National Urban League president and CEO to deliver Tuskegee University baccalaureate address



Teri Sumbry




TUSKEGEE, Ala. (April 24, 2013) — Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, will speak at Tuskegee University’s baccalaureate ceremony May 10 at 6:30 p.m. CST in Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Center. As head of the National Urban League since 2003, he has been the primary catalyst for an era of change for the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization.  The league’s agenda seeks to redefine civil rights in the 21st century with a renewed emphasis on closing the economic gaps between whites and blacks as well as rich and poor Americans.

“Tuskegee University has been at the epicenter of so many pivotal moments in the Black American experience. From its founding by Booker T. Washington to being the home of the Tuskegee Airmen, this university is a cherished part of our nation’s history and a vibrant part of our future as it helps to produce our next great leaders,” Morial said.

Morial, an entrepreneur, lawyer and former university professor, also served as a Louisiana state senator and mayor of New Orleans. As mayor of New Orleans, Morial was a popular chief executive with a broad multi-racial coalition who led New Orleans’ 1990’s renaissance and left office with a 70 percent approval rating. During his tenure, the city’s violent crime and murder rates dropped by 60 percent, the unemployment rate was cut in half, and the poverty rate fell according to the 2000 Census.

Under his stewardship, the Urban League has had record fundraising success towards a $250 million fundraising goal over five years. Also, Morial created the National Urban League Empowerment Fund, which has pumped almost $200 million into urban impact businesses including minority business through both debt and equity investments.

A graduate of University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics and African American studies, he also holds a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., as well as honorary degrees from Xavier University, Wilberforce University, and the University of South Carolina Upstate.

He has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential black Americans by Ebony Magazine, as well as one of the Top 50 Nonprofit Executives by the Nonprofit Times.

For more information on our 2013 baccalaureate ceremony and how to obtain media credentials, visit


About the National Urban League

The National Urban League ( is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of direct service programs; and through the public policy research and advocacy activities of the National Urban League Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.  Today, there are nearly 100 local Urban League affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.

About Tuskegee University

Founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee University is home to approximately 3,000 students from the U.S. and 30 foreign countries. The academic programs are organized into seven colleges and schools: 1.) Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science, 2.) College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, 3.) College of Arts and Sciences, 4.) College of Engineering, 5.) College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health, 6.) Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science, and 7.) School of Education.

Tuskegee University is accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, doctorate, and professional degrees. The following programs are accredited by national agencies: architecture, business, education, engineering, clinical laboratory sciences, nursing, occupational therapy, social work, and veterinary medicine.

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