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Founder's Week

Founder's Day Convocation 2024

Founder's Day Convocation 2022

Thursday, February 15, 2024
10:45 AM

Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel
Morehouse College Campus

The Annual Founder’s Day Convocation is one of Morehouse’s most revered traditions in which the Morehouse family stops to reflect on how its founding principles are carried forward with relevance for current and future global challenges. The event features a nationally-noted keynote speaker, along with speeches from the Otis Moss III Oratorical Contest winners and selections from the world-renowned Morehouse College Glee Club. 

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Penny Brown Reynolds
United States Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

Penny Brown Reynolds, Ph.D., J.D. is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, leading the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. Dr. Brown Reynolds serves as one of the nation’s preeminent civil rights scholars and experts bringing 30 years of transformative leadership experience in civil rights, law, executive management, as well as higher education and organizational change management.

As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Dr. Brown Reynolds provides executive leadership and oversight for all of the agency’s strategic implementation, internal general operations, operational decision-making, organizational change management, civil rights policy initiatives, the agency’s budget, external stakeholder engagement, employee professional development, while concurrently serving as USDA’s Chief EEO Officer for its 100,000 plus employees. In addition, Dr. Brown Reynolds oversees performance management of the agency’s career Senior Executive Service leadership, including the Associate Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, the Executive Director for the Center for Civil Rights Operations and the Executive Director for the Center for Civil Rights Enforcement, special emphasis programs and liaising with agency Civil Rights Directors.

Before her appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Brown Reynolds was recognized as the first African American in Georgia’s history to serve as the Governor’s Executive Counsel and the first African American to serve as Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor’s Executive Counsel and Chief of Staff in the Georgia Senate. She has uniquely served in all branches of local, state and federal government, as well as the judiciary. Her distinguished career in law has included serving for nearly a decade as a trial court Judge in Fulton County State Court, Atlanta, Georgia, where she was appointed as one of the youngest judges in the state’s history, and also serving as a Georgia State Assistant Attorney General, an Assistant District Attorney, and a judicial clerk for the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Dr. Brown Reynolds is heralded as a higher education and business thought leader. In 2019, Dr. Brown Reynolds received a dual appointment with the University System of Georgia to oversee the coordination and development of the Student Success Program strategic plan and related operational initiatives. While serving as an adjunct University Professor at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Department of Criminal Justice, Dr. Brown Reynolds was named Instructor of the Year. She is the author of numerous books and articles and has lectured across this nation.

The Louisiana native received her Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, from Georgia State University, a Juris Doctor degree from Georgia State University College of Law and earned her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, from Nova Southeastern University, finishing first in her class with a master’s degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center (I.T.C.), and having completed Post Doctorial studies at Harvard Kennedy School.

Dr. Brown Reynolds is a licensed attorney, registered mediator and arbitrator, and is the founding Chair of the Judicial Section of the Gate City Bar Association, an affiliate of the National Bar Association. A proponent of community engagement, Dr. Brown Reynolds is committed to service to others and has been recognized nationally for her major contributions.