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Morehouse Celebrates 146 Years with Samuel L. Jackson, Dennis Haysbert and Laurence Fishburne III

ATLANTA--February 12, 2013—Morehouse marks Founder’s Week with a series of celebrations as the College prepares to blow the candles out on another birthday.

The week begins with the Founder’s Day Convocation at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, February 14 in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.  The speaker is Dr. Bobby Donaldson, associate professor of History and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina. Donaldson is also a prominent scholar on William Jefferson White, the founder of the College.  During the convocation, the College will present the honorary doctorate of humane letters posthumously to Hamilton E. Holmes.  Holmes made history as the first African American male to attend the University of Georgia.  He later became a prominent physician and associate dean at Emory University School of Medicine.  Dr. Frank Smith, director of the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum, will be honored with the Presidential Renaissance Medallion.

The year 2013 signifies a number of anniversaries that are important to Morehouse.  It marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 100th anniversary of the naming of Morehouse College and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where Morehouse alumnus Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed that he had a dream. So, on Friday, February 15 at 11 a.m., the College will host the unveiling of the Black Heritage postal stamp honoring The Emancipation Proclamation stamp series. The unveiling will take place in the lobby of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.

Also on Friday, Dr. John Silvanus Wilson will host a Symposium and Town Hall Meeting where the theme will be “Innovations In Educating Black Students Throughout the Academic Pipeline.”  Grammy and Stellar award-winning gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp will be among the panelists discussing this important discussion. The eventwill be webcast live 1-3 p.m. from the Bank of America Auditorium in the Shirley A. Massey Executive Conference Center.

Next up will be the Founder’s Day Concert featuring Eric Benet and Avery*Sunshine. The show begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 15 in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. Tickets are available through

Then on Saturday, February 16, the College will celebrate the 2013 honorees at the 25th Annual “A Candle in the Dark” Gala.  The honorary co-chairs for this silver anniversary affair and signature fund raiser for student scholarships are Morehouse alumnus and award-winning actor Samuel L. Jackson and Douglas Braunstein, vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Company.  The Master of Ceremonies is actor Dennis Haysbert.  During the A Candle in the Dark” Gala honorees are presented with either a Candle or Bennie award.  Candle Award recipients are honored for excellence in a variety of fields, including athletics, business, education, entertainment, government, law, military service, religion and science and technology. The Bennie recipients are graduates of Morehouse who receive recognition in their areas of distinction. The award is named for noted educator Benjamin E. Mays, who served as president of Morehouse from 1940 to 1967.  A full list of the honorees is below.

A Founder’s Day Worship Service will take place on Sunday, February 17 at 11:00 a.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.  And the week concludes with the annual Morehouse College Glee Club Spring Concert at 4 p.m. also on Sunday in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.

2013 A Candle in the Dark Honorees:

Bennie Awards

Willis B. Sheftall Jr. ’64
Professor of Economics and Interim Provost
Morehouse College 

Milton J. Little Jr. ’76
President and CEO
United Way of Greater Atlanta

Calvin Mackie ’90
Author, Educator, Engineer and Motivational Speaker



Candle Awards

Charles F. Bolden
NASA Administrator/Astronaut 

Ulyssess L. Bridgeman Jr.
Founder and CEO
Bridgeman Foods, Inc.
Former NBA Star

Arts & Entertainment  
Laurence J. Fishburne III
Actor, Director, Producer



 As the nation’s largest, private liberal arts college for men, the College offers 26 majors in three academic divisions: Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Mathematics, and Business Administration and Economics. Morehouse offers a number of programs and activities to enhance its challenging liberal arts curriculum through the Leadership Center at Morehouse College, Morehouse Research Institute, Andrew Young Center for International Affairs and the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. In  2007, Morehouse launched a new Journalism and Sports concentration, which will one day grow into a major course of study.

Morehouse is known for producing great leaders.  It was recently recognized as one of the top feeder schools to the 15 most prominent graduate and professional programs in the nation by The Wall Street Journal, called “One of the best Southeastern colleges” by The Princeton Review and ranked“America’s Hottest College for Men” by Kaplan-Newsweek. Prominent alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil and human rights non-violent leader; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and director of the National Center for Primary Care of Morehouse School of Medicine; Shelton “Spike” Lee, filmmaker and president of 40 Acres & A Mule Productions; Samuel L. Jackson, Academy Award-nominated actor; Maynard H. Jackson, founder of Jackson Securities and the first African American mayor of Atlanta; and Nima A. Warfield, the first African American Rhodes Scholar from an HBCU.