It was only fitting last weekend during the 25th Class Reunion of the Morehouse and Spelman Classes of ’94, that the heat in Atlanta would be brutally oppressive; the heat was beyond brutally oppressive way back in August of 1990, when a group of late teenaged men and women embarked upon a noble journey to become Morehouse Men and Spelman Women.
We, like thousands of young men and women before us, were drawn to our respective institutions because of their rich legacies of academic excellence and community service. We were drawn because the alumni rosters for both schools read like a veritable “Who’s Who” in American history.
I distinctly remember walking around both campuses during my first days on the yard in August of 1990–sweating profusely–silently reminding myself that Nobel Laureate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Pulitzer Laureate Alice Walker, Secretary of Health and Human Services Louis Sullivan, Army General Marcelite Harris, filmmaker Spike Lee, actress Esther Rolle, Olympian Edwin Moses, and Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman had traversed the same hot red hills, sat in the same halls, eaten similar meals, and been set upon their paths to greatness at Morehouse and Spelman.
As we reunited last weekend, those stories of our first days on the yard–and the four years that truly flew by–drew smiles and laughs for hours on end. Whether criticizing the old cafeteria food (that I thought was quite good LOL), laughing at how Graves Hall lacked air conditioning, heat, and hot water during that bitterly cold winter; whether still griping about the lack of after hours food establishments once Steagall’s closed its doors each evening back in the day (the present age has it damned good, what with Chik-Fil-A and Starbucks and whatnot); from the early liquor store runs to grab malt liquor and MD 20/20, to the parties at Lower Manley on Spelman’s campus that we attended quite inebriated back then, those memories are sealed with love in our hearts and minds forever.
The solemn remembrances last weekend of those who died tragically young, like my Graves Hall Brother Paul Pichon–killed in a car accident in October of 1990, was made even more solemn upon noting that so many more of our classmates have passed away since then…Yes, there is something sobering about seeing birthdates from 1971-73 ending with death dates from the 90s to today…
Those remembrances of the departed, however, only heightened the sense of love and respect that the living members of the Class of ’94 still have for each other. Even when the name(s) escaped memory this past weekend, the genuine flow of conversation and sense of concern was abundant. It was clear that while many of our classmates have achieved greatly in their personal and professional lives, that those successes have been balanced by failures great and small–the vicissitudes of life that I often speak of that define each of our respective experiences.
But most crucially, the unconditional love, the sincere encouragement, and the reminders that we are bound to each other for life, left many of my classmates–and Ol’ Hobbs–eager to continue striving to live our best lives so that we, too, can leave a lasting mark on this world as Morehouse Men and Spelman Women.
I would be remiss if I did not note that in the years since we graduated, what I have missed THE most are the impromptu debates and discussions about the important issues of our day. Yes, Facebook debates are good, but personal interaction still reigns supreme, and such discussions were aplenty this past weekend. So, too, was some of the revelry that we were known for–albeit with top shelf spirits–not that rot-gut we used to imbibe freely from ’90-94 LOL.
Indeed, the HBCU experience is all about family, and while SpelHouse Homecoming each year is ranked among the best along with FAMU’s, Howard’s, NC A&T’s, Hampton’s, Tuskegee’s, and Southern’s, the individual class reunions every five years at Morehouse and Spelman are a tradition without rival! A tradition, mind you, that allows the initiated to reconnect, to reminisce, and to recharge for our respective goals to uplift our race and our communities. A tradition that saw our classes gift over $500,000 to our respective schools this past weekend. A tradition that found Ol’ Hobbs, one who has never been a crying man, working hard to hold back tears while joining my classmates in singing “Dear Old Morehouse” during our class meeting, and again that night as we sang with reuniting classes going back as far as 1949!
So, until 2024, below are a few pictures from an epic 25th reunion for the “Legendary Class of ’94!” Kudos to my friend and classmate, Dr. Eric Marshall, for the high resolution pics below (the low res ones are from the Android of yours truly)