Morgan alumni discuss the importance of giving back amid HBCU lawsuit

Oyin Adedoyin, Staff Writer

In a turbulent political climate where the relevance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is constantly up for debate, a few Morgan State University alumni have no doubt that they chose the right place for their post-secondary education.

Following Morgan’s 2018 Founder’s Day Convocation, a group of Morgan graduates attended a luncheon after the ceremony where they were not only awarded as “Outstanding Alumni,” but moved to give back to their alma mater.

“I did not have any intentions of serving in the military,” said Brigadier General R. Scott Dingle, the 16thMorgan graduate to attain general ranking in the U. S. military.

Dingle praised Morgan for the support system he gained through faculty, teachers and coaches, which ultimately led to him joining the military.

“They would always push me to do better, even though I wanted to be a professional football player,” he said. “I stand here because of the great role models, the great input, the great opportunities…that’s the environment that Morgan State is for me.”

 The distinguished alumni were chosen from various backgrounds, but each member consistently exuded pride in the university and explained its impact on their personal lives.

Morgan alumnae and mathematician, Valerie Nelson, acknowledged that giving back as “the culture of Morgan”.

“I’m here every year, I definitely give back, I’ve taught here,” she said. “I am also doing outreach where ever I go to try to help the students get employment opportunities.”

Ramona Riley Bozier, Morgan’s all-time winningest coach knows a thing or two about dedicating her life to helping students.

The 31-year volleyball coach, has accrued over 400 coaching wins throughout her career. She discussed how the lack of diversity she experienced encouraged her to attend Morgan State.

“I went to high school and there was only 9 [black students] out of 2200 students in my graduating class,” Riley-Bozier.

Some alumni chose to give back to the university directly by returning to work as teachers or coaches while others—like Coca-Cola executive, Terrez Marriott Thompson—use their off-campus platforms to pay homage.

“For me this is about recommitting to something that made me who I am…I am recommitted to raising money for Morgan State to continue its legacy and to extent my legacy,” said Marriott Thompson.

These individuals were recognized for their outstanding work in their respective fields, yet all attributed their success to Morgan State University and emphasized an enduring promise to support the university.