Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.

Morgan State University

Colleges and UniversitiesMinority GroupsArtMorgan State University

The name has changed over the years, but the mission at Morgan State University has remained fundamentally the same: To provide an affordable, quality education with a special emphasis on serving the needs of African-American students.

The Methodist Episcopal Church established the school in 1867. Then known as the Centenary Biblical Institute, its purpose was to prepare future ministers. The school awarded its first bachelor's degree in 1895, having renamed itself Morgan College five years earlier in honor of the Reverend Lyttleton Morgan, the first chairman of its board of trustees.

In 1939, the state purchased the school as part of an effort to create more educational opportunities for the area's African-American students. Today, the student body remains overwhelmingly African-American, although the school has been open to students of all races ever since it became a public institution.

Set in a residential section of northeastern Baltimore, Morgan's 143-acre campus offers a neighborhood feel within easy reach of the city's cultural and entertainment attractions. On campus, students congregate at McKeldin Center, where they can chat, study, sip coffee or attend organized educational and social events.

Other campus highlights include a monument to Frederick Douglass and the James E. Lewis Museum of Art, which holds an impressive collection of African and African-American art. The oldest building on campus, Carnegie Hall, was built in 1919 and named in recognition of a substantial grant from the late Andrew Carnegie. That $50,000 grant also enabled the college to purchase its present site.

The primary emphasis at Morgan is on learning and preparing for a successful career. The school offers a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum, as well as a wide range of specialized degrees at the master's and doctoral levels. Students may obtain advanced degrees in African-American studies, architecture, chemistry, mathematics, business administration and engineering -- to name a few.

In addition to its well-rounded liberal arts offerings, Morgan also offers numerous programs in professional fields, including engineering, business, architecture and social work.

Those who can't attend weekday classes may choose to participate in "Weekend University" -- a bachelor's degree program designed to meet the scheduling needs of working adults by offering night and weekend classes. In addition, a Cooperative Education Program allows students to gain hands-on experience in the business world while they continue to study toward their chosen degrees.

Students may also participate in a range of extracurricular activities, including the renowned Morgan State University Choir, one of the nation's most prestigious university choral ensembles. With a repertoire that draws upon classical, gospel and pop works, the choir tours internationally and makes frequent radio and TV appearances.

The school's arts program got a major boost in 2001 with the opening of the Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center, a $40 million facility with four performance spacesand a museum. The 140,000-square-foot center houses the university's music, theater and art departments, and also hostsperformers from throughout the local arts community. Art critics and Morgan arts majors alike have expressed excitement over the center's assorted spaces, which include a concert hall and a 270-seat theater.

Throughout its rich history, Morgan State has successfully met the academic needs of a diverse community, and that tradition remains strong. With high-caliber educational offerings and a range of urban services, the school continues to play an important role in shaping theregion's cultural and intellectual life.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Colleges and UniversitiesMinority GroupsArtMorgan State University
  • Fast Facts: Morgan State University at a glance

    - Address: 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, Md., 21251 - Phone: 443-885-3000 - Web site: - Founded: 1867 - Enrollment Fall 2003: 5,551 full-time, 1,078 part-time - Maryland residents: 65 percent - Student/faculty ratio: 18 to 1 - Faculty: 276 members, with majority...

  • Morgan State University
  • Police shootings spur workers compensation awards
    Police shootings spur workers compensation awards

    Ever since her bipolar, unarmed son was shot and killed during a struggle with Baltimore police, Marcella Holloman has felt a sense of soul-crushing loss. She breaks out into shakes, and feels angry all the time. She sees other happy families — and resents them.

  • Hopkins picked to create Ebola training tool
    Hopkins picked to create Ebola training tool

    Federal health regulators picked Johns Hopkins Medicine on Friday to lead development of a Web-based tool to train doctors, nurses and other health care workers on the protocols they should follow when treating patients with, or at risk of contracting, Ebola.

  • Police search Towson U office of rabbi
    Police search Towson U office of rabbi

    Police searching the Towson University office of a prominent Georgetown rabbi accused of secretly recording women in a ritual bath found a backpack with an assortment of tiny cameras hidden in everyday household objects, including a computer charger, a clock and a tissue box, according to a...

  • In rare move, hands-on Ulman seeks job as No. 2
    In rare move, hands-on Ulman seeks job as No. 2

    Democrat Ken Ulman, dressed in Lucky jeans and a polo shirt, strode to the entrance of Robinson Nature Center, excited to give a tour of one of his favorite accomplishments as Howard County executive.

  • Rutherford known for 'making the trains run on time'
    Rutherford known for 'making the trains run on time'

    Boyd Rutherford was raised in a Democratic family in Democratic Northeast Washington, but the running mate of Republican Larry Hogan says he decided early on that the GOP was closer to his values.

  • Sun endorsement: Brown for governor
    Sun endorsement: Brown for governor

    Our view: The race presented a difficult choice, but we believe the lieutenant governor would be better able to enact the changes needed to maintain Md.'s prosperity