James H. Gilliam Jr. was a prominent lawyer, financier, humanitarian and Morgan State University graduate. That’s why the school will name its College of Liberal Arts after him on May 11.

James H. Gilliam Jr. was a lawyer, financier, humanitarian and Morgan State University graduate. (Courtesy Photo)

“Morgan’s liberal arts programs have cultivated many high achievers over our 150-year history, and James H. Gilliam Jr. was one of the most outstanding of those alumni,” said Morgan President David Wilson, in a statement. “We are proud to celebrate his vision, his generosity and his work in the broader community with this dedication during our sesquicentennial year.”

Gilliam earned his B.A. degree in English in 1967 at Morgan. He then went to Columbia University for Law. He practiced law in New York and Delaware as well as served as Secretary of Community Affairs and Economic Development in then Delaware Gov. Pierre S. du Pont IV’s administration.

In 2000, Gilliam, along with his wife Linda G.J. Gilliam, who is currently a Morgan regent, created a $1.5 million fine arts endowment at Morgan in honor of Gilliam’s mother and his father. The James H. Gilliam Sr. and Louise Hayley Gilliam Concert Hall in the university’s Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center bears their names.

Gilliam died in 2003 at the age of 58.

Jake Oliver, CEO and publisher of the AFRO, was a childhood friend and law school classmate of Gilliam. He is expected to offer remarks at the ceremony.