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WHAT DOES FOUNDER’S DAY MEAN TO STUDENTS?

DeAndre Washington, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again, where the celebration returns – as do those who once walked these same campus grounds asking for directions to Nabritt-Mapp-McBay or Merrill Hall. Morehouse College prepares to celebrate another Founder’s Day. This year culminates 152 years of developing men with disciplined minds to lead lives of leadership and service.

Students have come here with the goal to do something different with their lives. And in four years, those same students learn to carve their own lanes in order to be proud of something when it’s time to move on from Morehouse. But do they value celebrating the day Morehouse was founded?

“Founder’s Day is cool,” senior Theodore Cruz said. “It brings us closer together as students that go to the college, and creates a sense of community and understanding that none of this happened overnight.”

That sense of community is the foundation that Morehouse has been built upon for 152 years. But the with the daily struggles of a student, some can’t find the time to care. In speaking with some of the students, they asked more questions than they gave answers.

Founder’s Day at Morehouse College is the reminder to celebrate the work that’s been done out of wanting to see brighter days for black men in the world. However, the idea that continued for 152 years now needs to remind current students of its importance.

Students express that Founder’s Day is nothing more than just another day of the week. Other students shared caring sentiments about the day; even going as far as expressing what they felt the disconnect is between the student body and their lack of engagement with the events.

“I don’t know what events we have,” sophomore Micah Guthrie said. “I believe the events are the concert and gala, but you have to pay for the gala. I’m not sensing much school spirit with the events, that may be lacking.

“I would say that the events, especially the gala, are for alum,” he continued. “The gala doesn’t have the same energy to be seen as a school wide event similar to football or basketball games – those are school spirit events.”

Attempts have been made to communicate change. Through constantly exemplifying pride for the school, acknowledgement of the brother-sister relationships, and keeping traditions such as being pillars for Welcome to the House, freshman dorm stroll-offs, and even the humorous fear of having to move into Mays Hall over the Otis Moss suites.

“Founder’s Day for me is a day of reflection of all the Morehouse men who paved the way for me to be here today,” junior Jakarie Gates said. “The traditions and foundation Morehouse was built on was my reason for wanting to attend Morehouse. Founder’s Day is a holiday for us.”

Gates concluded with a sentiment that every man that attends Morehouse comes to share once they learn about the prominent figures that walked brown street before them. “It gives me chills everyday to walk the same streets and sit in the same chairs as Maynard Jackson, MLK, and many more.”

Students opinions on the relevance of Founder’s Day poses a question for the campus: how can we make the engagement better as the attention comes more from alumni than current day students?

That inquiry has yet to be given an answer as it’s hard to encourage engagement and continue the same traditions that worked for so many years.

“I do feel that Founder’s Day is more catered to the alumni of the school,” junior Alani Scott said. “While the traditions of Morehouse are good, a lot of them do not fit the classes of today. I feel that in order to get the students more involved in Founder’s Day, ask the students what they would be interested in doing for Founder’s Day.”

Students shouldn’t see the value in Morehouse once their journey reaches graduation. And that’s the disconnect between current Men of Morehouse and alumni. But until tradition meets current student’s standards, Founder’s Day is just another day to go to class.

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