David E. Talbert www.davidetalbert.com
“David E. Talbert is one of the most prolific theater makers in America” – Los Angeles Times
Ta b l e
14 The Fabric of a Morgan Man
8 12 19 20
Leading in Reading
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joi Kerr Walker, Ph.D.
What’s in a Name
. . . . . . . . . . . Murphy, Gilliams, Turpin-Lamb, Lewis
. . . . . . . . . . . Donors meet the student recipients
And the Flag Waves On… Cover Photo: David E. Talbert By P. A. Greene
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David E. Talbert ‘89
. . . . . . . . . . . . David Harvey (1965-2002)
Opening the Door to Community-Arts . . . . .Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center
We’re Ready for More . . . . . Morgan’s Enrollment Reaches Record Levels Departments:
2 Presidential Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Earl S. Richardson 3 Morgan on the Move . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bernard L. Jennings 4 Live@Morgan . . . . . . . . . . Homecoming, Jessye Norman Concert 6 Morgan in the News . . . . . . . . . . Students Protest Library Funding 11 Donor Profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Verizon, Wayne Frazier 19 News Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Current Affairs
MSU page 1
Morgan Staff Vice President University Advancement Bernard L. Jennings Director of Public Relations and Communications Clinton R. Coleman Publication Manager Ferdinand Mehlinger Art Director & Sr. Graphic Designer David E. Ricardo Photographer (cover) P. A. Greene Sr. Graphic Designer & Production Andre Barnett Editorial Staff Editor & Contributing Writer Jannette J. Witmyer Contributing Writer(s) Diana L. Spencer Frederick Banks Heidi Bruce Additional Photo(s) By Ferdinand Mehlinger Urban Broadway Series J.J. Witmyer John Moore Jay Baker The Morgan Magazine is published by the Office of University Advancement of Morgan State University for alumni, parents, faculty, students and prospective students. The Morgan Magazine is prepared by the Office of Public Relations & Communications. Opinions expressed in Morgan Magazine are those for the individual authors and 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. Correspondence should be directed to: Morgan Magazine Morgan State University 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane, Truth Hall, Room 109 Baltimore, Maryland 21251
Greetings: By the time you read this letter, we will have launched New Horizons: The Campaign for Morgan State University. It is the first such fundraising effort in the history of this great institution. Those of you who did not attend our launch event may have already heard that we did so in grand fashion, with a benefit concert by the legendary Ray Charles and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. For over a year we have been quietly building toward this moment internally â€“ that is, with the Morgan family. We have done this because we believe charity begins at home and because the Universityâ€™s future is very much in the hands of its family. I am pleased to tell you that we are already well on the way to reaching our $25 million goal, thanks in large measure to generous gifts by James H. and Linda G. J. Gilliam and Calvin and Tina Tyler. These are but two of the families that are very much a part of the larger Morgan family. Morgan State University has always been about widening the doors of opportunity for quality education to as many as possible, which is why we put so much emphasis on providing need-based financial assistance and scholarships to promising young people. It is about providing the best possible faculty with facilities and technology second to none. But it is also about a vision for the future that promises to continue the unprecedented growth and expansion that we have experienced over the past ten years. With your help, Morgan will be even greater. Fast forward with me to the year 2012 and witness the transformation that will have taken place. For example, our new Richard N. Dixon Science Research Center will be complete, as will our new library, joined by a new student life center, new communications building, a hospitality management complex, new parking garage and student housing to name just a few. Add to that a list of major campus beautification programs that will truly compliment this transformation. I am convinced that Morgan is poised to meet the challenges of the 21st century. It is evident in both the accomplishments and aspirations of our students, our future leaders. Watching their impassioned advocacy for a new library too often delayed was truly inspiring. However, it is just one of the things I have seen everyday on our campus that builds my confidence in the pursuit of our mission. It is why your help, at this time, is so vitally important. I urge you to join us on this journey to New Horizons. Never has the need been greater or the potential for excellence more promising.
443-885-3022 410-319-3948 fax firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Earl S. Richardson, President Morgan State University MORGAN MAGAZINE
MORGAN ON the MOVE Dear Friends and Supporters of Morgan: This is a time of unprecedented growth in Morgan’s history. With growth comes change and, in this case, change is definitely good. President Richardson often says, "If you build it, they will come." Our new Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center, with its signature James H. and Louise Hayley Gilliam Concert Hall, is certainly evidence of the President’s vision. From the grand opening performance by world famous soprano Jessye Norman last December, to the concert by the legendary Ray Charles and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in May, the new Murphy Fine Arts Center is bringing people to Morgan’s campus in numbers never before seen. It is also helping to shape Morgan’s image in ways that makes us all proud. We are working hard to promote pride and transform it into long-term benefits for the University. I mentioned the concert by Ray Charles and the BSO.
This represents the launch event for New Horizons: The Campaign for Morgan State University – the first capital campaign in the history of this great institution. Our goal is to raise $25 million for scholarships and other university initiatives to help ensure that Morgan continues to grow. In addition, there are a number of other projects being planned or already underway to further promote the University. For example, we have developed and are distributing new and unique Morgan desktop calendars that outline ways in which businesses are able to become a part of our historic growth and expansion with numerous sponsorship opportunities. We are planning this year’s gala event during which the jerseys of Morgan’s NFL Hall of Famers will be officially retired and also the Third Morgan Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is in the works. You will find on the back page of this magazine a special form that you may use to nominate alums for this year’s Alumni Hall of Fame. Please be sure to fill it out and send it in.
We encourage you to consider the indicators of this university’s impact and leadership: • Morgan is one of Maryland’s fastestgrowing colleges or universities. During the past 16 years, enrollment has increased by over 65 percent to its current level of 6,200 students.
Bernard L. Jennings, Vice President University Advancement
S TAT E
baccalaureate degrees it awards to African-Americans in computer and information science, the physical sciences and communications. It ranks in the top 25 business, the social sciences, education, biology and engineering.
