Morehouse College To Receive Proclamation From City Of Atlanta

Date Released: February 1, 2017

ATLANTA—February 6, 2017—Morehouse College will receive a special proclamation from the City of Atlanta at noon today to honor the college’s 150th anniversary.

The recognition will launch a week of festivities that will include alumni events, a concert by MAZE featuring Frankie Beverly, and appearances by entertainment moguls, Tyler Perry and Usher Raymond, who are among this year’s scholarship gala honorees.

Nearly 5,000 students, alumni, and community supporters are expected to attend Founder’s Week activities. This year’s events will honor the history of the college, its commitment to serving students, and its sesquicentennial birthday.

Since its inception in 1867, amidst the ashes of the American Civil War, Morehouse College has had an unbroken record of producing outstanding leaders. Educators, ministers, scientists, lawyers, public servants, scholars, a Nobel Laureate, and other distinguished alumni received their baccalaureate education from this school that has, in the words of former Morehouse president Benjamin Elijah Mays, “sent men out into the world with a sense of mission, believing they could accomplish what they set out to do.”

From its origins 150 years ago in a Baptist church in Augusta, Georgia, to its current 66-acre campus in Atlanta, Morehouse has transformed the lives of its students who have gone on to make an indelible mark on their communities, the nation, and the world.

“Morehouse is the college that groomed a young Martin Luther King Jr. and put him on the path to win the Nobel Peace Prize by leading the peaceful movement that would topple the walls of segregation built by Jim Crow and lead to equal access to schools and the voting booth for blacks,” said John Silvanus Wilson Jr., who graduated from Morehouse College in 1979. “At Morehouse, King received an academic foundation, a sense of pride, civic responsibility, and an understanding of the human condition that has become the hallmark of a distinguished Morehouse Man.

“This passion to make the country better by demanding social justice, seeking economic opportunities for all, and shining a light in the dark corners where racism lingers, has driven other Morehouse Men to strive to achieve greatness.”

Morehouse alumni include the honorary Oscar award-winning filmmaker Shelton “Spike” Lee, a 1979 graduate; Academy Award-nominated actor Samuel Jackson, a 1972 graduate; Olympic gold medalist and record-breaking 400-meter hurdler Edwin Moses, a 1978 graduate; Emmitt Carson, a 1981 graduate and founding CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; and Howard Thurman, a 1923 graduate who founded one of the nation’s first interracial religious congregations and had a wide influence in the fields of religion and civil rights.

There are thousands of other Morehouse College alumni who have become leaders in business, politics, education, and their communities. Some will be returning for Founder’s Week festivities.

The festivities begin on Sunday, Feb. 12, with a special “Sesquicentennial Pilgrimage to Augusta” bus trip. Buses will transport alumni to Springfield Baptist Church in Augusta for a family reunion at the birthplace of Morehouse College. The trip will include a special address by Morehouse College President Wilson Jr. 1979, who will challenge alumni to continue their loyal support of their alma mater.

Founder’s Week fun will continue in Atlanta on Monday, Feb. 13, when Morehouse College faces rival Clark Atlanta University at 7 p.m. on the basketball court at Franklin L. Forbes Arena. Then, on Tuesday, Feb. 14, Morehouse’s official birthday, alumni will participate in a “Show Your Love” drive launching Morehouse’s International Giving Day. Morehouse College has received nearly $70 million in donations, grants, and gifts in the past four years under Dr. Wilson’s presidency.

One of the highlights of Founder’s Week will be held on Thursday, Feb. 16. Alumni will honor tradition and gather for the Sesquicentennial Convocation at 10:45 a.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. Convocation guest speaker will be alumnus and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond ’95, the new Chairman of the Black Congressional Caucus. Richmond, (D-LA), is the first Morehouse alumnus to lead the powerhouse political alliance. He was elected to a two-year term and will head the largest assembly of the CBC in history.

On Friday, Feb. 17, the smooth sounds of MAZE featuring Frankie Beverly will fill the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. The Sesquicentennial Anniversary Concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $50 for balcony seats to $250 for VIP seats. They can be purchased at A sold-out crowd is expected.

Then, on Saturday, February 18, alumni and community supporters will attend a formal fund-raising event at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta to support Morehouse College and student scholarships. The 29th annual “A Candle in the Dark Gala” at 7:30 p.m. will honor the outstanding accomplishments of five men who are leaders in their professions. The honorees are: entertainment giant Tyler Perry, an actor, playwright and founder of Tyler Perry Studios; Usher Raymond, a Grammy Award-winning singer, dancer, actor and businessman; Jon Platt, President and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music Inc.; Jonathan Walton 1996, Harvard Divinity School professor of religion and society; and Theodore Colbert III 1996, a Chief Information Officer at Boeing.

For a complete list of Morehouse College Sesquicentennial Anniversary events, visit ###

Ranked America’s fifth “Most Entrepreneurial College” by Forbes Magazine in 2015, Morehouse College is the nation’s largest liberal arts college for men. Founded in 1867, the College enrolls approximately 2,100 students and historically has conferred more bachelor’s degrees on black men than any other institution in the world. Morehouse College is one of the two top producers of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs. Prominent alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton “Spike” Lee, American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta, Ga.; and Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security.

Last Modified: February 6, 2017, 11:02 AM, by: Synera Shelton

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