickets: $30, $25, $20 Feb. 22-23 4:00 PM—“Kiddie” C.A.T.S. Performing Arts Series: Spencer “Spinny” Johnson, former member of the Harlem Globetrotters, in “Motivational and Inspirational Basketball Skills”; Tickets: $11; For group sales, call 410-433-5383 Mar 14-15 4:00 PM—“Kiddie” C.A.T.S. Performing Arts Series: Sankofa Dance Theatre - “Women’s Drum Talk” Tickets: $11 Mar 25, 30 A new play by Tyler Perry Apr. 3, 6, 10, 13—The Great Mac Daddy; Play; Directed by David M. Mitchell; Written by Paul Carter Harrison; presented by Theatre Morgan Apr. 20, 6:00 PM—Symphonic Winds; Annual Concert of the MSU Symphonic Band; Melvin N. Miles, Conductor Apr. 26 7:00 PM—Teens Count Fashion Battle, Area high school multi-faceted fashion show May 4 4:00 PM—MSU Choir Annual Spring Concert; Dr. Eric Conway, Conductor May 10 10:00 AM–6:00 PM— “Kiddie” C.A.T.S. Performing Arts Series: Theater Festival will give young artists the opportunity to showcase their talents to a citywide audience. Call Cash Hester: 410-433-5383 May 10 8:00 PM—MSU Jazz Band; Annual Concert of the MSU Jazz Band; Melvin N. Miles, Director

alumni event: Apr. 28 May 17

4:00 PM; MSUNAA Philadelphia Alumni Chapter presents the MSU Choir; Bethlehem Baptist Church, Penllyn and Dager Roads, Spring House, PA 19477; Contact – Wilhelmina D. Stevenson, President (Tickets will be available in 2008) The 68th Annual Alumni Awards and Class Reunion Luncheon; All classes ending in “3” and “8” will celebrate their respective anniversaries. Please call the Alumni Relations office at 443-885-3015 for more information.

choir concerts: Feb. 1 Feb. 7 Feb. 16 Feb. 19 Feb. 22 Feb. 24 Mar. 9 Mar. 13 Mar. 15 Mar. 27-30 Apr. 3 Apr. 5 Apr. 9 Apr. 18 Apr. 19 Apr. 20 Apr. 27 May 4 May 10 May 18 May 25

Please contact sponsor or venue regarding ticket information.

8:00 PM—Concert for Smoot Theatre, Parkersburg, WV 11:00 AM—Founders Day Convocation in Gilliam Concert Hall, Morgan State University 8:00 PM—“Free to Sing” Concert at Strathmore Hall, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852-3385 7:00 PM—Frostburg State University Concert in Frostburg, MD 8:00 PM—Montgomery Community College, Pottstown, PA 4:00 PM—Christ Presbyterian Church, 2323 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN 37215 4:00 PM—Class of 1950 sponsored concert at Celebration Church, 6080 Foreland Garth, Columbia, MD 21045 11:00 AM—Women's History Month Convocation in Gilliam Concert Hall, Morgan State University 6:00 PM—Miracle Temple Seventh-Day Adventist Church Spring Tour—Concert at the Island Center for the Performing Arts in St. Croix March 28 and Concert at Reichhold Center for the Arts in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands March 29 11:00 AM—Honors Convocation, in Gilliam Concert hall, Morgan State University 8:00 PM—Carnegie Hall Performance with St. Lukes Orch., New York, NY & Bobby McFerrin, Conductor 8:00 PM—Delaware State University Concert, Dover, DE 8:00 PM—Danville Concert Series Danville, VA 8:00 PM—The Prizery, South Boston, VA 3:00 PM—“Let My People Go” Performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC 4:00 PM—Philadelphia Chapter of the Alumni Association, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Penilyn Pike and Trewellyn Ave., Penilyn PA 19422 4:00 PM—Annual Spring Concert at MFAC, Baltimore, MD 3:00 PM—Smithsonian American Arts Museum, Washington, DC 10:00 AM—MSU Commencement, Baltimore, MD 3:00 PM—Garrett County Arts Festival Concert, McHenry, MD


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Alumni and Friends, With a productive and rewarding year behind us, Morgan State University moves forward into 2008 with a bright outlook and clear expectations for the future. To know the potential of what lies ahead for this great institution, simply take a look back at some of the exciting moments to take place recently on our campus. The cover story, “Opportunity-Givers,” profiles Calvin and Tina Tyler, the MSU alumnus and his spouse responsible for the inspiring stories of the “Tyler Scholars.” This group of Morgan students is making the most of the Tylers’ generosity, sense of mission and belief in the University. The Tyler Scholars are just one of the many success stories born from our recently completed capital campaign, “New Horizons: The Campaign for Morgan State University.” With your support, the University continues to aggressively explore and pursue resources to provide access and opportunity for Morgan students. In this edition, you will also read compelling features on Roderick Wolfe and head football coach Donald Hill-Eley, heroes in Morgan athletics and life at large; Michael Cryor, ’68, Maryland’s new Democratic Party chair; Shana Powell, who was recently crowned Miss Maryland; Deanna Ikhinmwin of Morgan’s Office of Community Service; and others. Their stories are just a few examples of the impact Morgan State is having throughout Maryland and around the world. Our new Program in Latin America and the Caribbean, directed by Dr. M’baré N’Gom, is broadening the horizons of Morgan students and faculty with knowledge of the African Diaspora outside the U.S. And we remember the late Dr. Sandye McIntyre — a name well-known and honored by many — who laid the foundation to internationalize MSU’s curriculum by establishing Morgan’s renowned Fulbright Program more than a half-century ago. All of these stories make interesting reading and should add to your enjoyment of Morgan Magazine. Sincerely,

Earl S.Richardson President MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME I 2008

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Ta b l e o f C o n t e n t s

Morgan Magazine is published by the Division of Institutional Advancement of MSU for alumni, parents, faculty, students and prospective students. Morgan Magazine is designed and edited by the Office of Public Relations. 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.

Morgan State University Magazine

Correspondence should be directed to: Morgan Magazine, Morgan State University, 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane, Truth Hall, #109, Baltimore, MD 21251 • 443-885-3022 office • 443-8858297 fax • public_relations@moac.morgan.edu

Volume I 2008

Tyler

Story

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3

4

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Letter from the President

A Morgan Daughter Is Miss Maryland

OpportunityGivers

The Most Successful Gala…Ever

Homecoming 2007

Earl S. Richardson

Shana Powell

Calvin and Tina Tyler

MSU Gala XXIII

Parade and Game

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Alum Elected Maryland Democratic Party Chair

A Christian Writer Brings History Alive

MSU’s First Capital Campaign

Morgan’s Ambassador

Margaret Pagan, ’63

Exceeds Its Goal by $6.2M

Expanding the AfricanAmerican Village

Coach Donald HillEley & Roderick Wolfe

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A Circle of Caring

BannekerDouglass Museum Dedicates Its Library

The New Student and Communications Centers

Empty Podiums, Mega Success

A Legacy of Courage

Sylvia Gaither Garrison, ’47

New Campus Facilities Garner Rave Reviews

Michael Cryor, ’68

Morgan’s Office of Community Service

M O R G A N

M A G A Z I N E

Morgan Hosts Republican Debate

A Tale of Two Heroes

Soper Library’s Parren J. Mitchell Room

S TA F F

Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Publications Manager

Cheryl Y. Hitchcock chitchcock@moac.morgan.edu

Director of Public Relations and Communications

Photographer (Magazine Cover)