• Morgan awards more bachelor's degrees to African-Americans than any other college or university in Maryland. • Morgan ranks among the top ten schools nationwide in the number of
• Nearly 100 Morgan students have received the highly competitive Fulbright
T H E C A M PA I G N
• In Maryland, Morgan grants threequarters of the electrical and civil engineering degrees awarded to AfricanAmericans, all of the industrial engineering degrees, half of the degrees in physics and in chemistry, seven out of ten of the marketing degrees, half of the finance degrees, 40 percent of those in accounting, virtually all of the degrees in telecommunications, and almost half of the degrees in elementary education.
• Morgan is one of the leading institutions nationally in receipt of applications from African-Americans.
Stay tuned and support our capital campaign!
Finally, we have made some changes within University Advancement that we
THE CASE FOR MORGAN
believe will help us do a better job of getting the word out about the great things going on here at Morgan. An example is our new Live @ Morgan radio program, which airs once a month on WEAA-FM. Another example is what you are holding in your hands right now – the new Morgan Magazine. We hope you enjoy reading it and appreciate the improvements we’ve made. It is all made possible, in part, because of a virtually all-new public relations and communications team now in place, under the leadership of Clinton R. Coleman. Clint was press secretary to the former 3-term mayor of Baltimore, Kurt L. Schmoke. Oh, and be sure to look for Morgan’s new advertising campaign that we think will give people a fresh view of what is being made possible for students at today’s Morgan.
Scholarships for study abroad during the past 50 years; a record exceeded by only a few eastern universities. • In the number of African-American recipients of bachelor’s degrees who go on to earn doctoral degrees from universities in the United States, Morgan ranks in the top tier of American public colleges and universities. Our graduates earn these advanced degrees in fields that span the arts and humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, business, education, medicine, science, mathematics, and engineering. Morgan is clearly a success story in progress. New Horizons: The Campaign for Morgan State University will enable us to build on our achievements to encompass an even greater number of people.
Corporate Branding • Advertising • Promotional Opportunities
S P O N S O R S
Live@Morgan is a comprehensive sponsorship program to expose your products and services, and brand your message to potential customers through several campus mediums, while being a part of a variety of programs and activities in the areas of athletics, academics, and cultural enrichment.
Avis Rent A Car, Inc.
Live@Morgan gives your company the opportunity to reach some of the most affluent Americans in the Mid-Atlantic region attracting great media coverage, and generating sponsorship from such major corporations as MBC Network, Walt Disney World Resorts, Mountain Dew, Creative Communications of America, Black Enterprise Magazine, and Sony Electronics. Live@Morgan’s sponsorship program will associate your company with one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the country. This historical institution is one of the fastest growing campuses in the Mid-Atlantic region. As a sponsor, not only will you bolster your cause-related marketing efforts, but you’ll also place your products, service, or brand message in front of thousands of professionals.
Baltimore Orioles Baltimore Ravens Bayer Black Enterprise Magazine Butler Distributing, Inc. Chesapeake Cadillac Jaguar Oldsmobile Creative Communications of America E-Spire Communications Liberty Mutual MBC Network MBNA America Meridian Management Group, Inc. Merrill Lynch
Publications Opportunities include: Morgan Magazine, Morgan Mirror, Alumni News, Enterprise (Business School magazine), Annual Golf Tournament Classic Game program and signs, annual Football Classic Game program, annual basketball Classic program, Alumni Quarterly Reports, and the Spokesman (Student Newspaper). Other Media Opportunities include: New scoreboard in the new Football, Track & Field Stadium, new scoreboard in the renovated Basketball & Volleyball Arena, Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center, golf tournaments, WEAA 88.9fm Morgan State radio station, President’s Scholarship Ball, University Convocations, Bryson-Sawyer Lecture Series, University Lecture Series, Engineering Conferences & Activities, the Choir calendar, and the University web site. Homecoming Homecoming week: Morgan’s Gala, Coronation of Mr. & Miss Morgan, Student Concert, Corporate Vendor Village, Homecoming Football Game, Homecoming Parade, and Worship Services.
Morgan State University National Alumni Association Mountain Dew Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart Sony Electronics, Inc. Thompson Hospitality URS Greiner University of Maryland-School of Law Volvo Cars of North America Walt Disney World Resorts Wittnauer International Xerox Corporation Zurich/Farmers Group, Inc.
Live@Morgan Sponsorship Opportunities call: 443/885-3821 or 443/885-3535 or visit our web site: www.morgan.edu
ACADEMICS•CULTURE•ATHLETICS MORGAN MAGAZINE
Homecoming & Jessye Norman
Top & Above—Crowds & band at the Homecoming Game. Morgan wins! To the left—From left to right: Former President William J. Clinton, and Morgan President Dr. Earl S. Richardson applaud Diva Jessye Norman at the opening night ceremonies for the new Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center. It was the former President’s second visit to Morgan. Mr. Clinton was commencement speaker at Morgan State in 1997. It was the first time a sitting president had delivered a commencement address at a public university in Maryland and at a public historically black college or university.
Below—From left to right: James H. Gilliam Jr., Delaware Sen. Joesph Biden, Linda G. J. Gilliam, Dr. Earl S. Richardson, and Maryland U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes.
Diva Jessye Norman
More than 1,000 Morgan students and supporters converged on the Statehouse steps in Annapolis on Thursday, April 4th, to protest the delay of funds for Morganâ€™s new library.
Morgan students were peaceful but steadfast about their library funding.
MORGAN Student’s Voices Heard Posters, placards, chants and bullhorns ensured that the students’ voices were heard.
A news conference by student representatives on Friday, April 5th, at Soper Library provided an overview of the issues and a tour of the outdated facility.
WBAL-TV news reporter Mindy Basara and cameraman interview Morgan Public Relations Director Clinton Coleman at Soper Library minutes before the press conference.
An impatient Delegate ‘Pete’ Rawlings attempts to shove his way through the students.
Student government representatives (l-r), Tara Doaty, Aisha Oliver and Justin Jones-Fosu, outline the issues for reporters.
