Here’s what you missed this summer at Morgan

New residence hall, students housed in local hotel, record-breaking enrollment and more.


CharNae Brown

Morgan State University’s campus.

Jordan D. Brown, Editor in Chief

The Morgan momentum took off full speed this summer with a wide range of news and additions to campus.

As the community returns to campus for the beginning of the 2022-2023 academic school year, it’s time to catch up on everything Morgan that happened this summer. 

Here are the top things that occurred this summer at Morgan:

The newest ‘Thurgood Marshall Residence Hall’ opened

Morgan opened the $120 million Thurgood Marshall Residence Hall on Aug. 13. It was the first one newly constructed in over 30 years.

The hall’s bedroom tower successfully opened the day of freshmen move in, which Wilson said would be a “close call.”

However, many of the buildings’ aesthetics were not in place at the time of the opening, according to Kevin Banks, vice president of student affairs.

The dorm will also include a new dining hall, which Wilson said is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of the semester.

 About 670 students are now housed in the building with student lounges, a workout center and more.

About 500 students housed in local hotel

Although the Thurgood Marshall Residence Hall just opened, Morgan’s housing crisis continues.

The university leased 500 beds at a local hotel to accommodate the overflow of students on the housing waitlist.

Located 15 minutes from campus, the hotel will have 24/7 security supervision and university shuttle services. Students who opted for the university meal plan will have meal resources at the hotel.

The shift in student housing needs comes after nearly 3,400 students moved into Morgan’s housing options, both on and off campus. 

Lidl, Chipotle and more stores fill Northwood Commons

The Northwood Commons shopping complex’s progress is coming along as several stores opened its doors this summer.

Northwood’s Lidl Supermarket, a German international grocer, opened July 13.

The Northwood location is the grocer’s first Baltimore branch and is one of the few grocery stores within the area accessible to Morgan students.

Along with Lidl, Chipotle, Harbor Bank, Fulton Bank and McDonald’s officially opened this summer as well.

High incoming freshmen class expected to break enrollment record

Morgan is expecting another record-breaking year for enrollment with the incoming freshmen class and total students enrolled.

In the latest Board of Regents Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting, Sidney Evans, executive vice president for finance and administration, shared the expected enrollment for fall 2022 is 8,469.

This year’s expected enrollment is a 10.9 percent increase compared to 2021’s final fall enrollment of 7,635.

However, Evans said the future “may still hold considerable challenges.”

Kara Turner, vice president of enrollment management and student success, said the entering freshmen class is expected to be as large or slightly larger than last year’s record-breaking class.

Three key hires in the athletic department

Under the new leadership of Dena Freeman-Patton, vice president and director for intercollegiate athletics, three new positions were filled within the athletic program this summer.

Xiomara Ortiz, head volleyball coach, was brought on board at Morgan after a year at Shippensburg University as a full-time assistant coach. She will fill the shoes of Ramona Riley-Bozier, former head coach for 34 years.

Like Ortiz, Damon Wilson looks to bring back a winning culture to Morgan as the new head football coach.

Two new sports, wrestling and acrobatics and tumbling, are expected to join the athletic program for the 2023-2024 season.

Kenny Monday, the first Black wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal, will bring back the wrestling program as the director of wrestling and head coach.

Acrobatics and tumbling coach has not been hired yet. Morgan is the first historically black university Division I program to offer these sports.

Amazon and Morgan partner to help employees obtain bachelor’s degrees

Over the summer, Morgan announced a new partnership with Amazon’s Career Choice program that will allow its hourly employees to pursue a bachelor’s degree with pre-paid tuition.

The program is in collaboration with the new College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies led by college dean Nicole Westrick.

Individuals with previously earned college credits can pursue one of Morgan’s eight interdisciplinary bachelor degrees through the partnership.

Morgan is the first 4-year HBCU and one of three Maryland universities to be designated an Amazon Career Choice institution.