Office of the President
Atlanta Alumni Town Hall Meeting - November 22, 2016
In January 2013, I arrived at Morehouse College with a clear and compelling mandate from our Board of Trustees. Building on the successes of our past and learning from previous experiences, my task was to steer a path towards institutional renewal during a time when the higher education community at large was (and still is) facing unprecedented challenges and legitimate questions about its long-term future.
The new leadership immediately turned its attention to matters of great urgency. They included (but were not limited to) the need to: (1) financially and operationally stabilize the College; (2) recruit a first-class administrative team; and (3) expand our resource base by increasing student enrollment and escalating partnerships with key corporate and philanthropic entities. I interpreted my mandate as a clarion call to address these three challenges in a forthright manner and, in the final analysis, do what all of my predecessors endeavored to do: namely, to make our great institution even greater. In somewhat loftier terms, I interpret this mandate as a collective quest for character and capital preeminence by aspiring to become the World of Our Dreams.
By almost any objective measure, we have made considerable and quantifiable progress. And with the recent convergence of the full senior team and our growing partnership and alignment with the Board on three key areas—vision, values and volume—we are now poised to accelerate the movement of this institution toward a new condition that will deepen and strengthen our unparalleled ability to do what no other institution in the world can claim: make Morehouse Men!
We will accomplish this by engaging the campus community in a critical reexamination and reclamation of the values and principles that are the bedrock of our existence and the source of our greatest strength. Now more than ever, we are called upon to strengthen the embrace and alignment of our faculty, students, alumni and critical stakeholders through new and carefully-wrought developmental programming throughout our entire living-learning environment. This will ensure that Morehouse’s purpose is fulfilled.
We have already seen how the alignment of these relationships is working to brighten Morehouse’s future. In the last decade, the three most successful years in terms of cash gifts from alumni to the College—counting matching and facilitated gifts— are 2013, 2014 and 2015. This trend must continue!
We are indeed ready for takeoff! Together we have efficiently and effectively moved the Morehouse “airplane” from the hangar to the runway. Moreover, in the aggregate, we have a demonstrable strategy that is worthy of critical examination and the collective support of our Board and our many stakeholders.
As we reflect back on the last two-and-a-half years, we can be justifiably pleased but not content with the progress we have made. We have learned much and have experienced many teachable moments. Through it all, we remain grateful to the Board for its vote of confidence and its determination to bring substantial and sustainable change to Morehouse during such a volatile and vulnerable time in American higher education.
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