Search Called Off For Missing Morehouse Alumnus

Date Released: August 24, 2018

The Morehouse College Community is extending its support to the family of U.S. Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Asante McCalla ’16, who was reported missing Sunday, Aug. 18, from his ship off the coast of California.

The McCalla family was informed Thursday that the Navy and U.S. Coast Guard called off the search and rescue mission for the alumnus. Lt.j.g. McCalla has not been located. The incident is still under investigation, authorities said.

McCalla, 24, of Snellville, graduated magna cum laude from Morehouse in 2016 with a degree in sociology. He was a student leader who left a lasting impression on his classmates and his professors.

“We, at Morehouse College, send our thoughts and prayers to the McCalla family,” said David A. Thomas, President of Morehouse College. “Asante was one of those students who had natural leadership ability and charisma. He used his influence to have a positive impact on his Morehouse brothers and the community.

“Upon graduation, he was eager to begin his career in the Navy and serve his country,” Thomas added. “We are proud of his dedication, and hope that his family can find peace during this difficult time.”

Search Called Off For Missing Morehouse Alumnus Asante McCalla

A servant leader at Morehouse, McCalla was a high-achieving midshipman and executive officer with the NROTC Morehouse battalion. As he trained for a career in the Navy, he also made time to serve as a mentor. McCalla was a residential advisor at Kilgore Hall for two years, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society, and a member of the Alpha Kappa Delta sociology honor society.

He has always had high aspirations for a long career in the Navy. McCalla said earlier that he became enamored with the ocean after spending time swimming with his great-grandfather as a child.

His mother, Alicia McCalla, a former Marine, taught him discipline and patriotism. McCalla has said that he hopes to follow in her footsteps as a Navy man.

As a Morehouse student, he wrote: “I joined the Navy to serve for those that cannot fight or are not able, so that when I am not able to fight, someone will fight for me. … I am headed to the USS Lake Erie (CG-70) out of San Diego. I plan to make a 20-year career out of the Navy and one day I would like to be the CO of a ship.”

McCalla’s mother, who now works as a librarian at Trickum Middle School in Lilburn, Ga., turned to social media for help after her son was reported missing. Her husband, Dr. Howard McCalla, an assistant principal at Parkview High School, also in Lilburn, has also been distraught since his son’s disappearance.

Morehouse’s NROTC program leaders reached out to the family to offer their support.

"Since we first became aware that Lt.j.g. McCalla was 'missing at sea' we have been praying for Asante, his family, and those actively involved in the Search and Rescue operation," said Captain Baron V. Reinhold, commanding officer of the Atlanta Region NROTC and a professor of Naval Science at Morehouse.  "From the moment that I first met Asante, it was apparent to me that he would continue the impressive Morehouse NROTC legacy and go on to become a leader among leaders in the proud service of his country."  

The search for the missing sailor was launched on Aug. 18 after his commanding officers presumed he fell overboard. He was last seen on his ship, the C.G. 70 U.S.S. Lake Erie. The Coast Guard canvassed nearly 5,000 square miles of the ocean using vessels and aircraft, according to news reports of the incident.

No further information is available about the investigation at this time.

Related Story:

[AJC.com] Navy calls off search for missing sailor ID’d by family as Morehouse grad


Last Modified: August 24, 2018, 18:08 PM, by: Kara Walker

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