Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia

Spring Commencement Charge to the Morehouse College Class of 2010

On Sunday, May 16, 2010, Congressman Bishop gave the following charge to the Morehouse College Class of 2010:

That you, members of the Class of 2010, are now in your last minutes as students of Morehouse College reflects great credit upon you and I congratulate you upon your signal achievement.

You have impressed those who over the past few years have been charged with the responsibility of guiding you through your respective curricula, with the sincerity of your purpose, the thoroughness of your preparation, the tenacity of your execution, and the completion of all requirements for the degrees conferred upon you today.

You have worked hard.  You have persevered.  You have survived!  Take pride in your accomplishments.  Most of you came here as boys, but today you leave as men – Morehouse Men.

But at this joyous, pristine moment, as the final curtain falls on your student days at Morehouse, it is my solemn duty to charge and convict you with the obligations and responsibilities you must now assume as graduates of Morehouse College.

Since 1867, Morehouse College has sent forth generation after generation of men, for the most part, African American men, motivated and inspired to use the tools and preparation gained here to take leadership in meeting the challenges faced by humankind.

From Reconstruction to Jim Crow; from Civil Rights to Voting Rights; from the Out House to the White House – in every field of human endeavor, Morehouse has sent forth her sons to make a difference in this world.

The Morehouse faculty has prepared you.  Most of you will go on to graduate and professional schools:
• Law & Medicine
• Science & Technology
• Engineering & Mathematics
• Business & Finance
• Teaching & Religion
• Music & Literature
• History & Sports
Some will enter the military. Others will enter the workforce.

Class of 2010, wherever you go or whatever you do, I charge and convict you that as a Morehouse Man you are marked.  Your DNA is now marked!  Marked with an air of expectation!

As a Morehouse Man you are expected to be highly competent in whatever you pursue, and to pursue it with excellence.  You are expected to succeed!

I charge and convict you that as a Morehouse Man, you are expected to have integrity and to be honest in your dealings.

I charge and convict you that regardless of your level of success financially, that as a Morehouse Man, you are expected to have compassion for those less fortunate and to provide service to your community.  For truly service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy on this earth.

I charge and convict you to use the tools, preparation, and resources that come to you in life to in some way address the crisis of the African American male, as a mentor, surrogate parent, role model, or benefactor.  You must develop our boys into strong responsible men – just as Morehouse has helped develop you.

Finally, I charge and convict you to support the College:
• By actively identifying and recruiting promising young men to attend Morehouse;
• By strengthening and maintaining the bonds of brotherhood that all Morehouse Men share;
• And by giving liberally of your finances to support the College’s mission.
More than any other – I charge and convict you to love, nurture, and support your families – in times of both triumph and challenge.

None of these things will be easy.  And none should be taken lightly by you.  For upon your faithful performance of them depends the life and future of Morehouse.

The torch is now passed.  It is now in your hands.  And you are now forever marked “Morehouse.”  Go forth with God’s blessings and wear the name well!