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Morehouse College Celebrates 141 Years of Excellence

ATLANTA--February 1, 2008—As Morehouse celebrates its 141st anniversary during Founder’s Week, February 10-17, the school will also embrace the birth of a new renaissance as Dr. Robert Michael Franklin Jr. is formally inducted as the 10th president of Morehouse. Franklin is a 1975 graduate of the institution.

Founder’s Week is always a time of pomp and circumstance, reflections and rejoicing at Morehouse, but this year will be extra special. Delegates and representatives from across the country will join the Morehouse community during the inauguration of Franklin, which will take place on Friday, February 15, at 10a.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, on the campus of Morehouse College.

Franklin’s vision for Morehouse is that: “Morehouse College will develop Renaissance men—leaders with a social conscience—who will champion the causes of equality, justice and peace in their communities and around the globe.” In short, the Morehouse Renaissance will involve a cultural shift. It will call for a higher standard of leadership, explore new thinking, develop interdisciplinary collaborations and embrace myriad perspectives to specifically address the crisis in the African American community, as well as the issues of our global community.

Also included in the inaugural activities is a special symposium, which will further celebrate the induction of the new president. Scholars will present on Culture, Spiritual Values and the Pursuit of Excellence in Higher Education. Participants include Edward Blum, assistant professor of history, San Diego State University; Clayborne Carson, professor of history and director, Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University; Stephen Carter, Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of African-American Studies and sociology director of the African American Studies Program, Colby
College; Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago; and Harold Bennett, assistant professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Morehouse College.

The star-studded “A Candle in the Dark” Gala is a favorite during Founder’s Week. This year, legendary Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter William “Smokey” Robinson Jr. will receive the Candle Award for Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Entertainment. Honorees at the Gala are presented with either a Candle or Bennie award. Candle award recipients are honored for excellence in a variety of fields, including athletics, business, education, entertainment, government, law, military service, religion and science and technology.

Other Candle award recipients include Lloyd Trotter, vice chairman, General Electric, who will receive the Candle Award in Business. Receiving the Candle Award in Medicine is Alvin Crawford, director, Pediatric Orthopaedics, Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

The Bennie recipients are graduates of Morehouse who receive recognition in their areas of distinction. The award is named for the late Benjamin E. Mays, who served as president of Morehouse from 1940 to 1967.

The 2008 Bennie recipients are: Bennie Leadership -- James R. Hall ‘57, Lt. General, U.S. Army (retired); Bennie Achievement- M. William Howard ’68, pastor, Bethany Baptist Church, Newark, N.J.; Bennie Service- Mack Roach ’75, chairman, Department of Radiology Oncology, University of California, San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Bennie Trailblazer – Clinton Warner ’44, retired physician and founder of the Atlanta Surgical Professional Association.

Honorary co-chairs for the evening are founder of Motown Records Berry Gordy Jr. and Michael Duke, vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores.
Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) actor and author Hill Harper and television and radio personality Jacque Reid will be the master and mistress of ceremonies.
Founder’s Week at Morehouse is a multi-event celebration. Please see full highlights of the Week:
(all events take place in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel unless otherwise stated)

Wednesday, February 13
• U.S. Postal Service Unveils New Black History Stamp, 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, February 14
• Founder’s Day Convocation, 10:45 a.m.
• Inaugural Symposium, 2:00 pm, Bank of America Auditorium, Executive Conference Center

Friday, February 15
• Inauguration of Dr. Robert Michael Franklin Jr. '75, 10:00 a.m.
• Inaugural Concert featuring the Morehouse College Glee Club, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 16
• Reflections of Excellence featuring the Gala Honorees, 11:00 a.m.
• Founder's Day Basketball Game vs. Clark Atlanta University, 3:00 p.m., Forbes Arena
• 20th Annual “A Candle in the Dark” Gala and Inaugural Ball, 7:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Sunday, February 17
Founder’s Day Worship Service featuring the Rev. Brad Ronnell Braxton, Assistant Pastor of Homilectics and New Testament, Vanderbilt University Divinity School, 11:00 a.m.

Net proceeds from the Gala benefit the Morehouse College General Scholarship Fund and help the College preserve the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Posted by at January 31, 2008 10:18 PM

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