Morehouse College Remembers the Life and Legacy of Philanthropist and Former Board Chair Charles E. Merrill, Jr.

Date Released: December 29, 2017

Morehouse College mourns the loss of Charles E. Merrill Jr., the former long-time chairman of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees, a generous contributor to scholarships and other programs at the College, and the namesake of a campus building, who passed on Nov. 29 in Poland.  He was 97.

Merrill, the son of Charles E. Merrill, one of the founders of brokerage and investment firm Merrill Lynch & Co., was a huge advocate for education, integration and diversity.  He founded The Commonwealth School, an award-winning preparatory school in Boston, Mass., in 1957 and contributed to many educational causes, particularly to those for African Americans, across the country.

A writer and artist, Merrill was impressed with the Morehouse Men he encountered in the military and decided to work with President Benjamin Elijah Mays, joining the Morehouse Board of Trustees in 1954 and became chairman of the board in 1959.  He served for more than 15 years during a period of substantial growth for the College.  One of the trustees that he helped bring to the Board was Martin Luther King Jr. ’48.

Merrill also funded the prestigious Merrill Scholars program at Morehouse, which helped to students to not only attend school, but to study abroad.  The Charles Merrill Trust also funds an endowed chair and professorship in the Department of Economics.

The College’s Charles Merrill Hall, on the Century Campus, is named in his distinguished honor.

Last Modified: December 29, 2017, 12:12 PM, by: Kara Walker

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