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Morehouse College is a private, all-male, historically black college located in Atlantamarker, Georgiamarker. It is one of three remaining traditional men's colleges in the United Statesmarker, and a member of the Black Ivy League.

Morehouse has a 61 acre campus and an enrollment of 3,000 students. The student-faculty ratio is 16:1 and 100% of the school's tenure-track faculty hold tertiary degrees. Along with Clark Atlanta University, Interdenominational Theological Centermarker, Morehouse School of Medicine and nearby women's college Spelman College, Morehouse is part of the Atlanta University Center.

Morehouse is one of two black colleges in the country to produce a Rhodes Scholar, and it is the alma mater of many African-Americans leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., filmmaker Spike Lee, actor Samuel L. Jackson, Olympic gold medalist Edwin Moses, and the first African-American mayor of Atlantamarker, Maynard Jackson.


Morehouse's History at a glance
1867 Augusta Institute established
1879 Institute moved to Atlanta and name changed to Atlanta Baptist Seminary
1885 The seminary moved to its present location
1897 The school was renamed Atlanta Baptist College
1913 School renamed to Morehouse College
1929 Morehouse entered into a cooperative agreement with Clark College and Spelman College (later expanded to form the Atlanta University Center)
1975 The Morehouse School of Medicine established
1981 The Morehouse School of Medicine became independent from Morehouse College


In 1867, just two years after the American Civil War, the Augusta Institute was founded by William Jefferson White, an Augusta Baptist minister and cabinetmaker, with the support of the Rev. Richard C. Coulter, a former slave from Augusta, Georgiamarker, and the Rev. Edmund Turney, organizer of the National Theological Institute for educating freedmen in Washington, D.C.marker The institution was founded to educate African American men in theology and education and was located in Springfield Baptist Church, the oldest independent black church in the United States. The Institute’s first president was Rev. Dr. Joseph T. Robert (father of Brigadier General Henry Martyn Robert, author of Robert’s Rules of Order).

Early years

In 1879, the institute moved to its own location and changed its name to the Atlanta Baptist Seminary. It later acquied a campus in downtown Atlanta. In 1885, Dr. Samuel T. Graves became the second president. That year the seminary moved to its present location, on land donated by John D. Rockefeller. In 1890 Dr. George Sale became the seminary’s third president, and in 1897 the school was renamed Atlanta Baptist College.
A view of an entrance to the campus' courtyard.
A view of an entrance to the campus' courtyard.
In 1906 Dr. John Hope became the first African-American president and led the institution’s growth in enrollment and academic stature. He envisioned an academically rigorous college that would be the antithesis to Booker T. Washington’s view of agricultural and trade-focused education for African-Americans. In 1913, the smeinary was renamed Morehouse College, in honor of Henry L. Morehouse, corresponding secretary of the Northern Baptist Home Missions Society. Morehouse entered into a cooperative agreement with Clark College and Spelman College in 1929 and later expanded the association to form the Atlanta University Center.

Dr. Samuel H. Archer became the fifth president of the college in 1931 and selected the school colors (maroon and white) to reflect his own alma mater, Colgate Universitymarker. Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays became president in 1940. Mays, who would be a mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr., presided over the growth in international enrollment and reputation. During the 1960s, Morehouse students were actively involved in the civil rights movement in Atlanta. Mays’ speeches were instrumental in shaping the personal development of Morehouse students during his tenure.

In 1967, Dr. Hugh M. Gloster became the seventh president. The following year, the college’s Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society was founded. In 1975, Dr. Gloster established the Morehouse School of Medicine, which became independent from Morehouse College in 1981.

Modern history

Dr. Leroy Keith, Jr., was named president in 1987. In 1995, alumnus Dr. Walter E. Massey, became Morehouse’s ninth president. His successor, Dr. Robert Michael Franklin is the tenth President of the college.

In 2006, Morehouse graduated 540 men, one of the largest classes in its history. On May 16, 2008, Joshua Packwood became the first white valedictorian to graduate in the school's 141-year history. In August 2008, Morehouse welcomed a total of 920 new students (770 freshmen and 150 transfer students) to its campus, one of the largest entering classes in the history of the school.

