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Morgan Celebrates University’s 139th Commencement Ceremony

Nearly 900 Undergraduate, Graduate, and Honors Degrees Awarded

Today at Hughes Memorial Stadium, Morgan State University held its 139th Commencement Ceremony awarding nearly 900 combined undergraduate, graduate and honors degrees to the spring Class of 2015. The graduation event, which was attended by family members, friends and supporters, featured 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 were other international dignitaries, including the ambassador from South Africa.

This academic year, including its December graduates, Morgan has awarded more than 1,200 overall degrees to students. This year’s commencement included 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 were awarded. Madam Machel received an Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree while her late husband, Nelson Mandela, was posthumously awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. The final honorary award – the Doctor of Science degree – was 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 who walked across the stage, today’s commencement marked the culmination of the 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 Madam Machel’s address, these graduates 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 were 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 included 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 served 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 also participated in the graduation ceremony.

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie classified doctoral research institution offering more than 60 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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Clinton R. Coleman or Larry Jones

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