Maysa Leak Headlines Honors Convocation

The MSU Spokesman

Screen shot 2014-04-04 at 5.29.17 PMThe Honors Convocation held on Thursday in the Murphy Fine Arts Center honored students at Morgan State who maintained a perfect cumulative average for multiple semesters or made the Dean’s List, achieving a 3.5 grade point average or better during the Fall semester of 2013.

The convocation started out with a prayer by Reverend Bernard Keels from the Morgan State chapel. After the prayer ended, the choir sang their first song “I know I been changed.”

Maysa Leak, an award-winning jazz, blues and R & B singer gave the honors address. Leak, who has sung with artists such as Monique and Stevie Wonder, graduated from Morgan State in 1991. She was also nominated for a Grammy this year. Leak has been recording music since 1995 with the release of her debut album; a self-title piece, Maysa.

Leak is known for using the old school style as inspiration for some of her greatest hits. Her 2006 album is called “Sweet Classic Soul” and lives up to that album’s name.

Stevie Wonder has been a musical influence in Leak’s life since she met the soulful singer while a student here at Morgan. Her song “Have Sweet Dreams” was co-written by Stevie Wonder and is on her album “Motions of Love.”

The jazzy tune was inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama. Leak was nominated for a Grammy this year for her song “Quiet Fire” which was a remake of the song originally done by Nancy Wilson on her current album “Blue Velvet Soul.”

In Leak’s speech to the Morgan community, she spoke about her song Inside My Dream saying it reminded her of life with her parents growing up. Leak proudly displayed her love for the students being honored that day and also acknowledged the faculty, particularly the late, “wonderfully made” Dr. Nathan Carter, former Choir Director for Morgan State.

Leak talked about the message sent by music today with themes of excessive pride and intoxicated lust, referencing “Drunk in Love” and “Bow Down”  by R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles.

Leak wrote the song “Inside My Dream” after her mother died and based it on a dream about her parents, she told the audience.

After receiving an award from Morgan State President David Wilson, Leak performed the popular upbeat song, Happy, by Pharell Williams.

Following Leak’s performance, the choir sang another song leading up to the special recognition of awards by Dr. Keith Jackson, interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dr. Darryl L. Peterkin, director of the University Honors Program.

The program ended with the singing of the Morgan State University Alma matter, followed by the benediction led by Reverend Bernard Keels.

Each student was given a certificate for their outstanding academic achievement and earned a place on the Dean’s List for the Fall semester of 2013.