For the past three years, Dr. Joi Kerr Walker has instructed every freshman student majoring in elementary education at Morgan State University. As an assistant professor in the university's School of Education and Urban Studies, Dr. Kerr Walker is charged with teaching the future educators how to teach reading. Kerr Walker, who holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in reading education, developed Morgan's curriculum of courses that are required by the State of Maryland for a bachelor's degree in the major, and she teaches them all. In addition, she teaches graduate-level, in-service courses -- classes for those who are already teachers -- during the summer.
Department of Transportation, she left and began filling her days with caring for her young son and volunteering as a Girl Scout leader at Friendship Baptist Church. But, Kerr Walker says, "Teaching was always in my heart and mind." When she learned of an accelerated master of arts in teaching program at Towson State University, she enrolled and found that of the 25 students in the program, she was the only AfricanAmerican. She credits "the nurturing and positive reinforcement provided at Morgan" with preparing her to cope with the trials created by that circumstance. "Telling me there was nothing that I couldn't do, and that I was intelligent, and helping me along
Joi Kerr Walker, Ph.D.: By Jannette J. Witmyer
Leading in Reading Kerr Walker, a 1990 and 1992 Morgan graduate, earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and a master's in transportation management from the university. Her mother, husband, sisters, and brothers-in-law also have earned degrees at Morgan.
the way made me know that when I went into this program and was the only person of color, I'd be okay," she explains.
Influenced by her English department professor, Francis Davis, Kerr Walker volunteered as a tutor for first-graders at Northwood Elementary School, near Morgan's campus, during her senior year as an undergraduate. Describing the experience, she says, "Working with the children and acting as a teacher's aide, dailyâ€ŚI loved it."
She successfully completed the 10month program and accepted a position in Baltimore City teaching Guilford Elementary first-graders. She loved teaching the children but was frustrated by their lack of reading skills and the school system's in-place practices for teaching reading. Although the school's principal allowed her to try new approaches to reading instruction, she decided to enter a doctoral program.
However, in spite of Davis' urgings for her to become a teacher, Kerr Walker followed the suggestion of another professor and entered Morgan's transportation management program, accepting early admission and a full scholarship and stipend. After working for seven months at the U.S.
After one semester at George Washington University, she transferred to the University of Maryland - College Park, a choice that shortened her commute but still left her as the only student of color in the program. She says her Morgan experience sustained her during that one year at George
Dr. Joi Kerr Walker
Joi Kerr Walker, Ph.D.: Leading in Reading Washington, but she received additional support at Maryland in the form of an African-American, female advisor, Dr. Rachel Grant. Grant, a 1989 graduate of the program, had a genuine interest in helping facilitate Kerr Walker's success, and she also provided a unique perspective as the program's most recent black graduate. Now, as an instructor at Morgan, Dr. Kerr Walker tries to provide the same level of support and nurturing that she received as a student. She says, "I recognize the changing face of today's college student: Many have children and full-time jobs…. My students are welcome to come to me to talk about academic and social problems, emotional issues, whatever…. I try to stress to them the importance of education and finishing school." The young assistant professor also realizes that many of her students will teach in the Baltimore City Public School System, where there is a majority African-American student population, a population whose needs motivated the development of her thesis, "The Development of Phonological Awareness in Inner City African-American Children." Expressed in simpler terms, the paper addresses the various issues related to how innercity African-American children learn to read. She believes increasing teachers' awareness and ability to relate to their students also increases their ability to teach. "How well teachers teach reading impacts on all of a child's learning. Reading lays the foundation…," she says. As a result, in addition to teaching lessons covering reading theory, instruction, strategies, and assessment, she also teaches instructors to recognize the special considerations that result from how certain students speak. Dr. Kerr Walker contends, "Teachers need to be educated and aware of the phonological and grammatical features of AfricanAmerican vernacular English, the ability of children to hear sounds in words,
and if their dialect influences whether they can rhyme and pick up certain sounds." She says teachers have to be taught to understand that the way children pronounce words does not interfere with their ability to comprehend or rhyme. She uses the word "teeth" as an example; it is often pronounced "teef" by inner-city African-American
She considers that many of her students were, themselves, inner-city African-American children who did not have the benefit of instruction in reading that addressed the concept of phonological awareness. This situation in no way deters Dr. Kerr Walker. She proudly proclaims, "Educating people is my life. I love it. Morgan helped me in [making] that decision, and I cannot see myself doing anything else."
“How well Dr. Joi Kerr Walker's
teachers teach reading
Family of Morgan Alumni Dr. Joi Kerr Walker, B.A – Marketing,
impacts on all of a child's
M.S. – Transportation Management David Walker (Husband), M.S.
learning. Reading lays the
– Urban Planning Rosetta Kerr Wilson (Mother), B.A. – Sociology Janiece Daniels (Sister), B.A. – Psychology
foundation.” children. Consequently, when a child is asked for a rhyming word, he may say "beef." Kerr Walkers says, "Mainstream culture says this child can't rhyme, but the child is [rhyming] in his dialect -but not phonologically." Often, Kerr Walker faces the additional challenge of first working with her college students to improve their reading skills before she can begin teaching the actual course content.
Waddel Daniels (Brother-inlaw), M.S. – Transportation Management Jewel Jackson (Sister), M.A. – International Affairs Elford Jackson (Brother-inlaw), B.S. – Engineering
DONOR PROFILE: Verizon Foundation Establishes Scholarship Program at Morgan. Joe Smith director of External Affairs, Verizon, MD
By Diana Spencer
In September 2001, the Verizon Foundation awarded $100,000 to Morgan State University for information technology scholarships. During the 2001-2002 school year, the Verizon Foundation Scholars - IS Program will provide $5,000 scholarships to 20 students enrolled in the Information Systems and Science Program at the university’s Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management. The foundation selected the scholarship recipients based on academic achievement, demonstrated leadership potential and financial need.