Contributing Writers

Ferdinand Mehlinger

P. A. Greene

fmehlinger@moac.morgan.edu

pagreene@moac.morgan.edu

Art Director (Magazine Design)

Communications Assistant

Eric Addison Rasheim T. Freeman Wiley A. Hall, 3rd Rachel Irving Siobhan Leftwich Lynette Locke D'Nese L.A. Moore Donna M. Owens Charles Robinson III Christina Royster-Hemby Bisa Williams

Clinton R. Coleman

David E. Ricardo

Rachel Irving

ccoleman@moac.morgan.edu

dricardo@moac.morgan.edu

rirving@moac.morgan.edu

Assistant Director of Public Relations

Sr. Graphic Designer

Contributing Photographer

Jarrett L. Carter jcarter@moac.morgan.edu

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Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program

Dr. Sandye Jean McIntyre II

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME I 2008

Andre Barnett abarnett@moac.morgan.edu

John Moore


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A Morgan Daughter Is Miss Maryland By Lynette Locke Meet Morgan student Shana Powell, Miss Maryland 2007. Powell, a senior from Bowie, Md., was selected from 20 other contestants in June to represent the state in the 2008 Miss America pageant, which will be held in Las Vegas, Nev., in January. A Regents Scholar of the Honors Department at Morgan State University, our new Miss Maryland is pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree in vocal performance and is focused on a career in the opera. Powell, who is accustomed to receiving recognition as a soprano with the world-renowned Morgan State University choir, says winning the Miss Maryland crown in the 72nd annual pageant was an especially big honor, and a large responsibility. Along with the title and $9,000 scholarship she received from the Miss America Organization, there is the dignity of the position and the demands of a year’s commitment to public appearances and speaking.

Shana

“Serving as Miss Maryland has given me the great opportunity and experience of taking part in

community and charity events of all kinds on behalf of the organization, from riding in a parade to supporting research for sickle cell anemia. I have a deep respect for the Miss Maryland pageant,” Powell says. Powell works with the Music Undergraduates Serving Education (MUSE) program, which brings college students majoring in musical studies into public schools as volunteers, to provide or enhance music education programs. Her work as Miss Maryland has made her already busy life all the more challenging, she admits, but Powell says the experience is also building up and honing her physical, mental and spiritual strength. MSU’s academic excellence and rich musical legacy have been a tremendous help to her growth as a student and performer, she says. Within the nurturing atmosphere of Morgan, Powell says she “truly feel(s) like a daughter” of the school, because everyone does what they can to see her succeed. “The support system at Morgan State has allowed me to continue in my studies here along with my duties as Miss Maryland, which has made this experience twice as rewarding and meaningful,” she adds. Powell says artists should define success for themselves. “The possibilities for succeeding in doing what you love are far more extensive than just for becoming a ‘star’ — and also far more rewarding,” she says.

“The support system at Morgan State ... has made this experience twice as rewarding and meaningful.” — MSU Senior Shana Powell, Miss Maryland 2007

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME I 2008

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Opportunity-Givers By Donna M. Owens

Calvin and Tina Tyler with their pet dog, Toby.

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Calvin and Tina Tyler Help Scholars with Their Dollars and Sense of Mission

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2002, THE COUPLE DONATED A HALF-MILLION DOLLARS TO MORGAN; ANOTHER $500,000 FOLLOWED IN 2005. A $1–MILLION GIFT WAS ANNOUNCED THIS YEAR, MAKING THE TYLERS’ DONATIONS THE LARGEST FROM INDIVIDUAL DONORS IN THE SCHOOL’S HISTORY.

Tyler Scholars (left to right) Omari Koram, Byron Selby, Breana Fleming and Randolph Brown pose with Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Tyler, who have sponsored the students’ undergraduate study at Morgan.

Helping needy, deserving students attend college is something that resonates deeply with Calvin E. Tyler Jr., ’65, a retired senior executive with United Parcel Service (UPS). He and his wife, Tina, are native Baltimoreans and former high-school sweethearts. Today, they’re nationally known philanthropists who have given millions to educational and other causes, especially those that help at-risk youth. And their giving to Morgan State University, including the establishment of an endowed scholarship in their name, has put them in the top tier of MSU supporters. “We recognize the need, and (we) have the capability to help,” says Mr. Tyler, who spoke from the couple’s home in Danville, California. They also have a home in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Things aren’t getting better for black youth. Someone needs to step up. If not us, then who?”

Tyler studied business administration at Morgan from 1961 through 1963, but could not afford to complete his degree. “I was the first in my family to go to college,” explains Tyler. “While I enjoyed my studies, I was not able to be involved in activities on campus, because I was working the whole time,” he says of his multiple jobs, including the night shift at B&O Railroad. Disappointed at having to cut his formal education short, Tyler was nonetheless determined to succeed. He launched his career at UPS as a driver in 1964, at a time when the company was in its infancy. “It was brand new in Baltimore,” he recalls. “I was one of the first 10 drivers.” Tyler worked hard and steadily climbed the corporate ladder.

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Upward at UPS In 1966, two years after coming aboard, Tyler went into management at age 23. A decade or so later, he was leading a district in Omaha, Neb. In 1982, he was named the company’s first African-American vice president of operations, running the West Coast region. “The company has a good record of promoting women and minorities,” says Tyler about UPS. “They believe in hard work and having employees invest in the company.” To that end, Tyler began to purchase small shares of company stock through an employee incentive program. It wasn’t easy, especially with a growing family. “My wife and I put off a lot of things — fancy clothing and cars — but our sacrifices paid off,” he says, crediting his wife with holding down the home front as they and their two sons relocated to different states to advance his career. “We moved 10 times after leaving Baltimore,” notes Tyler. “It was tough at times, but I think it made me a broader person, with no geographic biases. Life is never a straight line…. It's a big world out there.” Tyler retired as senior vice president of operations in 1998, the first African-American to hold that position. In 1991, he was elected to the UPS board of directors. He has also been a member of the senior committee responsible

for day-to-day management of the company. Along the way, Tyler mentored up-and-coming executives, many of them African-Americans. “When I retired, I was most proud that the gentleman who replaced me used to work for me,” he says, adding that he tried to lead by example. “People who set goals and are persistent are the ones who do the best in the long run.” In 2004, MSU awarded him an honorary doctorate. “It’s not a disgrace to be knocked down, but you can’t stay down,” Tyler says. “In this country, everybody’s got a shot at fortune. If you do your very best, you’re generally successful in life. But you have to do your very best.”

The Tylers’ Mission The Tylers have been supporting Morgan for nearly a decade. Each year, typically in April, the couple returns to their hometown and visits the sprawling Northeast Baltimore campus for the university’s annual donor luncheon. “We have lunch with the students. We visit the dorms,” says Mr. Tyler. “The school is very impressive, all of the changes,” he says, noting that Morgan’s longtime president, Dr. Earl Richardson, “is doing a fantastic job.” The Tylers’ gift is

Calvin Tyler (bottom left) as a 26-year-old manager, posing with co-workers in front of an historic UPS fleet vehicle in Baltimore, Md.

Calvin Tyler (2nd from right) at age 10, posing with his mother and two brothers at their home in Baltimore, Md.

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Tina and Calvin Tyler on their 25th wedding anniversary.

Tylers

Calvin Tyler receiving an honorary doctorate from Morgan in 2004.