Administration and organization

Morehouse's official sister school Bennett College, is located in Greensboromarker, North Carolinamarker. However some mistake its rather closely acquainted and physically approximate neighbor Spelman College as being such. This is largely due to the fact that Morehouse and Spelman have strong historical ties to one another and many of the men from Morehouse and women from Spelman have intermarried by tradition.


Morehouse is located on a campus near downtown Atlanta.


Graves Hall, Century Campus, and Mays' Tomb.
Graves Hall, Century Campus, and Mays' Tomb.

  • Archer Hall, named after the fifth president of Morehouse College, holds the college's recreational facilities such as its gymnasium, swimming pool, and game room. The gymnasium seats 1000 people and was used by the college's basketball team before the Forbes Arena was built.
  • B.T Harvey Stadium/Edwin Moses Track is a 9000 capacity seat stadium built in 1983. At the time of its completion, it was the largest on-campus black private stadium in the nation 
  • Brawley Hall, named after Benjamin Griffith Brawley, houses the college's History, English, Language, Music, and Art departments.
  • Brazeal Hall is a dormitory built in 1991. It housed athletes during the time of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Brazeal Hall originally housed upperclassmen, though it currently serves as a freshmen dorm.
  • Chivers Hall/Lane Hall is the cafeteria of the college. It seats 600 people and is attached to Mays Hall. The Sadie Mays lounge, named for the wife of Dr. Mays, connects Mays Hall and Chivers Hall.
  • Dansby Hall houses the school's Physics, Psychology, and Mathematics departments.
  • Douglass Hall (also known as LRC (Learning Resource Center)) was originally built as the school's student center but today houses the college archives and a computer lab.
  • DuBois Hall is a freshman dorm erected in 1973, named after philosopher W. E. B. Du Bois.
  • Forbes Arenamarker is a 5,700 capacity seat arena, built for the 1996 Olympic games. It is now the main gymnasium for the college's basketball team and holds many events year round.
  • Graves Hall, named after the second president of Morehouse College, is an honors dormitory. When constructed in the 1880s, it was the tallest building in Atlanta. When the college relocated to the West End areamarker, student housing, classrooms, and administration offices were all contained within the building.
Kilgore Campus Center.
Kilgore Campus Center.
  • Hope Hall was named after John Hope, the fourth president of Morehouse College. When erected, it was known as the Science Building, then later the Biology Building. Through the years, the building became too small for classroom use and now holds laboratories for departments that are in other buildings. Hope Hall includes the offices of the Public Health Sciences Institute.
  • Hubert Hall is a freshman dorm named after Charles D. Hubert, who was an acting president from 1938 to 1940.
  • Kilgore Campus Center houses administrative offices, as well as several seminar rooms and lounges. A separate area of the building serves as a dormitory. Archer Hall, B.T. Harvey Stadium, and the exterior of Graves Hall are featured in the Spike Lee film School Daze.
  • Leadership Center houses the Business Administration and Economics departments as well as other offices. It also has a 500-seat auditorium. The building was completed in 2005.
  • Living Learning Center (LLC) was formerly known as Thurman Hall). It is one of the school's freshman dorms.
  • Martin Luther King International Chapel/Gloster Hall was built in 1978 as the new auditorium and administration building for Morehouse College, replacing Sale and Harkness halls (Harkness is now a Clark Atlanta University structure). It is home to the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Reconciliation Institute.
Historic Chapel Bell outside of Sale Hall.
Historic Chapel Bell outside of Sale Hall.
  • Mays Hall was named after the sixth president of Morehouse College, Benjamin Mays. It houses dorm rooms and is the headquarters for residence life for the college.
  • Merrill Hall, named after Charles E. Merrill Jr., a chairman of the college's Board of Trustees, became the Chemistry building. The 2000s saw Merrill Hall undergo a renovation that doubled its size. Its new corridor is called John Hopps Technology Tower, which houses the Computer Science department.
  • Nabrit-Mapp-McBay Hall was erected in 1987. The building is also known as Bio-Chem from a plaque at the corridor stating that the building was built to house the Biology and Chemistry classrooms. It now holds the Biology department. It was named for distinguished science professors Samuel Nabrit, Frederick Mapp, and Henry McBay.
  • Otis Moss Jr. Residential Suites are apartment, studio, and suite dwellings built in 2003. The Suites were renamed in spring 2006, after Otis Moss Jr. (class of 1956), former chair of Morehouse’s Board of Trustees.
  • Perdue Hall is a dormitory built around the time of the 1996 Summer Olympics. It housed athletes during the 1996 Olympic events.
  • Robert Hall, named after Joseph T. Robert, the first president of the college, was erected to be the first dormitory of the college. When built, there was a cafeteria in its basement. Today the basement houses a post office.
  • Sale Hall, named after the third president, was built to contain classrooms. Today, it is the department building for religion and philosophy courses. On the second floor, a small auditorium, called the Chapel of the Inward Journey, was used for religious and commencement proceedings. Today, the chapel is still used for recitals, pageants, and student government association election debates.
  • Wheeler Hall is a building used primarily by the Political Science and Sociology departments.
  • White Hall is a freshman dorm, named after the college's founder.


