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Black History Month

There is so much to love about my HBCU, Morgan State

At 150 years old, traditions like homecoming mean so much for students and alumni

I love my HBCU.

Talk to just about any group of students or alumni from a historically black college or university (HBCU) and you’ll hear that phrase a few times.

Nobody can take away the pride of being a product of an HBCU. Students at Morgan State University know that sense of pride.

Morgan is the largest historically black college or university in Maryland and a staple in Baltimore. Ranked 16th out of 102 HBCUs in the United States, the school is known for promoting academic achievement in a family atmosphere. Professors are invested in the overall success of their students. They not only become mentors, they build professional relationships that can last a lifetime.

The institution is committed to increasing the number of African-Americans with degrees in business, communications and engineering. It also is invested in educating a culturally diverse and multiracial population.

Morgan is now 75 percent African-American, a change from the 1950s, when HBCUs were at nearly 100 percent African-American enrollment.

Although times and demographics have changed, Morgan’s commitment to celebrating black culture and preserving tradition has stayed the same.

Here are some facts and some things I hope will never change about Morgan State University:

  • Homecoming is an anticipated family reunion

  • Morgan produces NFL Hall of Famers

Willie Lanier (linebacker): A second-round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

Roosevelt Brown (offensive tackle): He held that position with the New York Giants for 13 seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975.

Leroy Kelly (running back): He is the legend who replaced running back Jim Brown with the Cleveland Browns. Kelly rushed for 7,274 yards during his career and rushed for more than 1,000 yards his first three years after becoming a starter. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.

Len Ford (defensive end): He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns after the All-American Football Conference folded. He eventually transferred to the University of Michigan, but he wanted the Hall of Fame to mention both schools when he was inducted in 1976.

  • The Quad in front of Holmes Hall is a central location on campus.

Holmes Hall in the center of campus holds the School of Liberal Arts. The school adopted its current name in July 1998.


  • Networking is everything, as students and alumni stay connected all year round.


  • Greek life matters

On Sept. 19, 1963, 12 students founded the Iota Phi Theta fraternity at Morgan State University. It is the nation’s fifth-largest predominantly African-American social service fraternity.


  • Morgan has been around for more than 150 years.

Morgan State was founded in 1867 as the Centenary Biblical Institute by the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1890, its name was changed to Morgan College, then Morgan State College. In 1975, Morgan State College became Morgan State University. Morgan awards more bachelor’s degrees to African-American students than any other campus in Maryland.

  • Alumni will forever be proud of being Morgan Made

Join the conversation about what defines your HBCU at #BHMxHBCU.

Simone Benson is a multimedia journalism major at Morgan State University. She reports on food access and social justice, and recently helped produce a documentary in Havana.