MSU President Earl S. Richardson (center) thanking Calvin Tyler for his generous scholarship support.


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among several sizable contributions that wealthy alumni have made to Morgan State, one of the nation’s oldest historically black universities. Endowed scholarships and other gifts have farreaching implications for any institution, but for a public, urban university like Morgan, with students from a broad spectrum of academic, social and economic backgrounds, the need is especially great. "We have a mission to bring in everyone who qualifies, and we have our share of honors students," says Cheryl Hitchcock, the university's vice president for Institutional Advancement. "We also have many students in need. About 95 percent of our students receive some type of financial aid, most of them federal loans and state grants. So the Tylers’ gifts are especially helpful to us.” Her office, which oversees development (fundraising), public relations and alumni affairs, works closely with donors such as the Tyler family and with the university’s financial aid office. Ultimately, financial aid officers select the recipients of need-based scholarships.

Pride in Giving Tyler Scholars must meet certain financial criteria and be residents of Baltimore City. Initially, recipients had to be graduates of public high schools, but now private school students are also eligible. The minimum GPA requirement has been raised from 2.5 to 3.0. Hitchcock hopes the Tylers will inspire Morgan’s vast alumni base and other supporters to demonstrate their own commitment to the university. She says donors can take pride in knowing that a gift to Morgan helps the university provide a quality education to young men and women. Meanwhile, Calvin and Tina Tyler can be proud their family’s generosity has enabled a new generation of students to pursue their hopes and dreams. Does it make him proud? “It absolutely does,” says Mr. Tyler. “Nothing feels as good as giving.” 

“WE RECOGNIZE THE NEED, AND (WE) HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO HELP.” — Calvin E. Tyler Jr.

Tyler Scholar Byron Selby, MSU Starting Quarterback

“Tyler Scholars,” as they are known, receive scholarship packages that cover full tuition and

fees, with some assistance to buy books. Work-study is available to assist with on-campus housing costs. To date, the scholarships have enabled five students to attend Morgan. Growing up in a rough Baltimore City neighborhood, one of those students, Byron Selby, witnessed the perils of poverty, crime and hopelessness. “I am the product of a singleparent, underprivileged home,” says the 22-year-old senior, who is majoring in sociology and criminal

Ticket to a Better Life

justice. “It was me, my mom and my brother. There were a lot of struggles. “When I got this opportunity, I ran away with it,” says Selby, who juggles his studies, football practice and a work-study position in the Office of Student Affairs. Equally busy off campus, he makes time to mentor youth at nearby Winston Middle School and an area juvenile detention center. “Morgan has opened my mind,” says Selby, who is slated to graduate in May 2008. “Being in col-

lege has been a whole new world. It has given me the opportunity to learn so many new things. I have enjoyed every moment at Morgan.” Selby, a starting quarterback for Morgan’s football team, knew that sports and education were his ticket to a better life. That’s why he is so grateful to Morgan alumnus Calvin E. Tyler Jr. and his wife Tina, who established an endowed scholarship fund in their name to help disadvantaged Baltimore City students.  — Donna M. Owens

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The Most Successful Gala…Ever MSU’s 23rd Annual Gala gained the distinction of being the most successful scholarship fundraising effort in the history of the event. Headed by new MSU Foundation Chairman Peter C. Harvey, the gala attracted more than 1,160 attendees, hosted its first live auction and raised more than $100,000. Corporate sponsorship revenues totaled $51,500.

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Gala XXIII was attended by Baltimore’s newly elected mayor, the Honorable Sheila Dixon, and a host of other dignitaries, including: the Honorable Catherine E. Pugh (MSU ’73, ’77), Maryland state senator, 40th District; the Honorable Verna L. Jones, Maryland state senator, 44th District; the Honorable Joan Carter Conway, Maryland state senator, 43rd District; Jeanne D. Hitchcock, Esq. (MSU ’68), secretary of appointments, Maryland Office of Governor; and Black Enterprise magazine Founder and Publisher Earl G. Graves Sr. (MSU ’57) and his wife, Barbara.


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Morgan Forever Forever Morgan Friday, October 12, 2007 | Martin’s West

Dinner Dancing Live Auction

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Homecoming Parade07 10

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The Game! Scoring on their first drive, the Golden Bears thrilled a record crowd of 14,987 at the Morgan-Howard homecoming football game held at Hughes Stadium. Running back Devan James rushed for 19 of his 73 yards in overtime to help set up a 23-yard, gamewinning field goal by James Meade, as the Bears finished off Howard 36-33. The homecoming game was Morgan’s first overtime win of the season and the second time the Bears have handed an overtime loss to Howard. MSU quarterback Byron Selby (a Tyler Scholar; see story on page four) finished with one of his best performances of the season, completing 11 of 20 passes for 216 yards. Morgan’s offense made another homecoming memorable, as it churned out 430 total yards.

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Morgan Alum Elected Maryland Democratic Party Chair By Siobhan Leftwich

If you ask Michael Cryor, ’68, about his journey from Morgan State University honors student to his current position as chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, the veteran political and community activist immediately produces a list of mentors that includes everyone from his hardworking, blue-collar parents to the late Congressman Parren J. Mitchell (’50). A native of Baltimore City, Cryor grew up in the old Eastwood Park neighborhood. With his appointment in May, he has become the nation’s only African-American state party chair — Democratic or Republican. “I was always interested in human nature,” says Cryor, who has a master’s degree in psychology from Montclair State University. “I always wanted to know what governed people’s motivations.” His innate curiosity, fueled by encouragement from his parents, led him from Baltimore City College to Morgan State University, where he majored in psychology. “As a first-generation college student, it was very important to me to do well,” he says. Ironically, he almost dropped out of Morgan to play professional baseball, but Morgan’s vibrant community was far too seductive. “When I got to Morgan, I found myself in the midst of so many bright, talented people,” Cryor says. “It was so competitive that you felt you had to succeed.” He recalls spending afternoons debating the issues of the day with classmates who went on to become judges, lawyers, doctors and media personalities. In the late 1960s, Morgan produced more Fulbright scholars than any other university in the country. “It was definitely a heady time,” he recalls with a smile. “Morgan prepared me for a range of options,” says Cryor. “Most of all, it prepared me to accept the responsibility of leadership.” After graduation, Cryor enrolled in graduate school in New Jersey, where he juggled a psychology career with management of local political campaigns. He returned to Morgan after receiving his master’s and served as an associate dean and lecturer in the psychology department. In the 1980s, he worked for former Congressman Parren Mitchell, and in 1985, he ran Michael Barnes’ congressional campaign. He has also run campaigns for Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, been a consultant for major corporations and served 10 years as cohost of WJZ-TV’s “On Time,” one of

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Baltimore’s longest-running public affairs programs. Cryor maintains close ties to Morgan. He is an active alumnus, as is his wife, Erica, MSU Class of 1969. Erica is currently serving as Morgan’s director of Development. The couple met while attending MSU. Cryor and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley have a long history together. Cryor was cochair of the “Baltimore Believe” campaign and has served as the governor’s advisor for the past seven years. And Gov. O’Malley has nothing but praise for the man he handpicked to run the Maryland Democratic Party. In addition to working to galvanize Maryland Democrats for the 2008 election, Cryor is committed to working with the governor to make college tuition affordable to students across the state. “For my generation, learning and school seemed to be a way out,” says Cryor. “I want to work toward making higher education a possibility for every Marylander.” 