Statue of Martin Luther King Jr. in front of King Chapel
Statue of Martin Luther King Jr. in front of King Chapel
Several previous presidents of the college have grave sites on-campus to honor their legacies.
  • A statue of Benjamin Mays is positioned atop a marble monument situated in front of Graves Hall. This monument includes the graves of President Mays and his wife, Sadie Mays. Behind the graves are memoirs and a time capsule set to be opened in May 2095.
  • Former president Hugh Gloster is buried in the eastern lawn of the building named after him.
  • A bronze statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. stands to the left of King Chapel. Inscribed in the base of the statue are the words of Dr. King.
  • An obelisk named in honor of Howard Thurman stands to the right of King Chapel. The base of the Thurman Obelisk contains the ashes of Dr. Thurman and his wife. The obelisk also houses a bell which chimes every hour to the tune of “Dear Old Morehouse,” the school’s alma mater.


On average,at graduation, 97% of graduates are offered two or more jobs by Fortune 500 companies and private companies. Morehouse was ranked #1 three times in a row (2002–2004) as the best school for African Americans for undergraduate study by Black Enterprise Magazine. The college was rated by The Wall Street Journal as #29 out of the top 50 "feeder schools" for elite graduate study in a 2003 study. According to a 2007 joint publication by Newsweek and Kaplan, Inc., Morehouse College is one of the "25 Hottest Schools in America" and the "hottest men's college". It was also ranked 14th in an annual list of Best Liberal Arts Colleges conducted by The Washington Monthly.


Morehouse College is home to a 7,000-piece collection of original documents written by Martin Luther King, Jr. The set was valued by the Library of Congressmarker at being worth between $28 to $30 million dollars and were originally scheduled by his family to be auctioned off to the general public in 2006, but private donors in Atlanta intervened and offered a pre-auction bid at $32 million. On June 29, it was announced by Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, a key catalyst in the buyout, that a new civil rights museum would be built in the city to make the documents available for research, public access and exhibits. Coca Cola donated a land parcel valued at $10 million in order to assist with the development of the project. The collection includes King's 1964 Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

Student life

Morehouse College offers organized and informal co-curricular activities including 78 student organizations, varsity, club, and intramural sports, and student publications.

Morehouse Marching Band

The Morehouse College Marching Band is known for their halftime performances which combine dance and marching with music from various genres, including rap, traditional marching band music, and pop music. They have performed at Super Bowl XVIII, the Today Show, and at Atlanta Falcons home games.

Mock Trial Association

2005–2006 Morehouse College Mock Trial Team after it obtained an "Honorable Mention" award in their first appearance at the American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament in 2006
In 2005, Morehouse College became a member of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). The school is one of only four competing teams to come from a historically black college and is also the only all-male team in the AMTA.

In 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, Morehouse won their regional championship competitions, thereby receiving direct trips to the AMTA national championship competitions in Iowa, Florida, and Minnesota, respectively.

Glee Club

Founded in 1911, the Morehouse College Glee Club has a long and impressive history and performed at Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral, President Jimmy Carter's inauguration, Super Bowl XXVIII, and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The Glee Club's international performances include tours in Africa, Russia, Poland and the Caribbean. The group also appeared on the soundtrack for the movie School Daze, directed by Morehouse alum Spike Lee (Class of 1979).

