Morgan State University Celebrates university’s 139th commencement ceremony


— Morgan State University hosts its 139th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 16th during the 10:00 a.m. exercises in Hughes Memorial Stadium on the campus. The University will award nearly 900 combined undergraduate, graduate and honors degrees to the spring Class of 2015. The graduation event, attended by family members, friends and supporters, features a commencement address from the Honorable Graca Machel, widow of former South African President Nelson Mandela, and a special tribute video honoring her late husband and his work. Also in attendance will be other international dignitaries, including the ambassador from South Africa.

This academic year, including its December graduates, Morgan will have awarded more than 1,200 overall degrees to students. This year’s commencement includes the award of nearly 90 honors degrees and more than 230 School of Graduate Studies graduates with 58 doctorates awarded, the most doctorates ever awarded by the University. Three honorary degrees also will be awarded. Madam Machel will receive an Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree while her late husband, Nelson Mandela, will be posthumously awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. The final honorary award – the Doctor of Science degree – will be given to Dr. James E. West, a research professor at Johns Hopkins University for his ground breaking work developing the Electroacoustic Transducer Electret Microphone.

“For the young men and women walking across the stage, today’s commencement marks the culmination of years of hard work, commitment to study and the desire to achieve a goal,” said President David Wilson. “Equipped with a quality education and the inspiration provided by commencement speaker Graca Machel’s address, these graduates will leave Morgan today ready to make contributions to the global community and accomplish great things.”

Included among the notable graduates from the Class of 2015 are Christine Doherty from the Architecture and Environmental Design program, who was awarded the 2014 AIA Baltimore Architecture Research and Travel Scholarship and will be traveling to Bogota, Colombia to research how public spaces can be used to combat social injustices; Ahmed H. Almushidi, the recipient of the American Institute of Certified Planners Outstanding Student Award; Raigan Wheeler, who was selected to study in Jaipur, India as part of the Mid-Atlantic Consortium Center for Academic Excellence Summer Cultural Immersion program; and the 2015 Howard I. Simmons Best Dissertation awardee, Sung-Yoon Kim of the Community College Leadership program.

Additional student standouts include the School of Social Work’s Khadyne Augustine who was one of only eight students statewide to be selected as a scholar into the 2015 Fannie Angelos Program for Academic Excellence. And the School of Community Health and Policy’s Master of Public Health graduate, Alisha Harris, who was selected to participate in the Air Force Fellows program.

Also of note, this year’s Commencement serves as recognition for the Class of 1965’s 50th Anniversary Reunion. More than 500 Morgan alums returned to campus to celebrate their classmates’ golden anniversary as well as to honor earlier classes for achieving their emeritus status. Fifty members from the class of 1965 will participate in the graduation ceremony.