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Journalist Roland S. Martin To Deliver Morgan State University December Commencement Address


Nearly 400 Graduates to Participate in the First of Three Commencement Exercises Commemorating the University’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary

Morgan State University (MSU) President David Wilson today announced that nationally syndicated columnist, author and noted broadcast journalist Roland S. Martin will be the commencement speaker for the University’s graduation ceremony to be held on Friday, December 16, 2016 in the University’s Talmadge Hill Field House. Martin will deliver his address before a graduating class of nearly 400 students, during the first of three special commencement ceremonies commemorating Morgan’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary.

“Throughout Morgan’s storied history, commencement has remained a very special occasion for the University, our students and their families,” said President Wilson. “This December’s ceremony takes on added significance, as it marks the beginning of Morgan’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary celebration. For 150 years, Morgan has been a major center for the exchange of ideas and a cultural touchstone for the community that we serve, and it is only fitting that we bring in one of the voices of this generation in Roland Martin, to impart a fresh perspective and words of inspiration to our next group of leaders.”

Roland Martin, no stranger to lending his voice to the important issues of the day affecting African Americans, is the host and managing editor of TV One’s NewsOne Now, a daily morning news program that focuses on analysis of politics. In addition, he is a nationally syndicated columnist and serves as senior analyst for The Tom Joyner Morning Show, where his daily segment is heard on more than 100 stations broadcasting to eight million listeners. He also is the author of three books and spent six years as a contributor for CNN, appearing on numerous shows and earning accolades for his no-holds-barred honesty, conviction and perspective on various matters.

Before participating in the sesquicentennial commencement ceremony, Martin will host his NewsOne Now program live on the campus and broadcast it from the MSU School of Global Journalism and Communication’s Bear-TV studio.

The December commencement activities will also include the award of an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Willie E. Lanier Sr., a Morgan alumnus and chair of the MSU Foundation board. Lanier is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a successful businessman who recently bestowed a $500,000 gift to establish an endowed lectureship in business ethics at Morgan’s Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management. Since his graduation from Morgan in 1967, he has been a standout both on and off the field as a professional, ultimately making his mark in business as the president and CEO of Virginia-based Lanier GroupLLC.

In addition, a posthumous degree will be awarded to student Dmitri T. Clemons, a civil engineering major from Silver Spring, Md., who died unexpectedly in September 2016 after meeting his requirements for graduation. Clemons’ mother will be on hand to accept the degree on his behalf.

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 premier public urban research university, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. More information about the university is available at

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Clinton R. Coleman or Larry Jones
(443) 885-3022

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