"Verizon recognizes the vital role information technology plays in today’s business world," said William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland. Roberts, a 1977 graduate of Morgan State University, also serves on the school’s board of regents. In awarding its gift to Morgan, the Verizon Foundation acknowledged the school’s growing prominence in information technology. In 1998 and 1999, Morgan graduates earned 28 percent of the information systems technology degrees awarded in Maryland. "The Verizon scholarship
program helps us with student retention and our efforts to continue attracting high caliber students," said Dr. Otis A. Thomas, dean of the university’s School of Business and Management. Creating this new scholarship program for Morgan students aligns with the ongoing work of the Verizon Foundation in supporting programs that improve basic and computer literacy, bridge the digital divide, enrich communities through technology and create a skilled work force.
His best year is a benefit for Morgan! Meet…
Wayne Frazier Class of 1976
He is a graduate of Morgan, class of 1976, and those who attended the university during that time probably remember him. Once you have met him, he is difficult to forget, according to his friends. Wayne Frazier knows that he has been blessed and that it keeps getting better. "Last year was the best in my career," he says. And just recently, he received yet another blessing, elected president of the
Maryland Minority Contractors Association. "I have always believed in giving back," says Frazier who this year made a financial commitment to Morgan worth $65,000. Wayne is president, CEO, chairman of the board and just about everything else at Powhatan Development Company, LLC. In other words, he says, "I own it!" Powhatan Development is a residential and multifamily real estate development firm doing construction management and general contracting in Maryland and throughout the country. His most lucrative work is also his least visible – the Navy-Marine Corps Strike Force Intranet. Right! "We are building out computer rooms that will house highly secure computer equipment," Frazier explains. The result of his work will mean better
communications between various naval bases, ships and aircraft wherever they are around the world. Wayne’s most visible project is very close to home – the Ramblewood Apartments, right around the corner from Morgan at the intersection of Belvedere and Loch Raven Boulevard. The apartments were built in the 1950’s without the amenities one would find in more modern units, such as air conditioning. Frazier’s firm is in the midst of a $3 million total upgrade and renovation of the development. "I have really been blessed and I was just pleased to be able to translate my success into a financial contribution to Morgan so that the school will be able to help more young people the way it helped me," said Mr. Frazier.
What’s in a
A Glimpse at the Names of Morgan’s Buildings and Facilities By Jannette J. Witmyer
Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center The new Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center rises proudly in the southern vector of Morgan State University’s more than 143-acre campus. Named
African-American chair of the university’s board of trustees and was also a charter member, the elegantly appointed facility is a 140,500 square foot, state-of-the-art architectural monument
Illustration by: Tom Stockett
for Dr. Carl J. Murphy, who served as the first
Dr. Carl J. Murphy (1889–1967)
dedicated to the development and delivery of visual and performing works of art.
James H. & Louise Hayley Gilliam
James H. and Louise Hayley Gilliam Concert Hall James H. and Louise Hayley Gilliam Concert Hall Named to honor the parents of Morgan alumnus James H. Gilliam, Jr., who
along with his wife, Dr. Linda G. J. Gilliam, established a generous endowment for the fine arts at the university. The James H. and Louise
Hayley Gilliam Concert Hall’s doublebalconies and seating for over 2,000 provides an elegant and modern concert setting.
Dr. Waters Edward Turpin (1910–1968) and Arthur Clifton Lamb (1909–1988)
Turpin-Lamb Theatre Turpin-Lamb Theatre Named to honor two former Morgan professors, Dr. Waters E. Turpin (L) and Arthur C. Lamb (R). The Turpin-Lamb Theatre seats 300 patrons and is
equipped to stage major theatrical productions. Recognized nationally as accomplished African-American playwrights, drama directors and scholars, Turpin and Lamb were
dedicated educators and often described as the "backbone of the drama program at Morgan; a source of strength and guidance.’"
James E. Lewis (1923–1997)
James E. Lewis Museum of Art James E. Lewis Museum of Art Named to honor James E. Lewis, Professor Emeritus at Morgan State University. Sculptor, art historian, archeologist and director of the SPRING 2002
museum that now bears his name, James E. Lewis gained international renown for his work. The James E. Lewis Museum of Art provides an opportunity for African-American 13
artists to display their works, while providing students with the opportunity to experience and explore all aspects of operating a fine arts gallery.
"Tellin' It Like It Tiz" "Lawd Ha' Mercy" "What Goes Around… Comes Around"
“He Say… She Say… But What Does God Say?” “A Fool And His Money” “Talk Show Live”
“Mr. Right Now” “His Woman His Wife” “The Fabric Of A Man” “Love Makes Things Happen.”
David E. Talbert:
The Fabric of a MorganMan
Do you recognize 10 tremendously successful plays that are all solidly grounded in one very important element of the African-American experience: emotion? If you do, then you know the work of David E. Talbert.
market this genre of entertainment…,” Talbert says. “[Our] promoters don't have much work to do. We market it, understanding who our target market is, and gear our advertising toward our target market.”
Talbert, a 1989 graduate of Morgan State University, did not set out to be a playwright, and he readily admits that he would not have attained his current level of success in theater had he not earned a bachelor's degree in marketing. He approaches the marketing aspect of a play as seriously as he approaches its artistic side.
His businesslike approach to explaining the principles of marketing and how he applies them to his productions could easily lead one to believe that writing and producing plays was part of his lifelong plan. But that's simply not the case. Personal tragedies -- the loss of a college friend, a broken heart, and an unceremonious firing from his job as a DJ -- and a free ticket to see the play “Beauty Shop” all contributed, in their own way, to the evolution of David E. Talbert, playwright.
