By ADD SEYMOUR JR. – Javin Foreman ’98 had not been back to a Morehouse homecoming in several years. The last one he remembers was when all of the tailgating was held on the parking lot where the Visitors Center/Parking Deck now sits.
He’s like many other Morehouse alumni who returned to Homecoming 2013 to a campus that is larger, bustling and full of that Morehouse pride.
“It’s unbelievable,” Foreman said. “I just moved back to Atlanta from Chicago and I didn’t have a sense of what it would look like since the tailgating moved from the parking lot. It has been mind blowing.”
That kind of excitement was prevalent from Oct. 20-27 for all of the Homecoming activities.
From the coronation of Miss Maroon and White to R&B singer Avant’s performance to the honoring of two Morehouse Men at the Homecoming Worship Service, each event was a huge success, said Henry Goodgame ’84, director of Alumni Affairs, Annual Giving and Special Events.
“We had thousands of alumni and families return,” he said. “Parents were out. Faculty and staff were there. Students came. It was really a time when our entire Morehouse family came together to celebrate what it means to be related to an outstanding institution, Morehouse College.”
The week began with a Sunday evening worship service in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, led by Reginald Sharpe Jr ’13. Rap stars Rich Homie Quan, The Migos and B.O.B. rocked the crowd in Forbes Arena during the annual hip-hop concert on Monday, while Avant delighted the King Chapel crowd during the neo-soul concert that Tuesday.
Jokes took over King Chapel a day later during the comedy show.
On Thursday, C.D. Moody Jr. ’78 talked about his life’s journey during the Homecoming Crown Forum.
“Morehouse prepares in ways you’ll never understand,” he told students. “Don’t waste it. Make good choices.”
The Morehouse spirit was on display during the Homecoming pep rally in front of King Chapel immediately following.
The coronation of Miss Maroon and White Jasmine Walker and her court was held Friday evening. Students partied late into the night afterwards during the Coronation Ball.
An estimated 20,000 people gathered throughout campus for the Tailgate Experience before heading to B.T. Harvey Stadium for the Homecoming football game between Morehouse and Benedict. (The Maroon Tigers lost a close game, 29-26).
The week of activities ended on a spiritual note as the Rev. Charles Christian Adams delivered the sermon during the Homecoming Worship Service on Sunday. Oil portraits of civil rights veteran Lonnie King ’69 and the Rev. Delman L. Coates ’95 also were unveiled.
“These alumni were chosen to be honored today to mark the 50th anniversaries of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’ and his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and the 35th anniversary of the King Chapel ministry,” said Lawrence E. Carter Sr., dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.
“Lonnie King’s successful activism for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta and Delman Coates’ win-win activism for equal rights and dignity security in Maryland are well-deserving of this recognition today, “ he said. “Their work reflects the thematic continuity of the Morehouse College brand of equal rights activism, dating from 1867.”