AlumniProfile


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Margaret Pagan, ’63 A Christian Writer Brings History Alive

By D’Nese L.A. Moore Even as a blue-beanie-wearing freshman in 1959, Margaret D. Pagan was a keen observer of the zeitgeist. Whether spending hours with other Morgan State College students deep in the stacks of the library, hitting the books in her dorm room at Harper House or rushing across campus to get to classes on time, Pagan was keenly aware that accepting Morgan’s academic scholarship had given her both the means and the opportunity to continue to excel academically. But this former high school valedictorian and transplanted small-town girl also notes that Morgan’s community of scholars offered many inspirational “extras,” including sky-high ideals; endless expectations of exemplary behavior, dress and demeanor; and a distinctly dignified sense of place. “I loved being a Morganite in the early ’60s,” she remembers. “Morgan presented the high-styled world my mother had always told me about. The campus and grounds were beautiful and meticulously maintained. Being around all those well-educated people was inspiring, and everyone looked so beautiful while doling out wisdom. The male professors wore suits and ties. The women dressed in suits and wore high heels, jewelry and makeup. One teacher was known for dragging her mink stole across campus.” “It was thrilling…simply thrilling,” Pagan says, “to see and hear scholars of such eloquence and elocution read and

AlumniAuthor

expound on literature in the theater of the classroom.”

Leaping Race Barriers After leaving Morgan with a degree in English and the will to write professionally, Pagan was fortunate to find a racebarrier-breaking dream job with a small advertising copywriting firm. Her on-job experiences there proved excellent training for what became her career employment with the Social Security Administration. During her 27 years with the SSA, where she became one of the few black professional writers, Pagan built a good life — including marriage to a minister, Pastor Carl E. Pagan of the Urban Bible Fellowship Church in Baltimore; two children; and additional studies at Johns Hopkins University. But, no matter what or where, she always wrote: as editor of Social Security’s first national newsletter and as a freelancer for local magazines and newspapers, with special interests in African-American history.

Writing Prayerfully Pagan’s big break as a novelist had a direct connection to alma mater. When Dr. Margaret Anne Reid, a Morgan State professor and alumna, was asked to recommend a writer for a Fisk University project to profile notable black American women, she immediately suggested her friend and Morgan classmate, Margaret Pagan. After receiving the assignment to profile Katherine Fer-

guson, Pagan quickly learned that the little-known educator and woman of faith had had a life of tremendous accomplishment. Above and beyond surviving the cruelty of slavery with admirable fortitude, “Katie” Ferguson had established a Sunday School, a home for homeless children of all races and a successful baking/catering business that earned her freedom and financial independence. Pagan expanded her research findings into her first book, “More Than a Slave: The Life of Katherine Ferguson.” The success of that book — now available at libraries and bookstores nationwide — led to a recently released sequel, “The Fulani Girls,” which expanded the stories of two slave girls who made brief appearances in “More Than a Slave.” Both books provide pitch-perfect accounts of the mental and spiritual toll of slavery, and both focus on spiritual transcendence. Now retired from the Social Security Administration, Pagan edits the Journal of African-American History in Howard County, Md., and is a multitasking marvel of a church first lady, in addition to being a skilled Scrabble player and a doll collector. Morgan State is still an important part of the life of this prideful and engaging alumna. She was a featured author at Morgan’s 67th Annual Alumni Awards and Recognition Luncheon in 2007. 

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MSU’s First Capital Campaign

with

Victor Vanacore Conducting

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Exceeds Its Goal by $6.2M May 2002 – July 2007

newhorizons morgan fOR

THE CAMPAIGN

STATE

UNIVERSITY

Presents: FUNDING PRIORITIES

Scholarships and Need-Based Financial Aid

$ 9 million

Unrestricted Endowment

$ 8 million

Athletic Programs

$ 5 million

Alumni House

$ 3 million

TOTAL CAMPAIGN GOAL

$25 million

SCHOOL — OF THE —

MONTH

A U G U S T, 2 0 0 6

CAMPAIGN RESULTS

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$31.2 million


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At $6,532 for state residents and $14,438 for students from out of state, Morgan State University’s tuition is the thirdlowest among public colleges in Maryland. Even so, hundreds of Morgan students withdraw each semester because of financial hardship. "Maryland's public colleges tend to have higher tuition rates than many other schools in the country," notes Cheryl Y. Hitchcock, MSU vice president for Institutional Advancement. "And tuition costs continue to rise." The Morgan community’s desire to mitigate this hard economic reality gave rise to Morgan’s first capital campaign. Named “New Horizons: The Campaign for Morgan State University,” the five-year effort — launched in 2002 with a concert by Ray Charles at the Murphy Fine Arts Center — had a goal of raising $25 million. Most of the money was to enhance Morgan’s endowment and need-based financial aid. Other funding priorities included faculty and program development, support for athletic programs and the renovation and maintenance of the Alumni House. By the end of New Horizons on this past May 31, the campaign had surpassed its goal by raising $31.2 million. Corporations Approximately 40 percent of the 40% funds came from corporate donors, another 40 percent from Foundations not-for-profit foundations and 20 40% 20% percent from MSU alumni and friends, Hitchcock says. The two largest individual donations came in early from Morgan alumni and gave a Individuals big boost to the campaign: $1.5 million from Horizon cochairs James and Linda Gilliam and $1 million from Calvin E. and Tina Tyler. The New Horizons campaign enabled Morgan to significantly increase its endowment from $2 million to $20 million. The University also launched its Planned Giving campaign, and one alumnus, Marsha Evans Holmes, Class of ’71, gave Morgan a $1.3-million insurance policy.

IT’S ALL

ABOUT

DOO

WOP

Hosted by Ms. Martha Reeves of Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

Events: May 12, 2002 April 10, 2003 May 12, 2003 October 17, 2003 April 1, 2004 May 10, 2004 October 15, 2004 October 22, 2004 March 31, 2005 May 9, 2005 October 14, 2005 March 30, 2006 May 8, 2006 August 2006 October 20, 2006 March 15, 2007 May 14, 2007 July 28, 2007

Ray Charles Concert Annual Scholarship Luncheon Annual Golf Tournament Homecoming Gala Annual Scholarship Luncheon 15th Annual Golf Tournament An Evening with Bill Cosby and the MSU Choir Homecoming Gala Annual Scholarship Luncheon 16th Annual Golf Tournament Homecoming Gala Annual Scholarship Luncheon 17th Annual Golf Tournament Tom Joyner School of the Month Sky Show at Constitution Hall Homecoming Gala Annual Scholarship Luncheon 18th Annual Golf Tournament It’s All About the Doo Wop

www.givetomorgan.com 31.2 Million

goal 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million Million 0

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Expanding the African-American Village By Bisa Williams

In Brazil, where roughly half of the population claims African roots, the country’s first black-owned television station was launched in 2005. TV da Gente (The People’s TV) debuted not in Salvador da Bahia, the northern city in the state with the highest concentration of people of African descent in Brazil today, but in the ultra-urbane, southern city of São Paulo, the country’s financial center and economic engine, and home to two million Afro-Brazilians. Afro-Costa Ricans are only three percent of their nation’s approximately four million people. Until 1949, Costa Rica’s blacks were restricted by law to living only on the Caribbean coast of the country. Nonetheless, black Costa Ricans have consistently attained higher education standards than the national average and can be found in leading professions throughout the nation today. Most of this minority group traces its ancestry to 10,000 workers hired from Jamaica to help build the Atlantic Railroad and to a subsequent wave of immigrants hired to work the banana plantations. Facts such as these — not common knowledge in the U.S. — are about to be the daily diet of a new academic program at MSU. In July, the University, through its World Languages and International Studies Department, announced the creation of the Program in Latin America and the Caribbean (LACAS). Conceived as a complement to the current African-American Studies and Africana Studies Programs, LACAS enriches Morgan’s academic arsenal of programs across all disciplines that examine Africans in the Diaspora, and it inches the University closer to establishing a full-blown Department of Africana Studies. In addition to teaching the subjects found in traditional Latin American studies programs across the nation, the LACAS program

MSU’s New Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program

Machu Picchu, Peru, the lost and sacred city of the Incas.

