A Message from the Office of the President

Morgan Homecoming 2021

October 24 2021

Last year during this time, the nation was grappling with the worst of the pandemic with COVID cases rising each day, hospitalizations skyrocketing, death tolls escalating, and no vaccine in sight. Many of us were dealing with the enormous loss of so many things that brought joy, meaning and definition to our lives. We yearned for those rituals that are foundational to human connectedness and community building. As Morgan’s campus was physically closed during this period, we longed for the return of one of our most revered University traditions—Homecoming!

Our collective hope was restored when vaccines were introduced to combat COVID. The campus finally reopened again this fall and we started the long trek toward our deliberate process of re-socialization and re-acculturation—the goal being to ensure that we understand the great traditions at Morgan that set us apart from the rest of higher education in the nation. Homecoming is one of those special rites.

Traditionally, Homecoming Week is replete with activities that reignite an extraordinarily important sense of belonging in all members of the Morgan family. As a result, this year we made a thoughtful and careful decision to once again host many of the homecoming activities that bring people together on Morgan’s campus.

From the coronation of our Royal Court to the homecoming concert; to the lecture given by Dr. Cornel West, the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Tyler Hall, to the pep rally at Hughes Stadium, there were a number of events and activities that brought thousands of people to our campus—all occurring safely and without any major incidents. Yesterday’s football game was the culmination of our Homecoming Week activities and it brought even more people to our beloved campus.

After the game, as is Morgan’s custom, thousands again gathered at some of those special places on campus that defined their experiences at Morgan. They do this ritualistically to meet up with friends and to simply have a good time. Unfortunately, in the early evening as the crowds were winding down and the campus was clearing, a shooting occurred near the Montebello Complex resulting in one of our Morgan students sustaining a non-threatening injury and being taken to a nearby local hospital. Learning of this incident, I returned to campus to confer with our Morgan Police Chief and other members of our administrative leadership team to make sure that the situation was under control and that the campus was safe. I also convened with Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison to assess what was being done about this incident. Please be advised that this matter is currently under active investigation by both police departments, and we are committed to sharing updates with the University community, as appropriate.

I also had an opportunity to check on our student and to speak with his parent. It is a conversation that I will never be comfortable having, but it was important to convey our concern and support for this member of our Morgan family and his loved ones during this difficult time. I’m pleased to report that our student is anticipated to make a full recovery and is expected to be released from the hospital today.

Given the seriousness of the incident which occurred on our campus, let me reiterate that our University is built on core values and Morgan does not waver from its six core values of leadership, integrity, innovation, diversity, excellence and respect. All of these values are important tenets of our institution—but none more important than RESPECT. We must always respect ourselves, respect others, and respect this venerable institution. There is no place on this campus for violence. I can assure you that if you are not in alignment with these core values, we will not hesitate to send you home. Morgan is about growing the future and leading the world. The last act that occurred during Homecoming Week is simply not in alignment with who we are.

Let’s continue to keep our injured student, and his family, at the apex of our thoughts.

Respectfully,

David K. Wilson

President