By ADD SEYMOUR JR.
Taylor Hampton’s family drove 13 hours to Atlanta from Milwaukee, Wisc. for something his mother, Marilyn, has looked forward to, yet dreaded – letting him go to grow.
But Morehouse was the destination, a comforting fact for her as Taylor will be with his new family at Graves Hall.
“We’re a little nervous. He’s my baby,” she said as Taylor’s father, Wayne, stood nearby. “But he’s in good hands at Morehouse and we’re really pleased.”
Hampton is one of 800 new men of Morehouse who are beginning a new phase in their lives – striving to become the Renaissance Men President Robert M. Franklin Jr. ’75 told them they were soon to become.
“As Renaissance men you will have the opportunity to inject new energy, new life and new hope into communities that desperately need it,” he said during New Student Orientation 2009. “We expect that you will embody the highest values and virtues of men of Morehouse.”
The Class of 2013 hails from more than 35 states, several Caribbean countries and the African continent. They also are a very bright group as their average high school grade point average is 3.1 with their SAT scores around 1580.
“If that holds, then we’ll be above the national SAT average,” said Sterling Hudson, dean of Admissions and Records.
Hudson said this year’s group of first year students has more of a Peach State flair as the economy has led more students to attend college closer to home.
“We put a stronger emphasis on the state of Georgia this year, just because of the economy,” he said. “They are probably coming from some of the more rural places in the state than we normally would have gotten students from. That’s going to be interesting – to see them come into this environment, adapt and adjust to being in a space that is in some cases, this campus is larger than their hometowns.”
No matter where they come from, many of the new students said the experience has already been overwhelming.
“Just getting used to the college atmosphere, being on my own now and meeting new people, it’s a living unnerving,” said James Wilford, a freshman from Dallas, Texas. “But it feels great being at Morehouse. I’ve been excited all summer. It’s a dream come true.”
Hampton, who will major in engineering, will miss his family and friends.
“But you form a brotherhood here that you really can’t get at any other school,” he said. “I’m just ready to start this new beginning.”