President’s Day Celebrates Legacy of Leadership
With a new president on the horizon, Morehouse took an opportunity to honor its current and two former presidents during its first President’s Day, held March 29.
Honored were President Walter E. Massey ’58, who will retire at the end of the academic year; John Hope, the first African American president of the College 100 years ago; and Benjamin E. Mays, who served as president for 27 years, from 1940 to 1967.
Massey set the tone for the day by giving a brief history lesson on Morehouse’s presidential legacy.
“In looking at the accomplishments of the eight Morehouse presidents who preceded me, what is clear is that each man, in his own way, contributed something significant to making Morehouse what it is today,” he said. “Each took the institution to the next level in a way that was appropriate for the challenges of his day.”
Focusing on Hope, Massey spoke on not only his leadership in the area of human rights, but also his goal of ensuring that Morehouse would be known as an outstanding liberal arts college, through the development of the faculty and beautification of the campus.
“More than any other president, he is responsible for our focus on liberal arts education,” Massey said.
Massey then presented a posthumous honorary degree to Hope, which was accepted by Richard Hope ’61, grandson of Dr. John Hope and vice president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
Later that day, Mays was honored during the 16th Annual Benjamin E. Mays Lecture, hosted by the Leadership Center. Clayborne Carson, professor of history and director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, spoke on Morehouse’s legacy of producing leaders.
“Morehouse has always been a place where African American men could not only gain academic skills, but also distinctive qualities of leadership,” Carson said. “Few if any educational institutions have been so determined to produce graduates who possess idealism and vision as well as ambition, character and conviction as well as talent.”
The lecture was followed by a panel discussion that included Hope; Alton Hornsby Jr. ’68, professor of history; Ron Sullivan ’89, professor of law at Yale University; and Charles V. Willie ’48, professor of education at Harvard University.
More Campus News
John Handy Named Vulcan Materials Morehouse Faculty Member of the Year for 2012-13
Spike Lee ’79 Urges Students to Follow Their Passions, Not Their Wallets
Zimbabwean-Born Businessman Commits $6.4 Million to Send 40 African Students to Morehouse
Ten Milwaukee-area Students Become Men of Morehouse Through New Milwaukee Scholarship Program