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Universidad Nacional de Educacion, Huancayo, Central Andes, Peru, 2005.


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will focus on the African Diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean, directing students and faculty to delve deeper into the understanding of what exactly it means to be an African-American.

Redefining ‘America’ M’baré N’Gom, Ph.D., director of the program, says LACAS is part of the University’s efforts to internationalize and globalize studies at Morgan State. When developed to its full potential, LACAS will not only execute its primary task of educating the Morgan undergraduate but will also expand the training opportunities and expertise of Morgan faculty, enrich MSU’s library holdings and archives, provide continuing education opportunities for the greater Baltimore community, and expand and create new teaching exchange networks between MSU and universities throughout the hemisphere. Dr. N’Gom, a soft-spoken graduate of the University of Dakar and of the Sorbonne, speaks with cool intensity and earnestness about the program. His unabashed goal is to broaden students’ awareness of the diversity of the Americas and the role of Africans on this side of the Atlantic. “Whenever Morgan students say ‘America,’ they think of the United States,” he explains.“ ‘America’ as a con-

Dr. M'baré N'Gom

that is, the pre-colonial, indigenous civilizations and the political and economic effects of postcolonialism. He emphasizes, however, that LACAS will focus on the African Diaspora in the region. “Many students, whether they are African-American, Caribbean American or African, are simply unaware of the history of Africans in the hemisphere,” he says. Besides history, the LACAS Program will look at the fields of geography, economics, communications, political science, sociology and anthropology, philosophy and religion. The baseline context for the studies, of course, is Mother Africa. “We are very conscious of comparative analysis,” stresses Hakeem Ibikunle Tijani, Ph.D., assistant director of the program. “We cannot forget ‘the Homeland.’ ”

Faculty Focus cept is something that has been nearly appropriated by the U.S. ‘The Caribbean’ is considered in primarily tourism terms, and Latin America is reduced to animated discourse on the threat of cheap labor from Mexico. Through LACAS, we seek to dispel those stereotypes and to build a solid foundation in international studies.” Dr. N’Gom stresses that LACAS will not neglect the meat and potatoes of mainstream Latin American Studies programs,

Morgan State University Fulbright-Hays program in Peru with educators from MSU and Central Maryland.

An important feature of the LACAS Program is its dual objective of educating faculty along with students. Dr. N’Gom has carefully structured the program to encourage faculty to pursue research projects in the U.S. and participate in teacher exchange and study abroad programs with universities in Latin American and the Caribbean. Faculty members teaching in the LACAS Program will also be invited to participate in development training semi-

On the road to Pisaq (Sacred Valley of the Incas, Southern Peru) with two Quechua speaking hosts. MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME I 2008

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Morgan’sDr. Ambassador Sandye Jean McIntyre II By Rachel Irving, ’05

nars. In these six-hour, intensive courses, faculty can enjoy the luxury of being students again in a postdoctoral, tutorial-like, guest lecturer setting, with leading scholars and experts from around the country. They will then be encouraged to incorporate their new knowledge into courses in the current curriculum or create new courses for their departments. Dr. N’Gom’s ultimate goal is to add 22 new courses to the University, and eventually he intends to seek the University’s approval to establish a major in Africana Studies. Professors N’Gom and Tijani and Helen Harrison, Ph.D. of MSU’s World Languages and International Studies Department wrote the proposal for LACAS, which is funded by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant. The DOE has committed $169,000 for the first three years of the program. The advisory board of LACAS is interdisciplinary, and Dr. Harrison is its curriculum committee chair. Dr. N’Gom’s aspiration through LACAS is to develop at Morgan a pool of cutting-edge academicians who will provide students with a comprehensive curriculum of study that prepares them for any field of work she or he chooses. “We are training young people to become politicians, presidents, diplomats, doctors and engineers,” Dr. N’Gom comments. “We want them to be well-informed and used to the idea of the competitiveness of the world.” 

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Morgan State University has a long tradition of preparing its students well for global citizenship, a fact that can be attributed largely to the work of the late Dr. Sandye Jean McIntyre II. Dr. McIntyre (Sept. 18, 1923–Oct. 8, 2006) was distinguished professor of Foreign Languages at MSU and director of the Morgan Fulbright Program until his retirement in 1988. In November, the Morgan State family honored his legacy by dedicating the Founders Day Convocation to his memory. Dr. McIntyre’s life was framed by scholarship and international affairs. After serving in the U.S. Army as a translator in France during WWII, he earned his B.A. in French from Johnson C. Smith University in 1947 and a master’s in French and Romance languages from Western Reserve University in 1948. Armed with his degrees, Dr. McIntyre came to Morgan in 1948 as an instructor of Romance languages. In his first years at the University, he founded the awardwinning Cercle Français student organization and began MSU’s involvement in the new Fulbright Program, which was established to send U.S. students abroad for study and increase mutual understanding between Americans and people around the world. Dr. McIntyre received Morgan’s first Fulbright Scholarship in 1951, becoming the first African-American to receive a Fulbright to France. Today, Cercle Français still exists, and the Morgan Fulbright Program, under the direction of Dr. McIntyre’s associate, Dr. Carleen Leggett, remains the proudest among HBCUs, the most successful in the state and among the best in the nation, with 117 Fulbright Scholars in its history. During his career, Dr. McIntyre received Fulbright Scholarships to study in Israel, Senegal, Mali, Gambia and Liberia, as well as France. An international diplomat in his own right, he was named honorary consul of the Republic of Senegal in 1970. Locally, he continued the mission of cultural awareness by serving in leadership positions with the Association of Foreign Consuls in Maryland and the Consular Corps of Baltimore. In Dr. McIntyre’s obituary, his son, Sandye J. McIntyre III, quoted this by Sir Thomas Browne: “Live unto the Dignity of thy nature, and leave it not disputable at last, whether thou hast been a man…” A powerful summary of a man who lived, as he would say, with the “intensity of purpose.” 


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Coach Donald Hill-Eley & Roderick Wolfe

A Tale of Two Heroes By Rasheim T. Freeman

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Gazing at the faces of the Morgan State University Hall of Fame, on the walls of the renovated Talmadge L. Hill Field House, it’s easy to envision another name in the pantheon of heroes, one that belongs not only because of athletic accomplishments but because of the athlete’s heart and determination. That name is Roderick Wolfe. Strolling past the hall of famers, Wolfe barely glances at the wall or the reporter at his side. At 6’4”, he walks tall among his classmates. But despite appearances, he is comfortable in his surroundings. The time has passed when he walked constantly looking over his shoulder. “Coming from where I came from, people (at Morgan) don’t understand why I just keep it moving. Sometimes I don’t hear people speak to me, because I’m just looking at where I’m going to be in class. I just don’t want to get sidetracked,” Wolfe says. Wolfe’s rearing on the wrong side of the tracks is well known now. His rise from homelessness to Holmes Hall was chronicled by the Baltimore Sun in September. And he was recently featured along with Morgan State University Head Football Coach Donald Hill-Eley on national television, as part of the “CBS Evening News” focus on American heroes. “I’m not worried about the national attention,” says Wolfe, a senior majoring in sociology. “… It might bring some more attention from people who will say, ‘Oh, there’s Wolfe. Did you hear about him?’ But, that is nothing compared to what I’ve been through.”

