Morehouse Celebrates 144 Years Of Excellence


Morgan_Freeman.jpgBy Special to the Daily World
From the unveiling of the U.S. Postal Service Heritage Stamp to the Centennial Celebration of the world-renowned Glee Club, Morehouse College will once again host a series of activities, from Feb. 16-20, to toast another year of excellence in leadership.

The week began on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. with the USPS unveiling of the Black History Month heritage stamp honoring the Honorable Barbara Jordan. Jordan was the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress.

On Thursday, Feb. 17, the college welcomes back alumnus Calvin O. Butts ’71, senior pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church. He will deliver the Founder’s Day Convocation address at 10:45 a.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. On Friday, Feb. 18,  President Robert M. Franklin ’75 will host the 3rd Annual Black Male Summit. This year, he’ll be joined by prominent thought leaders to examine the theme: “Boys to Men: Interrogating Assumptions about Black Male Development.” Participants include Judge Glenda Hatchett and author and lecturer Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu.

Friday evening, the celebration turns soulful with the annual Founder’s Day concert featuring R&B sensation Angie Stone and jazz violinist Ken Ford. The concert will be in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at 8 p.m.

The 23rd annual “A Candle in the Dark” Gala will honor another cadre of exceptional African- American men on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

The honorees will present their stories of success that morning during Reflections of Excellence at 11 a.m. in the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. The mistress and master of ceremonies for the event are actress Terri Vaughn and actor Glynn Turman from the hit sitcom “A Different World.”

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.  The honorees this year include Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, the first African-American Major League Baseball Manager.

Honorary co-chairs for the event are Richard H. Anderson, CEO, Delta Airlines and film and television producer Reuben Cannon.

Rounding out the week is the 100th anniversary celebration of the Morehouse College Glee Club and Morehouse music department.  The Glee Club will celebrate its Centennial with a concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20 in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.

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