U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver the commencement address to more than 900 graduates during Morgan State University's commencement ceremonies beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18, in Hughes Memorial Stadium on campus. Duncan will highlight Morgan State's accomplishments and the ongoing role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Duncan also will discuss the roles that college graduates can play in strengthening public education and closing opportunity gaps.
To accomplish President Obama's ambitious goal of America again having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, HBCUs will play a crucial role in preparing the next generation of college graduates. Secretary Duncan joins the President and First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as other senior administration officials, who have spoken at HBCU commencements since 2009.
Morgan State University was founded in 1867 as an institution to train young men in ministry. It subsequently broadened its mission to educate both men and women. The school remained a private institution until 1939, when the state of Maryland purchased the school in order to provide more opportunities for African Americans. In 1975, the State Legislature designated Morgan as a university.