The Maroon Tiger newspaper

The college's weekly student-run newspaper is The Maroon Tiger. Originally founded in 1898 as The Athenaeum, it was renamed in 1925. The 2008-2009 staff sought to expand the newspaper into a news organization by creating Morehouse's first television news program, Tiger TV, and starting a new website at

National fraternities and honor societies

Morehouse College is home to several National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities:

Other national fraternities and honor societies registered on campus are Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia,Phi Alpha Delta, The Tiger 6 Chapter of Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship,Inc. Kappa Kappa Psi, Alpha Kappa Delta, Beta Kappa Chi, the Delta Chapter of Georgia Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Alpha Theta. Pi Delta Phi, Psi Chi, Sigma Delta Pi, Sigma Tau Delta and Alpha Lambda Delta.

Religious organizations

Campus religious organizations include the Atlanta University Center Catholic Student Coalition, King International Chapel Ministry, Martin Luther King International Chapel Assistants, King Chapel Choir, Muslim Students Association, New Life Inspirational Fellowship Church Campus Ministry, and The Outlet.


Morehouse Tigers athletics logo

In sports, Morehouse College is affiliated with the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. The mascot is the Maroon Tiger. Morehouse College competes in football, baseball, basketball, cross country, tennis, track & field and golf.

The Morehouse Tigersharks, as they're affectionately known, was once Morehouse's power house swim team. From 1958 till 1976 the swim team had 255 wins and only 25 losses, with over 15 SIAC championships, making it the winningest sports team in Morehouse history. It had even beaten Emory University and Georgia Tech in dual meets in different seasons. The team appeared in Jet and Ebony Magazines, Black Sports, and Sports Illustrated throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and today is being considered as honorary inductees into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Actor Samuel L. Jackson was once the team statistician and was an apprentice swimmer. Some of the swimmers had competed in NCAA and NAIA competition at various times throughout the team's history. The team was disestablished in 1976 and the funds were transferred to build the Morehouse School of Medicine.

In popular culture

  • "The Morehouse Men": In 1995, PBS ran a documentary, titled The Morehouse Men, which gave a rare insight to the inner-workings of Morehouse’s campus life through the eyes of its students.
  • "A Different World": According to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, when Debbie Allen became the director-producer of Bill Cosby’s NBC television show, A Different World (A six season series dealing with the lives of students at the fictional historically Black college, Hillman College developed in The Cosby Show) she drew from her college experiences in an effort to accurately reflect in the show the social and political life on black campuses. Allen, "a graduate of historically black Howard Universitymarker, instituted a yearly spring trip to Atlanta where series writers visited two of the nation’s leading black colleges, Morehouse and Spelman. During these visits, ideas for several of the episodes emerged from meetings with students and faculty."

Dress code

Morehouse college operates a student dress code that prohibits students from cross-dressing, as well as wearing pyjamas and do-rags and walking barefoot on campus. This dress code was enacted during the week of October 12th. In the words of the Vice President, "We are talking about five students who are living a gay lifestyle that is leading them to dress a way we do not expect in Morehouse men."

Notable alumni

Morehouse is one of two historically black colleges in the country to produce a Rhodes Scholar. The school's first Rhodes Scholar, Nima Warfield, was named in 1994, the second, Christopher Elders, in 2001. A third, Oluwabusaya “Topé” Folarin, was named in 2004. Morehouse has been home to five Fulbright Scholars, Damon M. Lombard (1995), John Thomas (2004) and Jason T. Garrett (2006) Morgan C. Williams, Jr. (2006), and Wendell H. Marsh (2009).


  • Addie Louise Joyner Butler, The Distinctive Black College: Talladega, Tuskegee, and Morehouse (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1977).
  • Leroy Davis, A Clashing of the Soul: John Hope and the Dilemma of African American Leadership and Black Higher Education in the Early Twentieth Century (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1998).
  • Edward A. Jones, A Candle in the Dark: A History of Morehouse College (Valley Forge, Pa.: Judson Press, 1967). Moss Kendrix, P.R icon

External links


  1. Marcus K. Garner, "White valedictorian makes Morehouse history", 18 May 2008. Available online. Archived by WebCite.
  3. 1983 Morehouse Torch (Yearbook)
  6. Lateef Mungin, "All-male college cracks down on cross-dressing", CNN, 17 October 2009

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