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Morehouse Announces the 2013 Baccalaureate Service


ATLANTA, May 15, 2013 - As Morehouse College moves toward the 2013 Commencement weekend, President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. is pleased to announce that The Reverend Dr. Kevin R. Johnson ’96, Senior Pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia, will deliver the Baccalaureate sermon to the 2013 graduating class.

“The focus of Commencement weekend should be on the graduates, their families and the historic visit by the President of the United States,” said Wilson, 11th president of Morehouse College. “There is no better way to honor that priority than to have a distinguished alumnus give the Baccalaureate sermon, and two recent alumni offer Baccalaureate Hermeneutics to the graduating class.” 

 “For 146-years Morehouse has produced men who are progressive leaders, critical thinkers, committed to changing the world,” Dr. Johnson said. “I am humbled by the opportunity to deliver the Baccalaureate sermon, and I commend President Wilson and his administration for continuing the Morehouse traditions of free thought and free speech, which produced Howard Thurman, Martin Luther King Jr., Maynard Jackson, Julian Bond and other esteemed Morehouse men,” said Johnson.

Johnson is a 1996 Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude graduate of Morehouse who received a Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary.  He earned his doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Transformational Learning from Columbia University.

The two alumni who will each offer Baccalaureate Hermeneutics to the class this year are the Reverend Anthony Mark Miller ’11 and Mr. Olusesgun “Segun”Abayomi Idowu ’12. Miller is the Chief Executive Officer of Giant Steps Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, a college and career preparatory program for minority boys. Miller is expected to release his first book, “The Daily Miracle of Existence” in winter of 2014. Idowu is a 2012 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse and a candidate for the Master of Divinity degree at Boston University School of Theology. 

Baccalaureate will take place on Saturday, May 18 at 3 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.  It is the final spiritual service for the men of the graduating class before they become Morehouse Men. This year is marked with a number of significant remembrances and celebrations.  It is the 100th anniversary of the name change from Atlanta Baptist College to Morehouse College and the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel by President Hugh M. Gloster.

Also, 2013 marks the end of an era for three retiring professors and a vice president. Both John E. Williams ’69, dean of the division of Business Administration and Economics and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Willis B. Sheftall ’64 will retire after more than three decades of service to the College.  They will join Anne Wimbush Watts; associate vice president for Academic Affairs, who will retire after 42 years of service. Each will receive the honor of having an oil portrait of their likeness unveiled and placed in the International Hall of Honor.