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Nearly 600 Graduate from Morehouse College

ATLANTA-May 4, 2006-- When more than 500 men cross the stage from undergraduate life into the real world on Mother’s Day, they will do it with a message of encouragement and hope from a woman who is a Morehouse mother herself. Dr. Ruth Simmons, the 18th president of Brown University, will come back to the “House” to share words of wisdom with the class of 2006. Simmons’ son Khari, graduated from Morehouse in 1998.

“I’m so very proud to be able to speak to these noble men who are going out into the world,” said Simmons. “I’m sure they don’t even realize how often they will call on their education at Morehouse in the years ahead, in good times and bad,” she said.

While statistics show that fewer African American men are applying to and entering colleges and universities, Morehouse continues to be a beacon of hope as one of the nation’s top degree-producing institutions for African American men (Black Issues, June 2005). In fact this year Morehouse will graduate its largest class to date with nearly 600 men receiving Baccalaureate degrees.

The young man at the top of the class is English major Alan Clarke. The valedictorian is a native of Andover, Massachusetts. Clark, who will graduate with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, has deferred Harvard Law School for a year to participate in the Asia Pacific Leadership Program. The yearlong program is connected to the East West Center and is designed to acclimate international studies students with foreign policies in the Asian Pacific region.

Morehouse will confer the honorary doctor of humane letters on Ruth Simmons; B. Franklin Skinner, former chairman and CEO of Bellsouth and member of the Morehouse Board of Trustees and; Berry Gordy Jr., founder of Motown Records. Receiving the prestigious Presidential Award of Distinction is alumnus Benjamin Blackburn, DDS. Blackburn is the first African American to teach at dentistry schools for both the Medical College of Georgia and Emory University. He is a member of the Morehouse Board of Trustees and the class of 1961.

The College also will celebrate the naming of the Morehouse residential suites complex in honor of the Reverend Doctor Otis Moss Jr., who is the immediate past chair of the Morehouse Board of Trustees and the pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio.

Commencement will take place at 8 a.m. on the Century campus at Morehouse College on Sunday, May 14.

Media Logistics:
Arrival: Suggested arrival time for working media is 7:15 a.m.

Parking: Parking for media will be available during Commencement along Fair Street (eastbound from Euhrlee to Milton streets). Enter the Century campus from the Fair Street gate, near Danforth Chapel.

Video/Still Photography: Photographers may approach the stage during the invocation, introduction of speakers, and the first three minutes of speeches.

Broadcast Media: Photographers wishing to get a clean audio feed may plug into the mult box stationed near the control panel between Hope and Sale halls. The mult box is not located central to the stage, so photographers will need to bring a wireless system for audio.

Posted by Kara at May 8, 2006 07:09 PM

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