Little Known Black History Fact: Morehouse College

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Morehouse College of Atlanta, Georgia is one of only three all-male liberal arts colleges in the country. The school began as the Augusta Theological Institute in the basement of Springfield Baptist Church. Springfield is the oldest church in the United States, dating back to 1787. By 1913, the operation had moved to the Atlanta West End area and named Morehouse College after Henry L. Morehouse. One of the most notable presidents of Morehouse college was Dr. Benjamin Mays.

Dr. Mays, the college’s sixth president, was a mentor to then student Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who entered the college at age 15 in 1944 and graduated in 1948. Dr. King attended the school as part of his family’s legacy; his grandfather, father, brother and consequently two sons would call Morehouse their alma mater. Dr. Benjamin Mays would also deliver Dr. King’s public eulogy on the campus on April 9, 1968.

Morehouse College is also the home of the Dr. Martin Luther King International Chapel and the multi-million dollar historic collection of Dr. King’s papers and effects from his days as a civil rights leader.

This past January 2013, the college welcomed Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr., class of 1979, as the 11th president of Morehouse College. Among his list of sizable accomplishments in education, Dr. Wilson was appointed by President Barack Obama as the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

On May 19, 2013, President Barack Obama presented the colleges graduation commencement speech.

Among the list of prominent Alumni of Morehouse College:

Lerone Bennett Jr. ’49

Former Executive editor of Ebony magazine

Sanford D. Bishop Jr. ’68

U.S. congressman (Georgia)

Nathaniel Hawthorne Bronner ’40*

Founder of Bronner Brothers Beauty Cosmetics

Herman Cain ’67

Founder and CEO, T.H.E. New Voice, Inc.

(The Hermanator Experience, a motivational program for corporations and non-profits); Former Chairman of Godfather’s Pizza Inc.

Peter Chatard ’56

Distinguished plastic surgeon;

Founder of the Chatard Plastic Surgery Center and the Aesteem Outpatient Surgery Center, Seattle, Washington

Don Clendenon ’56

New York Mets outfielder; 1969 World Series MVP

Julius Coles ’64

Former President of Africare and former USAID Mission Director to Senegal and Swaziland

Samuel Dubois Cook ’48

Former President, Dillard University; former member of the National Council on Humanities

Ralph B. Everett, Esq. ’73

President and CEO, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Henry W. Foster Jr. ’54

Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Meharry Medical School; physician; U.S. presidential advisor

Robert Michael Franklin ’75

President Emeritus, Morehouse College; Presidential fellow and professor, Emory University, former president of the Interdenominational Theological Seminary (ITC)

Hugh M. Gloster Sr. ’31

President Emeritus, Morehouse College 1967–1987

George W. Haley ’49

U.S. Ambassador to Gambia, Africa; former U.S. Postal Rate Commissioner

Lt. Gen. James R. Hall ’57, USA (Ret.)

Retired Lt. General U.S. Army; former Vice President for Campus Operations, Morehouse College

Earl F. Hilliard ’64

U.S. Congressman (Alabama)

Donald R. Hopkins Sr. ’62

Senior Consultant, Carter Presidential Center; Director, Guinea Worm Eradication Program

Maynard H. Jackson ’56*

first African-American mayor of Atlanta

Samuel L. Jackson ’72

Academy Award nominee, stage and

film actor

Howard E. Jeter ’70

U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria; former U.S. Ambassador to Botswana

Arthur E. Johnson ’68

President and COO, Lockheed Martin Information Services Sector

Jeh Johnson ’79

General Counsel, U.S. Dept. of Defense

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