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Morehouse Celebrates its 126th Commencement Ceremony

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to Deliver Commencement Address

ATLANTA, April 13, 2010 – Morehouse will usher nearly 500 newly crowned Morehouse Men into its ranks of alumni during its 126th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16, at 8 a.m. on the Century Campus.

The class of 2010 will have the distinct honor of receiving the graduation address from the 22nd Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert M. Gates. Gates is no stranger to higher education. He earned a doctorate in Russian History from Georgetown University and served as president of Texas A&M University before entering his current post as defense secretary.

Gates is the only secretary of defense in U.S. history to be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected president. President Barack Obama is the eighth president Gates has served. He served as deputy national security advisor under president George H. Bush and is the only person in the history of the CIA to rise from an entry-level position to director. As one of the president’s top advisers on matters of war and peace, Gates’ participation in the Commencement ceremony will provide Morehouse students – and the overall community- a front seat to one of the most important, most influential, most experienced public servants to have ever served in the United States government.

“Secretary Gates has led an exemplary life – one characterized primarily by decades of service to our country,” said Dr. Robert M. Franklin, president of Morehouse College. “He has served the United States Air Force, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon, the White House and Texas A&M University. All together, Gates embodies Morehouse’s commitment to ethical leadership, public service and service to the global community.”

Morehouse alumnus and Congressman Sanford D. Bishop Jr. ’68 will receive the honorary doctor of humane letters. Bishop serves the 2nd congressional district of Georgia, which includes 30 counties and parts of two others, making it the largest geographic district in the state of Georgia.

Dr. Benjamin Payton, president of Tuskegee University, also will receive the honorary doctor of humane letters. Payton will retire from Tuskegee in June after serving for 28 years.

Morehouse will welcome back President Emeritus Walter E. Massey ’58, who served the College for 12 years from 1995-2007, to honor him with the distinguished Presidential Citation. Massey is currently chairman of the board for the Bank of America Corporation.

Media Logistics:
Arrival/Parking: Suggested arrival time for working media is 7:15 a.m. 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: Credentialed 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 edurham at April 13, 2010 03:22 PM

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