“As far as being able to reach the people effectively and market the play, you won't find a better company to
By Jannette J. Witmyer
In his sophomore and junior years at Morgan, Talbert hosted an afternoon talk show, “We Hold These Truths,” on the university's radio station, WEAA – 88.9 FM. He describes it as a show that, with the help of local politicians and community leaders, “uncovered the real deal” on current issues and served as his entrée into the radio business. When heartache at the end his junior year drove him to accept a summer job in Ohio, he turned to writing poetry about his broken heart. Then he began writing about “love and anything else that came to mind.” In time, he began to feel that his poetry “wasn't bad, wasn't bad at all” and decided to try his hand at writing a play. The play, “Rise of the Fall,”
addressed another painful period in his life, the summer of his freshman year, when a dear friend was swept away in the waters off of Maryland's Eastern Shore. Talbert explains it as “a play about a tight-knit group of friends returning to school to bury their friend, the camaraderie of brotherhood, and how they were able to rise [above the tragedy] that fall of the year.” When he returned to Morgan, he showed the play to the theater art department chairman, the late Clinton Johnson, who provided some extremely positive and valuable feedback. Ready to tackle his senior year, Talbert tucked the play away and plunged into a year of all-day classes and an overnight gig on a Washington, D.C., radio station. A
few days after graduation, he packed his vehicle and headed cross-country to a new on-air gig in Oakland, Calif. Things were going extremely well for the young DJ, until the arrival of the station's new program director, who ordered Talbert to change his on-air name, Big Daddy Dave. Talbert refused and got fired. He returned later, however, to buy airtime for his first play. During his period of unemployment, a friend gave Talbert tickets to see the play “Beauty Shop.” He describes it as “a surreal experience. People were going absolutely crazy, and it just wasn't that funny to me. I knew that if people were laughing at that, then I
could present them with some entertainment that would be not only comedic but rich in emotion and spirituality.” He went home and immediately began to write “Tellin' It Like It Tiz.” He opened the show in August 1991 at the Black Repertory Group Theatre in Berkeley. Fast-forward to today: Eleven years and 10 plays later and with “nine blockbuster comedies and gospelthemed musicals” to his credit, David E. Talbert has been dubbed “The People’s Playwright.” He recently launched the national tour of number 10 in his college-town, Baltimore: “Love Makes Things Happen,” scored by mega-star City Scape: by P. A. Greene
Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. His ninth play, “The Fabric Of A Man,” earned 13 NAACP Theatre Awards nominations and won three -- best actor, best supporting actor, and best playwright. He also has been recognized for his work in film, television, and music. Still, Talbert feels he has much work to do. He recognizes his growth as a playwright and feels that his audience has matured with him -- not meaning necessarily that they've grown older, just wiser and open to different content. When he moved away from plays with gangsters and drug dealers as characters with the production of “Mr. Right Now,” his audiences loved
it. That's when he started fine-tuning his craft, he says, writing as a storyteller and reading more. Talbert feels that “as a storyteller, one gifted with the power of words,” he now has a responsibility to honor people such as Lorraine Hansberry and Paul Robeson, those who laid the foundation for his work. “Now, it's more about the revolution of being able to share our stories with our people, the equity of our images…,” Talbert says. “I have to be responsible for the images I perpetuate. You have to be careful with what you leave with people, because other people also come to our plays.”
He embraces the notion of being “The People’s Playwright” and cites Shakespeare as an example of the same. “Shakespeare did theater for the common people. The aristocrats went to the balcony because the commoners were down on the ground. They were called 'groundlings,' and if the audience didn't like the way a story was going, they would shout and yell. And Shakespeare would have to go back and change the ending because the crowd was so involved…. They were a part of the whole experience.” “My theater goes back to the origin of theater, interactive theater. It's theater
“Broadway sells aesthetics. We sell emotions.”
for the people. We come there, and we feel vested in the characters. We're pulling for the characters’ outcome. We want the characters to win because the characters onstage are a reflection of us. And if they win, we win…. That's what makes this theater so alive.” Talbert describes his shows as a communal experience. His audiences don't attend to give obligatory applause at the end of a scene.
“I consider myself ‘The People’s Playwrite,’ because I don’t speak beneath my audience, and I don’t speak above my audience. I speak directly to them.”
some of us forget that we like fried chicken, and sometimes we want to act like we don't because it's a sign of our blackness. And some of us want to separate ourselves, for some reason, from our blackness.” “When plays come in town that are black, from a black perspective, with black actors, that are ethnic plays, then we have to say, 'Well, I don't go to see those plays. I only go to see these
“If they don't like it, they don't clap,” he says. “If they like it, they clap at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.”
plays, for these plays are accepted by the greater society.” “The issue in our community is that we're always waiting for someone else to validate us, instead of us validating ourselves. How legitimate are you if you are not relevant to your people? If you are a storyteller of African descent and you are not patronized by your own people, then how significant, how relevant, how important are you as a storyteller?” “If we're not careful as a people and as theater-makers, as educators, and entertainers, we can lose touch with trends and where society is going.”
Talbert says that his audience does not come with preconceived notions about how to act at the theater. “They come to enjoy a production that is identifiable and mirrors their everyday lives. Broadway sells aesthetics. We sell emotions.”
“What's happening with [black] theater is the Tony Award Committee ain't validating it, but Tameeka Jones and Tameeka Jones' mama and Tameeka Jones' grandmama are validating it. So this is theater that has been legitimized by the people, not by the awards. Every night that somebody comes and claps and says, 'I love that show,' that's a Tony Award for me.”
When people refer to his productions as “Chitlin' Circuit” plays, it is because they don't know its history, Talbert says.
Talbert says his new business venture, the Urban Broadway Series, is about black theater as a whole.
“They are trying to devalue what we do. The Chitlin' Circuit was a wonderful thing…kept a lot of people working.”
“Urban Broadway Series will not only do plays in this genre, but [it] will do traditional classic plays and put a spin on them. Because my audience has
He refers to fried chicken, pork, and chitlins as a part of the AfricanAmerican experience: “I think that SPRING 2002
“The issue in our community is that we’re always waiting for someone else to validate us, instead of us validating ourselves.”
David E. Talbert —“Love Makes Things Happen,” 5th Floor Mailroom Rodney (Damon Butler), Chauncy (Kevon Edmonds), Tina (Cheryl “Coko” Gamble)
Warren (Joe Torry), Rodney (Damon Butler), Tina (Cheryl “Coko” Gamble)
never seen A Raisin in the Sun, I want to introduce those stories and introduce those people, the heroes of the theater, Paul Robeson, Ira Aldridge…. If I know it, then I've got to share. You know: Each one teach one. Each one reach one. So Urban Broadway Series is a live touring studio – like Sony, like Paramount, like MGM –
Rodney (Damon Butler), Warren (Joe Torry), Tina (Cheryl “Coko” Gamble)
that will be presenting three to five plays every single year, employing black actors, black musicians, black technicians….” “In this sense, the Douglas Turner Wards of the world can look back and say, 'We passed the baton. We did our thing, and we did it well. And now we
Morris A. Mechanic Theater David E. Talbert, Sheila (Dawn Robinsion)
can feel safe that theater is not going to be 'mama plays,' because if that was the case, they just could not rest. They did too much and paid too many dues for it to be that.”
