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Congratulations Class of 2011!

Morgan Celebrates More than 1,200 Degree Recipients

More than 1200 students today realized the dream of academic achievement as Morgan State University celebrated its 135th commencement exercise in the W.A.C. Hughes Memorial Stadium on the University’s main campus. Individual degrees at the baccalaureate, masters and doctoral levels were conferred to all graduates during the program.

This year’s commencement speaker was Dr. Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University. Dr. Simmons is the first female president in the 247-year history of the institution, and is the first African-American to serve as president of an Ivy League institution.

“We were privileged to have Dr. Simmons as the keynote speaker for this year’s commencement exercises,” says Morgan President David Wilson. “Her example of personal excellence, and continuing legacy of leadership in the academy is one that graduates and their supporters alike found inspiring.”

Dr. Simmons joined Baltimore philanthropist Eddie C. Brown and noted medical research contributor Henrietta Lacks (posthumous) as honorary degree recipients.

Notable graduates included William ‘Tipper’ Thomas, who received the baccalaureate degree in Electrical Engineering. Confined to a wheelchair after being paralyzed during a random shooting outside of Randallstown High School in 2004, Thomas recently told the Baltimore Sun newspaper that his experience helps others to redefine standards of a quality life.

“To society, this may be considered a reduced way of life, but it can still be a good quality of life,” he said a few days ago at a restaurant in Northeast Baltimore, to which he had driven himself. “Just because 98 percent isn’t 100 percent doesn’t mean it’s not a good percentage. In order to get over anything, you have to accept it, come to terms with it. That’s the only way you can move forward.”

Morgan also graduated its inaugural recipients of the doctorate in Social Work. The MSU School of Social Work was established in 2009, and conferred four doctorates to Kimberly Hardy, Tina Jordan, Bryan Miller and Linda Reese-Smith.

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie classified Doctoral Research Institution offering more than 70 academic programs leading to bachelor’s degrees as well as programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. As Maryland’s public urban university, Morgan serves a multi-ethnic and multi-racial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information on Morgan State University, visit

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