BOWIE, MD – Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the nation’s largest civil rights organization, the National Urban League, will address about 380 Bowie State University graduates and their families at the winter commencement. The ceremony is set to take place Friday, December 15, 2017, at 10 a.m. on campus at Bowie State’s Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex.

One of Bowie State’s oldest living alumni, Helen Neal, 88, of Ellicott City, Marland, will also be honored at the commencement.

According to a press release from the university, Morial is a dedicated servant leader with a professional career that has spanned 25 years. Since 2003, he has been the primary catalyst for transformation of the 107-year-old organization. His energetic and skilled leadership has expanded the League’s work around an Empowerment agenda, which is redefining civil rights in the 21st century with a renewed emphasis on closing the economic gaps between whites and communities of color, as well as rich and poor Americans.

Under his stewardship, the League has experienced record fundraising success toward a $280 million, five-year goal. The League also launched a historic $100 million, five-year “Jobs Rebuild America: Educate, Employ, Empower” initiative – a solutions-based, comprehensive approach to the nation’s employment and education crisis.

His creativity has led to initiatives such as the Urban Youth Empowerment Program to help young adults secure sustainable jobs and Entrepreneurship Centers in 13 cities to grow small businesses. Morial also helped established the New Markets Tax Credits initiative, which as resulted in $1 billion in community investment through urban impact businesses.

Before joining the National Urban League, Morial was mayor of New Orleans. A popular chief executive with a broad multi-racial coalition, he led his city’s 1990s renaissance and passionately attacked its vast urban problems.

He was named one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony magazine, one of the Top 50 Nonprofit Executives by the Nonprofit Times, and one of the Top 100 Black Lawyers in America. He holds a law degree from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and African American studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information regarding Bowie State University’s winter commencement, visit

About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit

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