Morehouse College is proud to announce the academic accomplishments of its 2023 co-valedictorians Alan Cowan, George Pratt, Darryl Sams, and salutatorian William Whitfield. These scholars possess acute knowledge and skills spanning four academic divisions and have demonstrated exceptional achievements in intellectual discovery. They will be honored at the College’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21, at 9 a.m.
Co-valedictorian Alan Cowan is a finance major from Brooklyn, NY, passionate about venture capital. In addition to being a Martin Luther King Jr. scholar, a Black Venture Capital Consortium member, and in the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society, Cowan also founded The Black Odyssey Society, where participants use chess to learn critical thinking skills. Following graduation, Cowan will move to San Francisco to work in late-stage investing at Mastry Capital.
“Being a finance major at Morehouse College, I have discovered there are opportunities I can create to empower underrepresented business owners through venture capital,” Cowan says. “This institution has fueled my drive to support business owners in my community, and I look forward to making a meaningful impact in supporting their growth and development.”
Co-valedictorian George Pratt is a history and religion double major from Jacksonville, Fl. who desires to become a cultural theorist and scholar of Black studies. Pratt plans to complete a master of philosophy in theology and a doctorate of philosophy in theology and religion at the University of Oxford as a Marshall scholar following graduation. Pratt accredits the International Chapel Assistants Program at Morehouse for being the most integral to his academic success and providing a space to refine his intellectual inquiries and curiosities further.
“Working under the tutelage of Dean Lawrence Carter has proven to be a transformational experience that has enriched my learning environment far beyond the classroom,” Pratt recalls. “Dean Carter’s moral and sociologically ethical mentorship has allowed me to imagine a reality where I can dream of a new world for the betterment of society.”
The third co-valedictorian is Darryl Sams, a biology major from St. Louis, Mo. In addition to being a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Darryl has also served as the president of the Health Careers Society, where he spearheaded initiatives and guided fellow aspiring healthcare professionals. After graduation, Darryl will begin his journey to obtain his doctorate in medicine at the esteemed Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in gastroenterology. He intends to address healthcare disparities and provide comprehensive care to underserved populations. Darryl envisions himself as a change agent, working tirelessly to create equitable pathways for marginalized communities and promoting diversity within the healthcare profession.
“The most transformative and fulfilling part of my Morehouse experience has been the constant reminder of my worth, importance, and necessity as a Black man in society,” says Sams. “From matriculating through Morehouse, I feel comfortable entering and thriving in any room. With this newly instilled confidence, I know I will make a difference for the better in all the rooms I enter.”
Also a biology major, Whitfield is Morehouse’s Class of 2023 salutatorian. Hailing from Dickinson, Texas, Whitfield interned at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub San Francisco and is a recipient of the ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Award. Whitfield will attend Baylor College of Medicine’s Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program this year to prepare for a top medical scientist training program specializing in cardiovascular surgery, medicine, and cardiological research.
“Through my work, I want to begin filling the deficit of Black male physicians,” Whitfield explains. “I want to be an example to other young Black men that they can make it in the medical field. I can educate my community on the heart, how to keep it healthy, and provide exceptional care to those with cardiovascular diseases.”
Morehouse College’s 139th Annual Commencement is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 21, on the College’s Century Campus, where Maryland Governor Wes Moore will deliver the commencement address. For more information about Morehouse, visit morehouse.edu.