The mission of Morehouse College is to develop men with disciplined minds to lead lives of leadership and service by emphasizing the intellectual and character development of its students and by assuming a special responsibility for teaching the history and culture of black people.
Since the founding of Morehouse College in 1867, the faculty, staff, and leadership have worked to inspire, engage, challenge, support, and mentor its students with the expressed intent of fomenting their intellectual and character development. How we have articulated success in that endeavor has evolved over time. President John Hope (1906-1931), perhaps the first to be called “a maker of men,” insisted that “a Morehouse Man cannot fail.” He argued that Morehouse Men should be prepared for “the work of their generation” and must “defy anything less [than] … fairness and real brotherhood.”
President Benjamin Mays’s (1940-1967) 14 points promoted students being “radical thinkers, proud, confident and impactful; attendant to social justice needs and the needs of their fellow students; in control, humble and respected; [and] striving for the best.” And President Hugh Gloster ‘31 (1967-1986) added that Morehouse Men should “learn as much about American Negro literature and history and the race problem and race relations” as possible.
More recently, during President Walter Massey’s tenure (1995-2007), the seven pillars—academic excellence, respect, integrity, awareness, truth, compassion, and spirituality—were introduced to capture the values students must seek to cultivate in themselves. President Robert Franklin (2007-2012) described a Renaissance man who exhibited five wells: well-read, well-traveled, well-spoken, well-dressed, and well-balanced. And President Wilson (2013- ) has said that “a Morehouse Man is one who moves through the world with obvious competence and confidence, able at once to compete and work in the world that is, and yet imagine and work for the world that must yet be.”
We have combined and integrated these definitions to provide a new characterization of the Morehouse Man, one which speaks to our unique mission and tries to capture the enduring values from all 150 years of our history. In particular, we seek to produce men of acuity, integrity and agency; men who commit to brotherhood; and men who strive to lead consequential lives.
Equally important, these values not only define the Morehouse Man and exemplify our history, but they also guide our embrace of students and reflect our unique character as an institution.