Lights in the Dark Wolfe’s father died of AIDS when Roderick was 12. His mother, in and out of drug rehab, would succumb to the disease by the time Wolfe was 19. Homeless, living in his car, with his parents gone and his siblings scattered throughout Baltimore, Wolfe remained

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in high spirits and trained insatiably, counting on football to bring him through. During his senior year at Edmondson High School, he got up as early as 5:00 a.m. to run wind sprints, training in the dark so he could see the lights of downtown Baltimore and imagine himself living in the city’s posh Inner Harbor. When his teammates showed up for practice, Wolfe would already be there, sweating and silent. Most didn’t know he was homeless, so they assumed he was crazy. Wolfe thought his 13 touchdowns that season would do all of the talking necessary to earn him a scholarship. But no college recruiters noticed him. The soft-spoken Wolfe was as hard to find as the front door of his house. That is when he met coach Hill-Eley. “I didn’t even know he was a football player,” says Hill-Eley. “I met him in a grocery store…. This skinny kid came

up to me, slightly dingy, clothes everywhere, and introduced himself.” That first impression in 2003, however, was all coach Hill-Eley needed. He saw something in Wolfe’s eyes that he could connect with, something that took the manicured, clean-cut coach back to rural Suffolk, Va., where he was raised one of 15 kids in a threebedroom house. The truth is, Hill-Eley saw himself in Wolfe’s eyes. “The instant he looked at me and said, ‘Just give me a chance. I won’t let you down or waste your time,’ I knew then that there was a place for him on this football team, even if it wasn’t at wide receiver,” says Hill-Eley. He gave Wolfe a full scholarship.

Building Character Wolfe has had a home at Morgan ever since. This season, to date, he is second on the team in yards and total catches (20), and he leads the team in

“Not only with Rod but with all of my 90 kids, I tell them, ‘Don’t let your talent outshine your character.’ “ — Coach Donald Hill-Eley


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touchdown grabs (three) for the year. Wolfe helped coach Hill-Eley to more consecutive winning seasons (two) than Morgan had in the previous 25 years. But, things weren’t always so good between the two, Wolfe admits: “I would still wear my jeans real baggy on the yard. (I’d) be late for meetings, be late to class. So me and Coach Hill went through it for a bit. He had to tell me what the expectations were like at Morgan.” After Wolfe was involved in back-toback, law-breaking traffic incidents, coach Hill-Eley had had enough. He drove Wolfe back to his old neighborhood and told him to get out. “Do you see what you’re going back to? Do you see your future?” Hill-Eley demanded. “…If this is what you want, then tell me now, because I can drop you off.” After that day, the two never had

another problem, Hill-Eley says. “Not only with Rod but with all of my 90 kids, I tell them, ‘Don’t let your talent outshine your character. And I’m not even talking about football. I’m talking about the man you need to be off the field,’ ” the coach says.

Bottom to the Top The son of parents addicted to drugs and alcohol, Hill-Eley, 38, knows very well the path often traveled by his student-athletes. But, he doesn’t allow his players to remain angry about their childhoods. “The only real thing I want them to do is to use football as a vehicle to graduate. That’s what they will keep with them for the rest of their lives,” says Hill-Eley, who has raised the team’s graduation rate to 61 percent in the six years he has been head coach. “If it wasn’t for coach I wouldn’t be where I am right now. He predicted all

of this for me: graduation, a possible NFL career and even national attention,” says Wolfe, who also has been approached by the media about writing a book about his life. “I would call the book ‘Me: Bottom to the Top,’ ” Wolfe says. “And if it were ever made into a movie, then my theme song would be ‘A Change Is Gonna Come,’ by Sam Cooke.” Wolfe pulls out his shiny, new iPod to prove he actually listens to the ’60s soul icon. The song’s lyrics seem autobiographical, says Wolfe, because like the river in Cooke’s famous song, he has been running ever since he was 17. But, other than from defenders on a football field, Wolfe isn’t running anymore. He has found hearth, home and a father figure at Morgan State University. He doesn’t look over his shoulder anymore. It was a long time coming. 

“If it wasn’t for coach I wouldn’t be where I am right now. He predicted all of this for me.” — Roderick Wolfe (below)

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A Circle of Caring By Christina Royster-Hemby, ’93

Morgan’s Office of Community Service

As Morgan State University’s director of Student Activities in the mid-1980s, Deanna V. Ikhinmwin issued a challenge that became permanent policy: Student groups wanting to reserve the McKeldin Center Ballroom for parties first had to perform community service hours on campus or in the Northeast Baltimore neighborhoods near MSU. Ikhinmwin’s challenge to the student organizations stemmed from an urgent request from the community for positive young adults. Officials from Maryland’s juvenile justice system were also calling, searching for volunteers to work as mentors with their growing population of young ex-offenders. The children needed guidance and programs that would provide a safe, stimulating environment away from negative influences. So Ikhinmwin created Morgan’s Office of Community Service, where she became director, the position she still holds today. Begun in 1993, the Office is now a strong community force that touches approximately 1,200 children per year in grades K–12. The 50 Morgan students who serve as volunteer coordinators are confident about increasing these children’s likelihood of academic and lifelong success through the

Office’s 15 mentoring and tutoring programs. KUUMBA, which means “creativity” in Swahili, was the first of the 15 programs. Exclusively for adolescent males when it was established, KUUMBA now mentors teens of both genders and operates an annual summer camp. Some of the other Office of Community Service programs are Brother-toBrother, which helps male high school students in Baltimore City; JAHOD, for adolescent females attending city middle schools; and Campus Pals, which gives elementary and middle school students the opportunity to learn about Morgan and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Office also organizes a yearly Kwanzaa celebration that has drawn as many as 1,200 children in past years. Ikhinmwin attributes the success of the Office of Community Service to the Morgan students who helped create it long ago and those who carry the torch today. In the early days, she says, children told their friends about the programs and kept coming back, because they felt someone genuinely cared for them. “(These MSU students) gave of their

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time for free. You have to really care about something if you do that,” Ikhinmwin says. For her, proof recently came in the form of a young Morgan student who told Ikhinmwin she enrolled at Morgan because of the caring she had felt in KUUMBA some 10 years earlier. “She came to my office and saw a picture of a young man who had worked with KUUMBA. She recognized him and said she was a child of KUUMBA,” Ikhinmwin says. And that student wasn’t the only one. She told Ikhinmwin about five more youth who had directly benefited from the program — including a park ranger and a police lieutenant. “Listening to parents who were genuinely searching for positive opportunities to help their children is how programs developed in the Office of Community Service,” Ikhinmwin says. “Nobody wanted to be bothered with at-risk youth when we first started our tutoring and mentoring programs. “So the Community Service programs at Morgan were unique and different, and the children who attended could feel that,” she concludes. “We blazed the trail.” 


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What’s in a Name?

