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Morehouse Graduates More than 500 Renaissance Men during its 124th Commencement Ceremony

Dr. Robert M. Franklin presides over his first Spring Commencement

ATLANTA, May 9, 2008 --When about 520 men band together for the last time on the Century Campus of Morehouse College, they will be coming together to end one era of their lives and celebrate a grand new beginning. Morehouse will celebrate its 124th Commencement on Sunday, May 18 at 8 a.m.

The class of 2008 has more than a few things to remember from this final rite of passage to becoming Morehouse Men. They are the first class to leave under the new challenge from president Robert M. Franklin ‘75 to become Renaissance Men – and they are the first class, in the college’s 141-year history to have a Caucasian valedictorian.

Joshua Packwood is an economics major from Kansas City, MO and is graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. He has accepted a position as a proprietary analyst for Goldman Sachs in New York City. He said there was an air of expectation from Morehouse, even before he decided to enroll at the Historically Black College.

“The beautiful thing about Morehouse is that it cultivates you to be well rounded. It expects you to be a servant leader, a scholar, but also an enjoyable person,” he said. “I spent four-years immersed in a culture of achievement, excellence, and accountability. I interacted with nearly 3,000 black men each year that were changing perceptions and the world. They overcame seemingly insurmountable barriers to attend the most prestigious graduate schools, add value at the most influential global companies, and pursue their own ventures.” Packwood was a finalist for the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa and various other honor societies.

Graduating second in the class of more than 500 is Atlanta native Shannon Joyner. Joyner, who attended Woodward Academy, will graduate with a 3.99 grade point average and a degree in marketing. He will work with the National Basketball Association in its Marketing Partnerships group in New York. Joyner said, “The relationships that I have formed during my four years at Morehouse are what define my college experience. The knowledge that I have gleaned from those special people around me has prepared me for life’s triumphs and challenges.” Joyner is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa and Alphi Phi Alphi Fraternity, Inc. Both the valedictorian and salutatorian entered Morehouse as Presidential Scholars their freshman year.

The Commencement speaker is Morehouse alumnus Emmett Carson, Ph.D., class of 1981. He currently serves as the first CEO and President of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The community foundation is dedicated to advancing civic engagement to address the most challenging problems facing California’s San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

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 at May 10, 2008 12:39 AM

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