By AFRO Staff
Maryland’s first Black Gov-Elect, Wes Moore, delivered the 2022 Fall commencement speech at Morgan State University on Dec. 16.
More than 400 students walked across the stage in their commencement robes, with members of the community, family, friends and the next governor of Maryland cheering them on.
Moore was more than just the keynote speaker, as he was also one of three people selected for an honorary degree from the institution. He is now an honorary doctor of humane letters.
Moore encouraged the graduates to be inspired by those that support them and believe in their cause–not by “haters,” who will surely distract from the task at hand. He also urged the MSU Class of 2022 to be courageous and take calculated risks that they believe in as they aim for greatness.
“You are living history—the living embodiment of the dreams, the hopes, the sacrifices of those who came before you,” said Moore. “You are living proof that while progress is not promised, it is possible.”
The first Black woman to lead the Maryland House of Delegates as Speaker, Adrienne A. Jones, also received an honorary doctorate of humane letters, and MSU’s beloved Melvin N. Miles Jr., who recently retired from his position as band director, was named an honorary doctor of fine arts.
“Leaders beget leaders, trailblazers who welcome the challenge of ‘never-before’ and face it head on with unrelenting perseverance. This is the leadership quality that defines Morgan graduates and the Class of 2022,” said MSU President David K. Wilson, in a statement released by the university. “Bringing two seminal Maryland leaders, Gov.-Elect Wes Moore and Speaker Adrienne Jones, together in an historic display on Morgan’s campus represents a defining moment for our fall graduates, today, who will carry on that great Morgan tradition and become the leaders Morgan has prepared them to be.”
The commencement ceremony is only the ninth graduation to be held at the end of the Fall semester. The event was held inside of Hill Field House, located on the Northeast Baltimore campus.
The ceremony was full of highlights and examples of Black excellence, as seven graduates from MSU’s ROTC Bear Battalion were commissioned as U.S. Army second lieutenants.
The commencement ceremony came at the end of another record breaking semester for the institution, founded in 1867.
More than 9,100 students enrolled for the Fall 2022 semester, which also saw “the unprecedented financial investment in the University over the past two years; the highest-ever dollar value of recently constructed facilities and infrastructure improvements; the record number of academic degree offerings at the University, including many programs unique in Maryland; and other achievements,” according to information released by MSU.
Senior Class President Izhané Williams praised MSU’s ability to grow the future and lead the world.
“The skills and knowledge of this remarkable institution have provided us with future doctors, scientists, engineers, influencers, entrepreneurs, architects and so much more,” said Williams, whose speech was live streamed from the graduation. “My fellow Bears, the future is now.”
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