Banneker-Douglass Museum Dedicates Its Library to a Morgan Alum By Eric Addison Close by the halls of power in the Maryland state capital, Annapolis, yet another Morgan State alumna has given alma mater reason to be proud. On Oct. 27, the Banneker-Douglass Museum, the state’s official repository for African-American history and culture, held a dedication program to name its library and archives in honor of Sylvia Gaither Garrison, Morgan Class of ’47. Garrison, the museum administrators say, was “the central force” behind the establishment of the library and was, in effect, the museum’s first librarian. Garrison was born in 1927, a member of two of the first families of Queenstown, a community founded by AfricanAmericans in Anne Arundel County, Md. A brilliant student, she graduated from Anne Arundel’s Wiley H. Bates High School at age 15 and chose to attend Morgan, where she continued her exemplary scholarship, began her lifelong

participation in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and was named May Queen. After graduation from Morgan with high honors, she returned to Anne Arundel County, where she taught French at the high school level. As a teacher, she remained a student at heart, and in 1963 won a Fulbright Scholarship to study French at the Sorbonne. The next year, she earned her master’s in secondary education and curriculum, and three years later added a library certification. She worked as a media specialist and library resource person in the county school system and in 1978 received two appointments: to the Maryland Review and Evaluation Center at the Anne Arundel County Board of Education, and to the Maryland State Department of Education, where she was named a resource person. This year, she completed a 35-year tenure on the Anne Arundel County Public Library Board of Trustees. Garrison brought her great talent and deep experience to the Banneker-Douglass Museum in 1984, the year of its opening, taking a volunteer job conceptualizing and managing the museum’s first library. The library was closed in August 2005 for the

Sylvia Gaither Garrison, ’47

museum’s expansion and was reopened at the recent naming dedication, which Garrison attended. The Sylvia Gaither Garrison Library is now operated by Joni L. Jones, Ph.D., Garrison’s niece, who became librarianarchivist in February. In the past, the facility was used mainly by the museum staff and by independent researchers with special interests. But Dr. Jones plans to make it a greater resource for the general public, for such activities as researching family history, learning grant proposal writing and holding book club meetings. Dr. Jones and her seven siblings grew up on Queenstown Road a few doors from her aunt. “My aunt has always been passionate about connecting people with ideas,” she says. “When we were kids, she took us to libraries and museums, where we were sometimes the only African-Americans. We often went to her house to do our homework, using her library. She was the first person I knew who had a full set of the Encyclopedia Britannica.” “My aunt remembers her time at Morgan fondly,” Dr. Jones relates. “She still says it was a great time.” 

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Morgan’s New Student and Communications Centers New Campus Facilities Garner Rave Reviews

By Eric Addison On the third floor of MSU’s Montebello Complex, the photographs and drawings on the walls outside Peeter Kiik’s office document the University’s expansion and renewal over the past 140 years. Kiik has been director of Morgan’s Department of Design and Construction Management since 2000, four years after the department was established. It is his job to manage the architects, architectural engineers, designers and construction contractors working on the University’s capital projects, he says, by melding them into a team and establishing expectations of excellence. About his own role on the team, he adds, “If you hire competent people, weed out the ‘wannabes’ and challenge the team to do its best work, you end up creating something that not only meets the University’s needs but also looks great.” MSU’s current Capital Projects Update includes five projects worth $87,164,000 now under construction and six projects

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with a total cost of $89,655,000 that are now being designed. These numbers, Kiik admits, represent more work than his department was ever designed to accommodate. But the work schedule and its lack of down time are business as usual in his field, he says. With a short 30 years between new construction and major renovation of a facility, there’s always work to be done.

‘Bang for the Buck’ Among the major projects recently placed on his mental schedule for renovation three decades from now are the $37million Morgan State University Student Center and the $22-million MSU Communications Center, which opened in May and June of 2006 , respectively. “I think we’ve given the University what I consider to be ‘bang for the buck,’ ” Kiik says about these new facilities. “We challenged the team to rise above the minimal standards to give us outstanding work

everyone can be proud of.” A walk through the buildings bears him out. The Communications Center, located between MSU’s Engineering Building and Chinquapin Run, is spacious and well-lit. And the walk to the building — along the new pathway from the academic quad and across the new bridge over the Chinquapin — is calming and provides a sense of campus continuity, just as planned. Once inside the building, one wants to stay. The staircases are wide, the layout is logical, and rooms are easy to find. “It’s a wonderful building,” says Professor Keith Mehlinger, director of Morgan’s Digital Media Center and associate professor of the Film, Television and Multimedia Writing Program. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring students together into a space that’s well-designed for 21st century, technology-driven media programs.”


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Night and Day Floyd E. Taliaferro III is director of the new Student Center, on the former site of Soldiers’ Armory. A Morgan alumnus, class of 1974, he began working for MSU as recreation manager four months after graduation, about the same time the old McKeldin student center opened. He later became assistant director then director of McKeldin, a post he held for 20 years. His voice brightens as he remembers the old building in its early days and lists its amenities. “It was the newest thing on the MSU campus,” he says. But he adds that, “No, I don’t miss it. There were some missteps in the design: The lighting was poor. The stairwells and hallways were narrow. There were no true lounge areas, and when you came into the building, it was like, ‘OK, where do I go from here?’ ”

The old building was originally designed to overlap Welcome Bridge and have a dome over it, but the project ran out of funds, Taliaferro says. The result was a “discontinued venue” half its intended size. “Still,” he adds, “we made the best of it for more than 32 years.” He gives the new facility rave reviews. “This time, the University got it right,” Taliaferro says. “This is a true student Mecca that also has features for faculty and the outside community. “When you walk into it, it’s like walking into a mall,” he explains. “You have the bookstore; a movie theater that can also be used for other things, such as lectures; computers; a sweet shop; a food court; a copy center; flatscreen monitors everywhere; a fullfledged Ticketmaster office; ballrooms; myriad meeting rooms. It’s totally wireless, and then there’s the parking

garage attached. “We’re still moving in,” he says with a laugh. “We still have things on order. As things come in, the students say, ‘There can’t be anything else, Mr. T.!’ And then more comes in. Within the next six months we should be fully operational.” “Coming from McKeldin Center to here was like moving from night to day,” he concludes. “The design works. It makes sense.” Which is just as Peeter Kiik would have it. “The students are our clients,” he says. “When we’re designing and building a facility, we say, ‘Is this something I would like my kids to walk through?... Let’s look at this to see if there’s something we can do better.’ ” 

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Empty Podiums, Mega Success Morgan Hosts the Republicans at Its Second National Presidential Forum By Charles Robinson III

“It was a thrill to be in the room with someone who had the potential to be president.”— MSU Junior Allen Stith

BALTIMORE — How many excuses can you make up to skip a presidential debate? Scheduling and fund raising topped the list for four Republican frontrunners who opted not to appear at the “All-American Presidential Forum” on PBS, which was moderated by Tavis Smiley and hosted by Morgan State University. But critics, including Republicans, say it was a missed opportunity. “I’m embarrassed,” said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Gov. Huckabee was one of six Republican candidates, including Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, Ambassador Alan Keyes, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, who stood behind podiums and took questions in the Gilliam Concert Hall of MSU’s Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center. Four others — former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former Massachu-

