Morehouse College has been nominated as a finalist for the 2019 HBCU Awards in three categories, including “Best Historically Black College of the Year.”
The HBCU Awards recognizes the outstanding academic programs, exemplary leadership, and championship athletic teams that make historically black colleges and universities competitive worldwide for students. All HBCU institutions are eligible for awards in categories that range from “Top Female Athlete” and “Best Business Program,” to “National Alumni Association of the Year.”
The awards ceremony will be held on Aug. 2 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in downtown Baltimore.
Morehouse received a congratulatory message from HBCU Digest for the honor:
“Congratulations on your school receiving one or more nominations as a finalist for the 2019 HBCU Awards,” Jarrett Carter Sr., HBCU Digest.com founding editor, said in an email to Morehouse. “It is my great honor to present your hard work and excellence over the 2018-19 academic year to the HBCU community through our annual HBCU Awards ceremony.”
Morehouse is competing against Howard, Central State, Kentucky State, and Tennessee State universities, as well as Benedict College in the “HBCU of the Year” category.
The Morehouse Board of Trustees is vying against the boards at Alabama A&M and Kentucky State universities, as well as Benedict and Spelman colleges for the “Board of Trustees of the Year” Award.
Morehouse’s Maroon Tiger was nominated as a finalist in the “Best Student Newspaper” category. The student publication will compete against peer publications at Claflin, Florida A&M, Howard, and Southern universities in that category.
Ron Thomas, director of Morehouse College’s Journalism and Sports Program and an advisor for the Maroon Tiger, said his students will be thrilled to hear that their work was considered as among the best in the nation. “I think it is tremendous; it is a tribute to the staff of the Maroon Tiger and their hard work,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the campus will also be excited to learn about the other nominations, which he believes are well-deserved.
Morehouse made international headlines in recent months for its historic graduation ceremony and progressive announcement regarding the admission of transgender men.
The Board of Trustees voted in April to approve a Gender Identity Policy that allows individuals who live and self-identify as men regardless of their gender at birth to be considered for admission. The policy was developed with input from student, faculty, staff, and alumni.
“In a rapidly changing world that includes a better understanding of gender identity, we’re proud to expand our admissions policy to consider trans men who want to be part of an institution that has produced some of the greatest leaders in social justice, politics, business, and the arts for more than 150 years,” Terrance Dixon, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Morehouse said in an announcement on the policy.
Nearly a month after the policy was announced, Morehouse again made international headlines during its 135th Commencement exercises on May 19.
After receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the college, visionary businessman and prominent philanthropist Robert F. Smith announced that his family was creating a special grant to eliminate all student loan debt for Class of 2019 graduates.
“My family is going to create a family grant to eliminate your student loans,” announced Smith, founder, chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. “You great Morehouse Men are bound only by the limits of your own conviction and creativity.”
Morehouse administrators are appreciative of the HBCU Awards nominations and look forward to hearing the final results.
“The nominations are a great and positive sign for the College, particularly because we have gone through so many changes in the last few years,” Thomas, the director of Morehouse’s Journalism and Sports Program said. “I think it is very encouraging that people who are on the outside looking in at Morehouse value what has been accomplished so far by the new administration.’’