SCHOLARSHIP LUNCHEON By Heidi Bruce Donor: SunTrust Bank of Md. J. Scott Wilfong, CEO and President Recipient: Ashlee Kirkland
Donor: Environmental Systems Products Joel Unverzagt, General Manager Recipients: Monica Cook, and Mo’net Peterson. On the left: Bernard L. Jennings, Vice President University Advancement
Donor: Maryland Space Grant Consortium Anne Anikis, Director Recipients: Three recipients from the School of Engineering; Keiona Siler, Jamal Mason, and Chiwuzic Odunukwe
Donor: MSU Philadelphia Alumni Chapter – Frances Walker Fund Bernice Evans and Lillian Barbour Recipients: Anthony Hodgins, Howard Jones, Cecil Rodney, and Issachah Savage
NEWS BRIEFS SPRING 2002
The Morgan State University Foundation, Inc. hosted its first annual Scholarship Luncheon on Tuesday, April 2, 2002. This event was organized in order for scholarship donors to meet the students that benefited from their generosity and support of the university. Several prominent members of the local business community attended the event. Mr. J. Scott Wilfong, CEO, president, SunTrust Bank Maryland, Mr. William Cunningham, executive director, Playtime Corporation, Joe Smith, director of External Affairs, Verizon Maryland, and Joel Unverzagt, general manager, Environmental Systems Products were some of the corporate representatives at the luncheon. Mrs. Lillian Barbour, Philadelphia Alumni Chapter and Mr. Stephen Russell, president MSUNAA represented the Morgan community. The Philadelphia Alumni Chapter was able to assist eight students during the 2001 – 2002 academic year. The MSUNAA was able to assist three students with its scholarships. Some of the individual donors included Mrs. Barbara Golden and Mr. William Greene.
Flag Waves On… David Harvey - (1965-2002)
By Diana L. Spencer
“David understood that flags are powerful symbols. He wanted the flag to help pull African-Americans together, to say that we are an integral part of this
country, and to remind us that each one of us can
Flag Waves On… succeed and do well.”
David (age 26) and Tonya Harvey Completed the flag in November 1991
After high school, David dated his future wife while she attended Morgan, and he pursued undergraduate studies at Coppin State College. Following their marriage, they purchased a home right next to Morgan’s campus, and David attended Morgan to earn a master’s degree in international studies. And when David and Tonya Harvey created the African-American flag, Morgan State University proudly installed it in front of the Clarence Mitchell Engineering Building and hired the couple’s company to create the small flags that Morgan seniors wave during graduation ceremonies.
t the Harvey home in Morgan Park, Morgan alumnus David Harvey was overflowing with ideas for promoting the first-ever African-American flag that he and his wife, Tonya, had created. It was a hectic Tuesday morning like many others: David's two-year-old daughter, Chloe, seemed to be running a temperature. He also was anxious for the birth of his second daughter, Kaylah, in a few months, and he was concerned about the well-being of some of his neighbors. After making a few calls to check on his business and the neighbors, David complained of a stomachache and collapsed to the floor. In an instant, he was gone.
Four days later, on January 26, 2002, scores of well-wishers filled Morgan’s Carl Murphy Auditorium and participated in a salute to David’s life.
Despite the shock of losing such a young man to a sudden heart attack, they were committed to fulfilling David’s wish to honor his memory through celebration. With clapping hands and misty eyes, 1,000 of David’s friends and family members found comfort in a soloist’s rendition of "Oh, Happy Day," one of his favorite songs. Morgan State University seemed an especially fitting place to remember David, as its presence was woven throughout the story of his life. David grew up in Lauraville, the neighborhood adjacent to Morgan Park. While neither of his parents is a Morgan graduate, they feel a great affinity toward the school. "My husband, Carl, began college there," explains David’s mother, Delores Smith Harvey. "And Morgan gave me my first opportunity to be an adjunct professor."
"The idea for the African-American flag just came to us," says Tonya. "It was one of those ideas that was so simple and so clear that it was hard to believe that it wasn’t already out there." In November 1991, Tonya and David attended a banquet together. At one point, everyone stood up to sing "Lift Every Voice and Sing," the black national anthem. Tonya remembers, "Everyone was singing, and they were just kind of looking around -- at the ground, at each other, at the room. There was no place to focus. David and I looked at each other, and both had the same thought at the same time – that there needed to be a flag. When we got home, we were so excited about the project. We started research immediately." They found that there was no flag known as the African-American flag. "We found just a few flags related to African-Americans," Tonya says, "flags like the African liberation flag and African heritage flag. But these flags were all created out of various movements. We wanted to create a
Flag Waves Onâ€Ś David Harvey - (1965-2002)
Purple base the regal history of African-Americans
Gold flashes of light (around the star) perseverance, love, knowledge and spirituality
Black stripe (near purple base) African-American nearness to regality
Gold stripe riches of Africa
Eight-pointed black star each individual African-American, that each one can shine. Each point of the star stands for an African-American principle:
Red, white and blue stripes integral part African-Americans play, have played and will play in Americaâ€™s greatness.
Green stripe abundant life in Africa
A F R I C A N S
= = = = = = = =
Aspirations Family, Righteousness Individuality Community Ability Nobility Scholarship.
