Sunday, 3 February 2013


This blog post is dedicated to my brother, 
Arnold L. Martin III
and my ‘brother-from-another-mother', 
JD Henderson, 
who are both amazing, ‘Morehouse Men’.

Last year, Morehouse College celebrated 145 years of providing one of the Best Liberal Arts educations in the United States. It has produced Rhodes and Fulbright Scholars, as well as a US Surgeon General, an Olympic Gold Medalist, Bank Chairmen, Lawyers, Doctors, Judges, Professors, Business Executives, Theologians, Civil Rights Activists, Actors and Filmmakers – to name a few.  Some famous graduates include: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Filmmaker, Spike Lee, Actor, Samuel L. Jackson, the first African-American Mayor, Maynard Jackson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, Olympic gold medalist, Edwin Moses, Baseball World Series MVP, Donn Clendenon, and former United States Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee
Mayor Maynard Jackson
Dr. Louis Sullivan

Edwin Moses
Donn Clendenon
Dr. David Satcher

What do all of these people have in common, in addition to being Morehouse Alumni?  They are all Black Men.

Morehouse College is a private, all-male, liberal arts, Historically-Black College located in AtlantaGeorgia. On February 14, 1867, just two years after the American Civil War, the Augusta Institute was founded, with 40 students, by William Jefferson White, an Atlanta Baptist minister and cabinetmaker, with the support of the Rev. Richard C. Coulter, a former slave from Atlanta, Georgia, and the Rev. Edmund Turney, organizer of the National Theological Institute for educating freedmen in Washington, DC. The Institution was founded to educate African-American men in theology and education; and was located in the basement of the Springfield Baptist Church, the oldest independent Black church in the United States. The School received sponsorship from the American Baptist Home Mission Society, an organization that helped establish several Historically-Black Colleges

In 1879, the Institute moved to its own location and changed its name to the Atlanta Baptist Seminary. It later acquired a 4-acre campus in downtown Atlanta; and in 1885, The Seminary moved to its present, 61-acre location, on land donated by prominent Baptist and industrialist, John D. Rockefeller.

John D. Rockefeller

In 1906, Dr. John Hope became the first African-American President and led the Institution's growth in enrollment and academic stature. He envisioned an academically-rigorous college, so he expanded the College’s curriculum to include courses in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities. MorehouseCollege now confers Bachelor's Degrees in the Arts and Sciences, Humanities, Business, Education, Engineering, Religious Studies, and the Health professions.

Dr. John Hope

In 1911, the [Morehouse College] Glee Club was founded and has since gained a long and impressive history, having also toured the globe. The Glee Club performed at Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral and his 2011 Washington DC Memorial Dedication, President Jimmy Carter's Inauguration, Super Bowl XXVIII, and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Morehouse Glee Club

In 1913, the Seminary was renamed Morehouse College, in honor of Dr. Henry L. Morehouse, corresponding secretary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society (who had long organized Rockefeller and the Society's support for the College).

Dr. Benjamin Mays became President in 1940 and also became a mentor to student and graduate, Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. Mays also presided over the growth in international enrollment and reputation.

Dr. Benjamin Mays

In 1967, Dr. Hugh GlosterMorehouse Class of 1931, became the first Alumnus to serve as President of the College. In 1975, Dr. Gloster established the Morehouse School of Medicine, which became independent from Morehouse College in 1981 and is co-educational.

Dr. John Silvanus Wilson, Jr. is the current President of the College. On average, each graduating class is now 500+ men; and at graduation, 97% of graduates are offered two or more jobs by Fortune 500 companies, private companies, or attend post-graduate educationNearly three-fourths of Morehouse students volunteer within the community. This volunteerism connects them to their communities and helps them see that, as individuals and as a squadron of educated Black men, they can make an impact and make a difference. However, it is important to note that Morehouse does not exclude men from other races. In May 2008, Morehouse graduated its first White Valedictorian.

Along with Clark Atlanta University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse School of Medicine and nearby women's college, Spelman CollegeMorehouse is part of the Atlanta University Center. Morehouse’s unofficial sister college is Spelman College, which is a nearby women’s Liberal Arts college, with a predominantly African-American student body. Many Morehouse and Spelman students have intermarried.  

Oprah Winfrey has believed in Morehouse Men so much, that she has donated a $12 million, generative endowment to the College. Watch this 2-minute news clip about the endowment, and you will also be treated to a bit of the Morehouse Glee Club singing, which, having attended a few of their concerts, I can honestly say that they have, without a doubt, been some of the best experiences I have ever had!

Although times change, "Morehouse’s mission remains steadfast: to produce academically superior, morally-conscious leaders for the conditions and issues of today, whether 'today' is post-Civil War, or the [21st century]."

When you visit Morehouse's website, you will find these very poignant words: "There is a 'Morehouse Mystique,' which is not easily defined or understood. The Mystique is joining a brotherhood like no other. In times when Black men have been (and often, continue to be) ignored, stereotyped or marginalized, they choose the ‘House’, [where they know they will belong, and where they will be made into men]".

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