Legacy Lives On

Jair Hilburn, Editor-In-Chief

For 153 years, Morehouse College has been an institution whose mission was the betterment of Black men. Through offering opportunities and building Black men academically and personally, this institution has been known to produce trailblazers and history makers for generations, but this school has also been known to produce a plethora of legacies – students who have family members who have attended/graduated from the school the student currently attends.

After talking to a few students about being a legacy and the preceding generation(s), it was understood why Morehouse stayed in the family.

“I feel that my actions and my individual life are only a part of the larger legacy,” junior Grant Showell said. “I think my job is to be my best to make sure my contribution is of value to the legacy.”

For Odell Horton, Jr. ’83, his father told him stories about Chapel — which is now known as Crown Forum — and it was the notable people that came to speak that made him yearn more to come to Morehouse.

The first time he thought about having his son, Matthew Horton, go to Morehouse was when he was looking at schools.

“There are a number of people that have second, third and a few fourth-generation families at Morehouse, but I think it’s a tradition that even though there are a lot of options out there, I think for an African American male it’s a great school to go to,” Odell said. “It gives you a lot of opportunities to learn about yourself… [and be in] a safe zone to explore who you are, to mature and to be surrounded by peers who are not only your peers but are also smarter than you and push you to be better.”

Yet Matthew didn’t feel pressured to go to Morehouse.

“Morehouse was my third choice for colleges,” Matthew said. “I was nudged by my dad at times, though. When I decided that I was going to Morehouse, he was happy but not ecstatic.

“That’s how I knew he would have been fine with me going to any other school.”

As time goes on, things about Morehouse have changed, but what hasn’t is it’s comradery – which speaks to the importance of having a legacy. While in Washington, D.C., during Matthew’s freshman year, a Morehouse alumnus approached the Hortons after seeing Matthew wearing a Morehouse shirt, and he shared some tips with him to make the most out of his experience at Morehouse.

“Those are the kind of experiences that one Morehouse brother would do for another,” Odell said. “It warms your heart to know that the tradition lives on and that there are other people that understand the legacy. When people go to Morehouse and have those experiences, I think it engenders a greater tradition in history with Morehouse.”

Courtney Showell ’00 has had conversations with his son about future schools for him to go to, but Courtney urges his son to go Morehouse because “there are things you get out of [the] experience that you don’t get elsewhere.”

“I think Morehouse is a foundational block for us to build upon,” Courtney said. “Having a legacy means you’re continuing that tradition. You have to have a foundation in order to build from the ground up.

“You must always have a strong foundation to build upon because otherwise you’ll never be able to excecute.”


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