The acronym for the star is AFRICANS.
flag out of peace and celebration, a flag that says who we are as AfricanAmericans. David always stressed that this is a nonpolitical flag." When the flag project began, David was coordinator of the prison program at Coppin State College, and Tonya was an elementary school teacher with the Baltimore City Public School System. They created a company, DATON, Inc., to produce and sell the flags, and developed a flag design and prototype. After getting the product patented in 1993, they left their jobs and busied themselves with building their company and increasing the flag’s acceptance. "David understood," his mother says, "that flags are powerful symbols. He wanted the flag to help pull AfricanAmericans together, to say that we are
David Harvey’s two-year-old daughter, Chloe, and his wife Tonya Harvey.
an integral part of this country, and to remind us that each one of us can succeed and do well. He wanted to see the flag at historically black colleges and universities. He wanted to see it on desktops in middle school. He wanted it to inspire young people." Through the family’s efforts, organizations and prominent individuals throughout the world have accepted the flag. African-American flags have been presented to the renowned South African leader Nelson Mandela and noted historian Dr. John Hope Franklin. In addition to countless colleges, universities, public schools, private schools and faith institutions, the flag is on display at numerous sites including the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Building, NAACP National Headquarters, United Baptist
David Harvey’s wife Tonya Harvey, his mother, Delores Smith Harvey, and his father Carl Harvey.
For additional information about the AfricanAmerican flag, or to place an order, call 410-254-3886
Missionary Convention Building, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Missouri Black Expo, American League of Financial Institutions, Committee for African-American History Observances, National Black Catholic Congress, National Black Police Association and National Urban League Headquarters. In addition to producing the AfricanAmerican flag, DATON, Inc. expanded its menu of services and products to include establishing flag courts, replacing flagpoles and producing customized flags for organizations and institutions. Despite David’s death, the family is committed to continuing DATON, Inc. and to fulfilling David’s vision of widespread acceptance of the African-American flag.
Opening the Door to Community-Arts: by Diana L. Spencer n a recent Saturday at Morgan’s new Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center, instructors and students were busy constructing pinhole cameras and studying symbols from the African Ashante tribe, with plans to incorporate the symbols into ceramic works. Instructors challenged students to think about their creations and the process of art and to understand the principles and science of ceramics and photography. But, while some of Morgan’s finest art instructors are leading these collegelevel art experiences, the young artmakers are not college students. Instead, they are kindergarten through 12th graders, mostly from Baltimore City public schools, enrolled in a newly launched Year-Round-Youth Art Institute.
“Art is about expression,” says Virginia Grant, coordinator of the Art Institute, and development and marketing specialist for Morgan’s Office of Museums. “With this program, we are providing an opportunity for children to express themselves in different ways. We are also creating the prototype for a premier community-arts program.”
The Art Institute began offering courses in February as part of a Saturday half-day program that ends in June. The Baltimore City Public School System serves as the primary sponsor for this first session. Their support will allow 96 city students to participate in the program at no charge. By the end of February, the program had registered 74 students from 37 schools
“This is a great opportunity for students to come to Morgan’s new fine arts center and take classes in a college environment,” says Kathleen Lockhart, interim supervisor of the Office of Fine Arts and Physical Education for the city schools. “While our students will study only visual arts, being in the center will allow them to interface with the other arts… with the school’s theater, music and dance programs. “We want the children to learn about as many different kinds of art and artists as possible. Along the way, they will learn about art history, criticism, aesthetics and the creative process. Art is a separate discipline from other academic subjects, and it teaches problem-solving, idea development, story-telling, and many other skills that translate well into improving academic performance.” The Art Institute’s first session offers: photography, drawing, painting and ceramics courses; field trips to museums in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.; access to performances at Morgan; and exposure to renowned visiting artists. For upcoming summer, after-school and weekend sessions, a slate of 23 courses is planned with offerings to include cyberart, desktop publishing, mural-art, cartoon-drawing, sculpture, watercolors, jewelry-making and quilting. In addition, the Art Institute, which was created by Morgan’s Office of Museums, will provide youth with the unique opportunity to take museumrelated courses. “In exhibition design and planning, students will learn to frame, label and present art,” says Grant. “We will also offer courses in collections management, museum shop operations and customer relations. Students will have the opportunity to put their museum courses into practice when they coordinate and produce closing exhibitions at the end of each session. They will have to do everything for these events - organizing the exhibit,
hanging the work, designing the invitation, hiring the musicians and arranging for refreshments.” Art Institute courses are taught by degreed art professionals, supported by classroom assistants and mentors. “The assistants and mentors are some of Morgan’s best and brightest students,” explains Grant. “Acting as mentors is a great opportunity for them to encourage younger students and to learn more about art, education and child development.” While the Art Institute’s goal is to serve approximately 500 children and youth per year, it is also working, according to Grant, to provide a “nourishing experience” for youth. “The reward at the end of the day,” she concludes, “is just to see how much the kids enjoy the program.”
According to Grant, the impetus for the program was the desire to “bring children and youth into Morgan’s dynamic new arts center.” A $40 million complex that opened in December 2001, the Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center includes three performance halls and the James E. Lewis Museum of Art, with a collection valued at $10 million. Its visual arts facilities feature laboratories for ceramics, painting, photography, sculpture and welding, in addition to a printing-making studio and computer graphics lab.
in Baltimore City and surrounding areas.
4th “R” “A new round of research shows us that the visual and performance arts play an essential role in how children learn to read, write, and do mathematics… [Experts] now consider arts education to be the “Fourth R” as essential to learning as reading, writing, and arithmetic - and in fact, integral to the learning of these subjects. The arts are basic to a child’s biological, emotional, and educational development.” Richard Louv, Why Children Need an Arts Education Renaissance.
Introducing Morganâ€™s new Year-Round-Youth Art Institute
ith this program, we are providing an opportunity for children to express themselves in different ways. We are also creating the prototype for a premier community-arts program.
For more information about Morganâ€™s Year-Round-Youth Art Institute, please call 443-885-3030.
Morgan’s Enrollment and Applications Reach Record Levels By Diana L. Spencer & Frederick Banks
" We k n o w t h a t M o r g a n ’s
growth and advancements
make it more attractive
t h a n e v e r, a n d w e a r e
using an aggressive
recruitment strategy to
promote the school."
