Morehouse College keynote speaker is the first Black Governor of Maryland

Morehouse School of Medicine
Morehouse School of Medicine(MOREHOUSE COLLEGE)
Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 3:49 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2023 at 7:59 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Morehouse College will celebrate its 139th commencement with a keynote speaker who is the first Black Governor of Maryland.

On April 18 Morehouse announced that Wes Moore, the first Black Governor of Maryland will be the keynote speaker for their graduation ceremony for the 2023 class that will take place on May 21. Wes Moore’s speech will be the highlight of the full week of undergraduate and alumni reunion events. The graduation for the baccalaureate will be at 3 p. m. on May 20 and the speaker will be Rev. Michael A. Walrond Jr., the senior pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church of Harlem, New York.

Wes Moore became the first black governor of Maryland after being elected the 63rd governor of Maryland in the fall of 2022, which makes him the third Black governor in the United States. Moore wrote two bestselling books called “The Other Wes Moore” and “Discovering Wes Moore” in which he devoted his life’s work to a basic principle: “No matter your start in life, you deserve an equal opportunity to succeed – a job you can raise a family on, a future you can look forward to.”

The events will also include milestone alumni anniversaries for Olympic gold medalist Edwin Moses of 78, as well as former Morehouse president and former chairman of Bank America Walter E. Massey of 58; former U.S. surgeon general David Satcher of 63; renowned attorney and physician Rod Edmond of 83; and Grammy award-winning musician PJ Morton of 93. There will be a doctorate presented to Dr. Roderic Ivan Pettigrew ‘72, CEO of EnHealth.

Additionally, there will be an honorary posthumous honorary doctorate that will be accepted on behalf of the late NBA All-Star and activist William “Bill” Russell. The former Boston Celtics and 12-time NBA All-Star William “Bill” Russell award will be a Doctor of Humane Letters for his life lived as one of the earliest outspoken athletes against prejudice in society during the 1950s and 1960s. Russell was praised for revolutionizing shot-blocking in basketball but leveraged his commercial fame and accomplishments as a beacon for Black players who lacked protection from discrimination and retaliation, while also serving as a key participant in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

For a complete list of commencement events and supporting information, visit