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setts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee — were noshows, but their podiums remained on the stage. Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who introduced the candidates to the audience, echoed a sentiment expressed by several prominent Republicans. “There is a lack of appreciation (from) those currently running on the Republican ticket,” Steele opined. “Appearing at this venue is important. It’s unlike any other primary event.” The lead-up to the event was filled with questions about who would and would not attend. Smiley — the wellknown television and radio talk show host and community activist — couched the controversy in terms of equal opportunity: “No one should be elected president of this country in 2008 if they ignore people of color,”

said Smiley. “If they want to be president of all America, they need to speak to all Americans.” This was the second time the University hosted a nationally broadcast forum featuring potential nominees for president. The Democratic presidential contenders came to Morgan for a similar forum in 2004. Inside the auditorium was a who’s who of black America, including the president and CEO of the National Urban League, Marc Morial; former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher; syndicated radio show host Tom Joyner, who gave the opening remarks; and renowned African-American scholar Cornell West, Ph.D. Questioning the six candidates were Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, Juan Williams of National Public Radio and Ray Suarez of PBS’ “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”


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The questions covered a variety of topics. The candidates were quizzed about the war in Iraq, statehood for Washington, D.C., reaction to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down school desegregation plans, and how to address illegal immigration, among other issues. The candidates were politely received. For MSU junior Allen Stith, the debate was a chance to see politics up close and personal. “It was a thrill to be in the room with someone who had the potential to be president,” he said. Stith was impressed with how the Republican candidates responded to the questions, calling it “great feedback to an African-American audience.” Natlie Brown from Atlanta was surprised to see “no dodging on certain issues.” Brown believed leaving the podiums empty sent a message: “Focus on the people who are here.”

Urban League President Morial, who had his share of debates as the former mayor of New Orleans, asked rhetorically about the no-shows, “What was there to fear? They could have learned something.” He expressed some disappointment in the format of the debate, saying, “It didn’t allow for follow-up.” Back in the media room housed in Morgan’s Hill Field House — with tables lined up wall to wall in anticipation of a flood of local, national and international press — the candidates did their best to convince skeptical journalists of the viability of their presidential candidacies. The room was two-thirds full, but the ample media provisions proved Morgan up to the challenge of hosting a national event. The auditorium where the candidates sparred with each other and the journalists was also more than adequate.

“…Morgan has now hosted two presidential forums (Democratic and Republican). I think that’s unprecedented…for an HBCU,” Morial commented. “Isn’t it time for the major parties to think about bringing an (official) presidential debate to a black college?” To get to that next level of official, party-sanctioned events, the University would need to be part of the discussion with the Commission on Presidential Debates. The commission was created to help formalize the selection of sites for the debates, which are normally held at college campuses across the nation. 

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A Legacy of Courage Soper Library’s Parren J. Mitchell Room By Wiley A. Hall, 3rd “A lot of my students may not have heard about Parren Mitchell…. But they look at the sheer volume of material, and they can’t help but be curious.” — James Jenkins, Head Reference Librarian, Soper Library

Permanent Select Committee on Small Business, U.S. House of Representatives, June 1973

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MSU LIBRARY SERVICES DIRECTOR KAREN ROBERTSON REMEMBERS VISITING PARREN J. MITCHELL’S CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., SHORTLY AFTER HE PLEDGED TO DONATE HIS MEMORABILIA TO MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY. “HE HAD PLAQUES MOUNTED EVERYWHERE EXCEPT ON THE CEILING,” ROBERTSON RECALLS. THE MARYLAND SEVENTH DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN, WHO DIED ON MAY 28, 2007, RECEIVED MORE THAN 1,200 AWARDS AND CITATIONS THROUGHOUT HIS 16 YEARS OF PUBLIC SERVICE. MANY OF THOSE AWARDS — ALONG WITH NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, PHOTOGRAPHS AND EVEN OIL PORTRAITS — NOW OCCUPY SEEMINGLY EVERY SQUARE INCH OF SPACE IN THE PARREN J. MITCHELL SEMINAR ROOM AT SOPER LIBRARY; EVERYWHERE, IN FACT, EXCEPT THE CEILING. Robertson says the library long ago lost count of the number of items on display. It’s simplest to say there are a lot. “Anyway, whatever the count, it kept changing because (Rep. Mitchell) kept receiving awards even after he retired. He kept a hammer in his office for just that purpose.” In one sense, Mitchell’s legacy cannot be confined to four walls. Known in some circles as the father of minority business enterprise, Mitchell’s legacy might be said to exist wherever enterprising young black men or women are able to build a business free of the roadblocks that hindered their grandparents. In another sense, the sheer volume of the items provides a stunning visual illustration of Mitchell’s impact.

‘Who Is This Guy?’ “Students come in, look at all the photos and plaques on the walls and ask, ‘Who is this guy?’ ” says James Jenkins, the head reference librarian at Soper, who teaches a seminar in the Parren Mitchell Room. “A lot of my students may not have heard about Parren Mitchell…. But they look at the sheer volume of material, and they can’t help but be curious. I’d say this room definitely is a good way of keeping his legacy alive.” Adds Robertson proudly, “It’s a primary example of the achievement of a Morgan graduate and former faculty member.” Mitchell was a slight man with an often gentle and unassuming demeanor. Yet speaker after speaker at his funeral service described him as a

warrior, a man of passion and fire and commitment. In a frame on a wall of the seminar room, a 1977 Washington Post newspaper clipping bears the headline, “One of God’s Angry Men.” For those who knew him, Mitchell was both.

Record of Service Parren Mitchell was a member of one of the country’s most prominent civil rights families, dubbed the “black Kennedys” for their extensive record of service. His brother, Clarence Mitchell Jr., helped shepherd the major civil rights legislation of the late 1950s and 1960s as the NAACP’s principal lobbyist and was known as “the 101st senator.” Parren Mitchell’s sister-in-law, Juanita Jackson Mitchell, was the longtime head and legal counsel of the Maryland NAACP. Born in Baltimore in 1922, Mitchell graduated from Morgan in 1950 and earned a master’s degree from the University of Maryland. He served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army during World War II and received the Purple Heart. Before his election to Congress, Mitchell served the administrations of Baltimore Mayors Theodore R. McKeldin and Thomas J. D’Alesandro III, and Maryland Gov. J. Millard Tawes. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Baltimore's Seventh District in 1970, after a contentious primary battle against Samuel Friedel that was decided by 38 votes. Friedel had held the seat since 1952. Mitchell served eight terms before stepping down in 1986 to be running mate to former Maryland Attorney Gen-

eral Stephen Sachs in Sachs’ unsuccessful bid for governor. Mitchell also served as a political mentor to former congressman and former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), who now represents the Seventh. Mfume, who also represented he Seventh Congressional District, is a Morgan alumnus and serves along with Cummings on Morgan’s Board of Regents.

‘True Servant Leader’ While in Congress, Mitchell fought for legislation requiring local governments to set aside ten percent of federal contracts for minority firms. “He helped shape and define an era,” Mfume told The Associated Press after Mitchell's death. “He wasn’t just going up against a doctrine. A lot of times he was going up against the government, and that required a special courage. He had the heart of a lion.” “Throughout his life, Congressman Mitchell dedicated himself to opening the doors to opportunity for all Americans,” said Cummings in a prepared statement. “He was a true servant leader, never concerning himself about fame or fortune but, rather, devoting himself entirely to uplifting the people he represented.” Mitchell maintained an office at the seminar room at Soper after he retired from Congress, until finally slowed by failing health. Robertson says the new library will have a seminar room dedicated to Mitchell’s memory when it opens sometime next semester, although the exhibits on display will not be quite as overwhelming. Plans call for display cases where exhibits can be placed on view on a rotating basis, Robertson says.  MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME I 2008

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Morgan Magazine 2008 Issue Vol. 1