In fall 2001, more than 11,000 students applied for admission to Morgan State University, far exceeding the university’s previous record of approximately 8,000 applicants. Of the 11,112 applicants, 3,911 were admitted and 1,701 were enrolled. These figures include a 30 percent increase in students transferring to Morgan from other colleges. Early indications are that applications for fall 2002 will set an even higher record.
"Morgan anticipated this trend, and we began preparations early," says Frederick Banks, associate director of admissions and recruitment. "According to U.S. Census forecasts, African-American college attendance is on the rise. We know that Morgan’s growth and advancements make it more attractive than ever, and we are using an aggressive recruitment strategy to promote the school." Banks, who is also a Morgan graduate, earned his bachelor’s degree in 1992 and master’s in 1997. Now in its second year of implementation, Morgan’s "aggressive recruitment" strategy includes strategic use of Enrollment Planning Services and the Young Alumni Recruitment
Initiative. "The EPS software," Banks explains, "is designed by the College Board and provides us with information about the students who have requested that their SAT scores be sent to us. Morgan receives more SAT scores from African-American high school students than any other college or university in Maryland." Through the Young Alumni Recruitment Initiative, recent Morgan graduates (from 1998 through the present) are asked to assist in identifying Morgancaliber students in their communities
and promoting Morgan to promising students. The Office of Admissions and Recruitment tries to maintain four to five active Young Alumni in each state. "This year, we have had as many as five Morgan representatives traveling to engage in recruitment, and we have been to 36 states," says Banks. "Young Alumni often play key roles in these trips, setting up high school visits for us, speaking to students about the benefits of studying at Morgan, and helping us meet students with special talents." Banks says that campus developments such as the new stadium, fine arts center and upcoming research center, along with the growing reputation of
Morgan’s engineering and other programs, are among many factors attracting the attention of potential students. With increasing interest in the school, the admissions process has become more selective, and the SAT average of incoming students is on the rise. But while the school is preparing for even more students, perhaps as many as 10,000 by 2005, the emphasis remains on offering a quality educational experience. "Because of the vision of the president," Banks comments, "we
have prepared financially, physically and programmatically for increased enrollment, and we have been able to maintain sufficient housing and effective teacher/student ratios. The university just purchased the Pentridge Apartment complex to increase our student housing stock." "Everyone seems to be noticing Morgan’s growth," adds Banks. "When alumni come to campus for homecoming and other events, they remark that there seem to be more students at Morgan now than ever. It’s true, and there are even more to come."
Morgan State University Alumni Hall of Fame Introduction and Purpose Morgan State Universityâ€™s Alumni Hall of Fame has been established to provide a special place of permanent recognition on campus for those alumni, honorary degree recipients and honorary alumni, designated by the Morgan State University National Alumni Association, who have distinguished themselves by their outstanding contributions to the university, their profession and society. A permanent display of honorees will be housed in the Morgan Alumni House on campus. The Morgan Alumni Hall of Fame will not supplant the existing departmental Halls of Fame currently in existence, nor should it discourage other departments or organizations from establishing their own means of recognition in the future.
Nomination Form To nominate someone for the Morgan State University Alumni Hall of Fame, please complete the form below and return no later than Friday, June 28, 2002 to: Morgan State University Alumni Hall of Fame, Office of Alumni Affairs, Montebello, Room 118, Morgan State University, 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251. Nominee: _________________________________________________________________________________ Title
Address ____________________________________________________________________________ City _________________________________________State ________________ Zip _______________ Phone Number: (Home) ______________________________
Date of Birth (Optional): ______________________________
Place of Birth: _______________________
Site and Induction
If nominee is deceased, give the date: ___________________
The induction ceremony will be held in conjunction with Morganâ€™s Annual Gala. The induction will be held Friday, October 25, 2002.
Marital Status: ____________________________________
Name of Spouse: _____________________
Criteria for Induction Induction in the Hall of Fame is open to eligible individuals who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments or achievements which have effected a recognizably enduring positive impact on the university.
Selection Criteria for Graduates
Eligibility for induction into the Morgan State University Alumni Hall of Fame for graduates of Morgan State University ...must have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree ...must have earned the degree at least 10 years before nomination ...must have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments or achievements which have effected a recognizably enduring positive impact on the university ...must have engaged in endeavors to benefit others ...must be a current, dues paying member of the Morgan State University National Alumni Association or a life member. The same is true of the nominator, if a Morgan graduate ...may have been inducted into other Morgan State University Halls of Fame ...may be recommended posthumously ...may have made a significant financial contribution to Morgan State University, the MSU Foundation or the MSU National Alumni Association
Selection Criteria for Non-Graduates Eligibility for induction into the Morgan State University Alumni Hall of Fame for nongraduates of Morgan State University ...must have successfully matriculated for at least one semester at Morgan State University, received an honorary degree or has been designated honorary alumnus by the Morgan State University National Alumni Association ...must have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments or achievements which have effected a recognizably enduring positive impact on the university ...must have engaged in endeavors to benefit others ...may have been inducted into other Morgan State University Halls of Fame ...may be recommended posthumously ...may have made a significant financial contribution to Morgan State University, the MSU Foundation, or the MSU National Alumni Association
Education (List Morgan first and include degree, name of institution, year graduated): _____________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Professional Positions (List most recent to current: Organization, Job Title, Year): _________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ List three most significant accomplishments (Attach separate sheet with explanation): 1. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. ________________________________________________________________________________ List five awards and/or recognitions: 1. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. ________________________________________________________________________________ 4. ________________________________________________________________________________ 5. ________________________________________________________________________________ Contributions and relationships with Morgan State University: ______________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Memberships in community organizations: ___________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Memberships in business/professional organizations: ____________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Nominator: _________________________________________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________________________ City _________________________________________State ________________ Zip _______________ Phone Number: (Home) ____________________________ Morgan State University graduate: Yes _____
The nominee, if not deceased, must be a current member of the Morgan State University National Alumni
Association. The nominator, if a Morgan graduate, must also be a member. The yearly fee of $25, or $400 for a life membership, may be submitted with this nomination form.
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