Two thousand five is a special year for the DC Chapter of the Morehouse College Alumni Association. In 2005 we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the founding of our Chapter.

On June 8, 1955, the Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr., wrote to the Morehouse Men who were living in the Washington, DC, area, and urged them to join him in organizing a chapter of the Morehouse College Alumni Association. The organizing meeting was held on September 26, 1955, and Dr. Moore was elected President. Dr. Moore continues to serve the Chapter, and each year hosts the January monthly meeting in his home. The January meeting is always the most popular and best-attended meeting of the year.

In 1955 Washington, DC, was segregated and much of the surrounding Maryland and Virginia areas, essentially rural, were not the population centers they are today. The Chapter undertook a program of events that provided its members -- and much of the African American community -- religious, educational, cultural and social outlets. Early in the history of the Chapter, for example, the members discussed and decided to hold a Morehouse Recognition Sunday. The first service was held on February 10, 1963, at the Third Baptist Church in Washington, DC. The late Henry C. Miles, a Morehouse Man, held the first service at the Third Baptist Church where he was pastor. Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, then in his 23rd year as President of Morehouse College, preached. The first service was organized around Founders' Day observances at Morehouse College. Over the years, however, the name of the service and the date were changed - perhaps at a time of revival following several years when no service was observed.

The thought -- the idea behind this service was that Morehouse Men at least on an annual basis and in a collective way should celebrate the spiritual side of life, which is at the epicenter of the Morehouse experience. In addition, new relationships with the faith community would be developed and strengthened and the scholarship fund would be enlarged.

It is not clear whether the idea for the worship service originated with the Chapter or with Dr. Mays. Several older members, and Men who were students at Morehouse during the late 1950s, remember Dr. Mays urging Morehouse Men who were pastors of churches in major cities to hold a "Morehouse Sunday" as a way to raise money for the College. Nevertheless, only the Washington, DC, Chapter holds a Morehouse Worship Sunday.

In March 2005 the DC Alumni Association sponsored the Morehouse College Glee Club Concert at the Shiloh Baptist. This was the 35th consecutive year the Chapter has sponsored the spring concert in Washington, DC. This concert also marked our first year of partnership with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Council of Shiloh Baptist Church in sponsoring the concert.

Another activity for the Chapter is recruitment. The Chapter is heavily involved in recruiting high school students for Morehouse College. Each year members attend and recruit at more than 25 college fairs, visit potential students and parents in their homes and write recommendations for promising students. We estimate that we talk to over 300 potential students each year. In 2005, for example, more than 100 students from the tri-state area (the great majority from the DC area) were admitted to Morehouse College.

The Midnight Train to Georgia is part of our recruiting activities. For the last 29 years the DC Chapter has sponsored, a three-day four-night AMTRAK excursion to the Morehouse College Homecoming. That is, each year we sponsor a group to Homecoming, including potential students and their parents. In some years, our group occupied an entire AMTRAK car but for the past several years we have stabilized at 25-35 "mid-nighters" with a high representation of potential students. Students participate on a subsidized basis. In the fall of 2005 we board for the 35th consecutive year.

The Chapter also sponsors an endowed scholarship fund at Morehouse College, which is named after the late Caesar G. Hill, one of the Chapter's most respected members. Morehouse juniors and seniors from the DC area are eligible to participate in the fund which is managed and administered by Morehouse College. Between 2001 and 2003 some 14 students received approximately $28,000 from the scholarship fund. All Chapter fund raising activities help to finance the scholarship fund.  Our goal is to endow the fund for at least $One million.

The Chapter also assists students from this area on an ad hoc basis. One year, for example, by "passing the hat" we were able to pay over $4000 to Morehouse College to meet the outstanding financial obligations of a graduating senior from this area (whose mother - his only support ? had been incapacitated by a stroke). In addition, our sponsorship of a second student from the area, now a junior at Morehouse, enabled him to meet the $5300 expenses and to participate in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars 2004 International Mission on Engineering in China. He and 79 other engineering students from around the country spent 17 days during the summer of 2004 in China to deepen their understanding of the great achievements and enormous challenges of engineering professionals through institution visits, speeches by distinguished speakers, hands-on seminars and face-to-face interactions with established professionals.

Finally, the Chapter joins the Baltimore Chapter each year in sponsoring a summer outing to which returning students and their parents and entering students and their parents are invited. At this send-off, new students and their parents get to interact informally with Morehouse students and alumni. They learn what to expect during the early days at Morehouse. They also receive advice on how they may approach this new experience and how to handle some of the more complex issues.

Like all Morehouse Alumni Association Chapters, the DC Chapter is strictly a volunteer organization. We look forward to serving Morehouse College in DC another 50 years and to providing opportunity. Our snail-mail address is: DC Morehouse College Alumni Chapter Post Office Box 44506 Ft. Washington, MD  20749

A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization Registered in the District of Columbia
Copyright 2017  All Rights Reserved.
Morehouse College Alumni Association DC Metro Chapter
P.O. Box 60404  Washington, D.C. 20039