A crowd of more than 10,000 family members, friends and well-wishers filled the W.A.C. Hughes Memorial Stadium today as Morgan State University conferred degrees to more than 1,100 graduates at its 137th annual commencement exercises.
The University awarded baccalaureate degrees to over 800 undergraduate students and more than 300 master’s and doctoral degrees at Saturday’s ceremony.
“This is the moment of validation in the investment made by our students and their families,” said Morgan President David Wilson. “We are honored and excited to send these graduates out into the world to grow a future of innovation and prosperity.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed the graduates as this year’s commencement speaker, telling students about the importance of education in today’s global marketplace (view speech transcript). Duncan is given credit for helping to secure increases in the Pell grant program to boost the number of young Americans attending college and receiving post-secondary degrees. He is an advocate for efforts to ensure that colleges and universities provide more transparency around graduation, job placement, and student loan default rates.
Honorary degrees were awarded to two distinguished champions of civil rights and education. The Honorable Fred David Gray, former attorney for Rosa Parks and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and prominent educator Dr. Charles Vert Willie of the Harvard School of Education both received the honorary doctor of humane letters degree.
Notable graduates of the MSU Class of 2013 include Fulbright Scholar Christian Kameni, a history major and Prince George’s County native, who is off to Paris this summer to teach English in the French Ministry of Education. Also graduating was mother and daughter Beulah and Tiye Lewis of Baltimore, MD., both students in the School of Education and Urban Studies who received undergraduate degrees in Family and Consumer Sciences and Physical Education, respectively. A perfect 4.0 grade point average has earned Graduate Craig Cornish of Southern Maryland, and a member of the MSU Honda All-Star team, a full scholarship to Princeton University next year to study history.
Also noted today, In the School of Graduate Studies, was the awarding of Morgan State’s first doctorate in psychometrics to Mercy W. Nedge Mugo.