Profile: Morehouse College

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Speckled with monuments honoring famous alumni and administrators, including civil rights leaders Howard Thurman, Benjamin E. Mays, and Martin Luther King Jr., Morehouse sits in the historic district of Atlanta’s West End. Founded in 1867, it now hosts 2,800 students, is a member of the Atlanta University Center—America’s largest conglomerate of African American private colleges—and is the nation’s only liberal arts college exclusively for black men.

In 1994, Morehouse was the first historically black school to produce a Rhodes Scholar, and it has since produced two more. U.S. News & World Report ranks Morehouse third among the nation’s historically black colleges and universities.

The school offers twenty-six bachelor’s degrees through three academic divisions: business administration and economics, humanities and social sciences, and science and mathematics. Popular majors include business administration, political science, and psychology; preprofessional tracks such as pre-medicine, pre-law, and pre-dentistry are available.

Students aim to represent the legendary “Morehouse Man.” What exactly embodies this Renaissance man has come under hot debate in recent years, but President Robert Franklin describes him as “well read, well spoken, well traveled, well dressed, and well balanced.” As a result, students must attend a minimum number of assemblies a semester, abide by a dress code, and are highly encouraged to take part in one of the school’s more than 250 study abroad programs.

2010 marked the opening of the $20 million Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building, which includes a 650-seat concert hall, twelve studios, an electronic piano lab, and preproduction workstations. Morehouse also houses a $32 million collection of more than 10,000 original Martin Luther King Jr. documents and manuscripts, including letters, speeches, and sermons.

Whether through the sixty-five-plus student organizations, five fraternities, or the renowned marching band known as the “House of Funk” (which appeared in the 2007 movie Stomp the Yard), students get involved. In fact, with 75 percent of Morehouse students taking part in community service, the school landed among the twenty-five best schools for “do-gooders” in 2010, as ranked by Newsweek. Other activities include intramural and club sports, plus seven NCAA Division II athletic teams. All students enjoy Hump Wednesdays—a weekly break to enjoy music, barbecue, and miscellaneous vendors.

Photograph courtesy of Morehouse College

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