By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor,

Morgan State University held its quarterly meeting of the Board of Regents May 7 and one of its longest serving members announced she would not seek reappointment.

Dr. Frances M. Draper, the Board’s vice chair and the AFRO’s publisher and CEO, said she would not seek another term. “After much prayer, I have decided not to apply for a gubernatorial reappointment to the Morgan State University Board of Regents, when my term ends on 6/30/19,” Draper said in a statement. “I love Morgan and have enjoyed working with my fellow board members, Dr. Wilson, faculty and staff on behalf of some of the most talented students anywhere.”

AFRO’s publisher and CEO, Dr. Frances M. Draper. (Courtesy Photo)

Following Draper’s announcement that she was stepping down, Morgan President Dr. David Wilson honored the newspaper publisher and pastor for her years of public service.

“First of all, I admire your courage to speak out even when others around you stay seated. You have demonstrated that over the years, and I appreciate that,”said Wilson.

“I have been involved with governing boards a long time and certainly when you have a moral compass–someone is bringing to the table a real notion around what is the right thing to do with no agenda except in this case of Morgan’s progress–that is very difficult to duplicate.”

“I have been blessed to have had the opportunity over the last nine years to be apart of an institution that had, at the governing level, someone like Dr. Frances “Toni” Draper.”  

Gen. Larry Ellis, will replace Draper as the Board’s new vice-chair of the 15 member Board. He will now join Kweisi Mfume, Chair of Morgan’s Board of Regents and Tracey Parker Warren, Secretary of the Board of Regents as officers. Members are appointed by the Maryland’s governor and confirmed by the Maryland Senate.

Only Kweisi Mfume, the former president of the NAACP has served longer on the current Board of Regents than Draper.

“It has been an honor, a privilege, a benefit and an education to watch you, to work with you, to see your work in the community with the AFRO American as its present CEO,” said Kweisi Mfume, the Board’s chair upon Draper’s announcement. “To watch how you have taken a church that didn’t even exist and created a place of salvation and hope for so many people including all of the young people that worship with you and all of the many years you have given to this board.”

Tyrone Taborn, another member of Morgan’s Board also announced he would not seek another term. Taborn, who served as the Regents secretary, is the publisher, chairman and CEO of Career Communications Group, a media services company.

Draper, who was originally appointed by Gov. Parris Glendenning, July 1, 1995, served a total of 24 years on the Board. She had previously served as the Board’s secretary. A graduate of Morgan State in 1969, her class will celebrate their golden (50th) anniversary at the school’s commencement this year on May 18.

“Morgan has made tremendous progress over the past two decades,” Draper stated. “It’s been a privilege and honor to serve my alma mater.”


Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor