Nearly 500 Graduates to Participate in the Third and Final Commencement Exercise Commemorating the University’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary
Morgan State University (MSU) President David Wilson today announced that Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford will be the commencement speaker for the University’s December graduation ceremony, to be held on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. in the University’s Talmadge Hill Field House. Lt. Gov. Rutherford will deliver his address before a diverse graduating class of nearly 500 students, during the final of three special commencement ceremonies commemorating Morgan’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary. Lt. Gov. Rutherford will also be one of several distinguished citizens who will receive honorary doctorates during the commencement, including six former MSU presidents, who will be awarded Doctor of Laws (two in person and four posthumously), and Rutherford, who will receive a Doctor of Public Service degree.
“From the onset of his time in Annapolis, Lt. Gov. Rutherford has been a staunch supporter of Morgan and its important mission as Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University,” said President Wilson. “He has not been a stranger to our campus, as many in the Morgan community have grown accustomed to his presence in support of some of our biggest achievements. And as part of the State’s current administration, he has been instrumental in assisting our University in securing funding, advancing our growth and competitiveness. As a graduate of an HBCU who has used that experience to propel himself through life, he will be able to deliver a message that will resonate uniquely with our students as they move forward to become the leaders of tomorrow.”
A graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., Lt. Gov. Rutherford is an accomplished attorney with a lifetime of experience in both the public and private sectors. He served as associate administrator for the U.S. General Services Administration, where he was responsible for increasing utilization of small businesses in government procurement, as well as continually improving the efficiency of the agency. In addition, Lt. Gov. Rutherford served as assistant secretary for administration for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). He was nominated for the position by President George W. Bush and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. As assistant secretary, Lt. Gov. Rutherford led efforts that saved millions of taxpayer dollars.
Before serving in the USDA, Lt. Gov. Rutherford served as the secretary of the Maryland Department of General Services (DGS) under former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich. In that capacity, he was responsible for more than $900 million in annual contract administration and 10 million square feet of State-owned and State-leased facilities. As secretary of DGS, Lt. Gov. Rutherford continued to find creative ways to save Maryland taxpayers millions of dollars, while also initiating and completing the expansion and renovation of numerous State buildings.
Lt. Gov. Rutherford was elected alongside Gov. Larry Hogan and was inaugurated in January 2015. He is the second member of the administration to deliver major remarks to Morgan students during his time as an elected official. In 2016, Gov. Hogan served as the keynote speaker for Morgan’s Honors Convocation.
Former Morgan Presidents King Virgil Cheek, J.D., and Andrew Billingsley, Ph.D., will be awarded Doctor of Laws in person during the ceremony, and John Emory Round, D.D., William Maslin Frysinger, D.D., Francis J. Wagner, D.D., and John Oakley Spencer, Ph.D., LL.D., will be honored posthumously. The remaining three former Morgan presidents, Earl S. Richardson, Ed.D., Martin D. Jenkins, Ph.D., LL.D., and Dwight O.W. Holmes, Ph.D., LL.D., are prior recipients of honorary degrees from Morgan.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is celebrating its 150th year of excellence in higher education. A Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution, Morgan offers more than 100 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent 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. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
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Larry Jones, University PR