Morehouse Class of 2020 Students Deserve a traditional Graduation

Morehouse Class of 2020 Students Deserve a traditional Graduation

October 26, 2020
Petition to
Morehouse College President David A. Thomas and 5 others
Signatures: 160Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Lori McNeil

Morehouse College is a historical and iconic institution that has played a significant key role in the development of the civil rights movement and racial equality in the United States.  Morehouse's Motto: "Et Facta Est Lux" which means:  "And there was Light"  was established in 1867.  Morehouse has been the home to 11 Fulbright Scholars, 4 Rhodes Scholars and 5 Marshall scholars.  The illustrious Morehouse College is the Alma Mater of many influential African American civil rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; Donn Clendenon and Julian Bond. Other notable alumni include; but are not limited to: Actor Samuel L. Jackson, Former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, former US Surgeon General David Satcher, Musician PJ Morton, Filmmaker Spike Lee and a host of many influential individuals.  Presidents Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter hold honorary doctorates of laws from Morehouse, after giving commencement speeches at the prominent school of higher learning; hence this is the reason for this petition.  Due to Covid, hundreds of Morehouse Seniors, along with their under-classmen peers; were forced to leave campus in March of 2020. The camaraderie amongst themselves and others were left behind, devastating masses of Morehouse Senior students; whereas they were forced to distance themselves from their peers; due to our world's most massive unexpected pandemics of all time.  All traditional events and things leading up to the Class of 2020's graduation was dismantled and immediately halting anything surrounding the special date indefinitely.  Vast changes and unprecedented situations unmercifully subjected many students to depression, anxieties and panicked state of emotions across the globe.  The devastation has negatively impacted many and has harshly affected aspirations of most Morehouse Class of 2020 graduates in many ways; in that some have had to rearrange their livelihood, had to reinvent their goals/aspirations and some have ultimately lost loved ones due to this horrific pandemic.  After long extended periods of time, many students and their families became hopeful in learning news that their Commencement would eventually take place within post-poned and a planned post dated graduation ceremony in December, 2020.  This enlightened many students and their families, giving the Class of 2020 some form of anticipated HOPE; however on Friday, October 23rd, 2020 another devastating memo was issued indicating Morehouse would be hosting a virtual graduation service for the Class of 2020, instead. 


With proper and effective safety guidelines in place; an outstanding Commencement for the Class of 2020 can take place!!!  These patient and resilient young men deserve our support in ensuring that they are equally recognized in a traditional manner, fit for intelligent, courageous, persevering, and successful KINGS of Morehouse!!!  4 years ago, this incoming class was named the "Class of Perfect Vision" by Former President John S. Wilson.  The class of 2020 has, indeed, been a class of perfect vision!!  They have fervently seen obstacles none of us can imagine during the most challenging moments of life!!!  They have stood tall when it was easiest to fall down.  They have become beacons of light never seen!!!  They deserve to be celebrated in monumental ways nothing less than stellar!!!  Anything less is hurtful and undaunting, to say the least!!!!!  Please review this document and sign its petition towards the class of 2020 opting to continue waiting for the best date and the best way to celebrate their CLASS!!!!  It has come to our attention, that it is imperative to continue waiting for the best date possible, as there are large quantities of students and their families that did not even receive the poorly developed email that was emailed; that ineffectively illustrated the proper details associated with the Virtual Commencement to begin with.  This is ridiculous and ultimately unprofessional on so many levels.  Prior to disengaged and unempathetic administrators making this ingenuous decision, many feel; The Class of 2020's Graduates should have all been provided an opportunity to share their voices; in sharing their personal thoughts and ideas pertaining to this untimely and hasty decision.  Every graduating student should have been granted the right to express themselves on the matter.  Every student should have received more thoughtfulness and consideration in this process.  At this time, our petition is requesting that officials at Morehouse College provide students a traditional Commencement Service; with full pomp and circumstance elegance.  These students deserve the same opportunities towards being able to engage in all Rite of Passage festivities adorned of previous Graduating classes from ancestry traditions.  The Class of 2020 has already paid Graduation fees and is additionally entitled to receive rightful benefits associated with Commencement exercises.  Throughout this pandemic, with strategic planning and special attention to detail;  there's been proven examples of a plethora of organizations, churches, schools, colleges and universities etc. that have hosted similar ceremonies during Covid.   With an alignment of safety planning and developmental tactics; a due process can effectively and efficiently be orchestrated, whereas appropriate social distancing can be put into effect.  Mandated PPE and whatever necessary precautions researched for positive outcomes within the next several months can be realistically allocated for Spring months ahead.  All Morehouse College graduates are worthy and deserving to walk across the hallowed stage, as ancestors did before those coming after them.  We cannot stand by idly without fighting for the Class of 2020.  We simply cannot throw away these students and their dreams to walk across Morehouse's stage.  Not NOW!!!!  Not EVER!!!!!  How can we move forward if we let anyone fall through the cracked floors???  How can we promote "BLACK LIVES MATTER" when we choose to forget that this is synonymous to celebrating our own Class of 2020 Morehouse students because their Black Lives Matter also.  It's a simple fact that they lived through a period of time when black men like themselves were being ruthlessly murdered.  We need to celebrate these College graduates in acknowledging they have even survived the many situations happening on campus, whereas emergent notifications of high alert messages resounded around them while students at Morehouse became the reality for others who fell prey to violence and crime within the school's community.  How can we look at ourselves as a true Village and our brother's keeper if we can not uplift and empower our young men, if we allow the class of 2020 to be the first to fall??????  We cannot fail this class!!!!!  What says the infamous Morehouse College Motto: Et Facta Est Lux??   It is imperative that we cherish and support our own!!!!  We MUST continue inspiring our Men of Morehouse to know...….."there was light!" Class of 2020, the class with perfect vision: We see YOU!!!  We are here for you!!!!  Your Light is Bright!!!!

Please let us come together and make safe provisions for the Class of 2020's Commencement/Graduation Ceremony in that they are all able to walk across the Morehouse College stage sometime in the Spring; being fully recognized in the true Morehouse traditional manner. 





Support now
Signatures: 160Next Goal: 200
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Morehouse College President David A. Thomas
  • Morehouse College SGA Class of 2020
  • Moms of Morehouse Class of 2020
  • Atlanta Georgia Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
  • Atlanta Georgia Media