A Special Induction: Morgan State University 2017
The Zeta Psi chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha at Morgan State University held its fall induction on November 30, 2017 in the new Jenkins Behavioral and Social Science Building on the Baltimore campus. Zeta Psi Chapter Advisor Dr. Alice Jackson led the event. The five inductees join a roster of 240 other outstanding students who have been inducted since the chapter’s founding in 1974.
As is tradition for the Zeta Psi chapter, the induction event was special chance for the department of political science to recognize its best. Welcome messages were delivered by Dr. Gloria Gibson, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Kevin Banks, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dr. M’Bare N’gom Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Also in attendance was nearly every member of the political faculty and more than fifty students who came to see their peers recognized for excellence in the classroom. Pi Sigma Alpha Executive Director Sean Twombly took part in the event reminding students that passion is often what moves an individual into a fulfilling career. He shared the story of recent Chistina Jimenez, a Pi Sigma Alpha member from her undergraduate days at Queens College in New York City. Ealier this fall joined the celebration offering a bit of historical
Chapter advisor Alice Jackson noted “it is important to recognize students and reward them for their hard work by having a ceremony that showcases them to their family, colleagues, faculty and administration. These high achieving students serve as role models on campus, inspiring others to be a part of that exclusive group which has the highest GPA in their discipline.”
Sean Twombly, Executive Director of Pi Sigma Alpha, took part in the event and offered congratulations to the new initiates. In his remarks he commented on the special relationship between the department and the Zeta Psi chapter and how the attendance reflects the importance of recognizing outstanding academic achievement. Mr. Twombly noted that two current faculty in the department - Professor Michael Kamarra and Professor Max Hilaire – were themselves inducted into the chapter during their own undergraduate studies at Morgan State.
The Morgan State University event is marked with some special flourishes as well. The Color Guard from the Morgan State ROTC unit presented the colors and members of the Morgan State Jazz Combo provided musical interludes. In many years a member of the renowned Morgan State choral group performs the national anthem.
The keynote speaker was the Reverend Douglas B. Sands, a graduate of Morgan State in the 1950’s, who majored in political science. Reverend Sands offered a history lesson of sorts, sharing with the crowd personal accounts of how non-violent protest over segregation in the Baltimore neighborhood around the campus of Morgan State in the early 1950’s set the tone for future civil rights protests across the south. Leaders of the Morgan State movement – nearly all students and faculty from the political science department according to Reverend Sands – successfully worked to desegregate the local drugstore and theatre over the course of eight years. Their use of non-violent sit downs and mass-arrest strategy helped influence the c campaigns led by North Carolina A&T students in the 1960s and the mass-arrest strategy used by Dr. Martin Luther King. Reverend Sands went on to work for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was later President of the Black United Methodist Preachers. Reverend Sands connected the struggles that still persist today with the work of his generation in the 1950s and used President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address and his words about the unmistakable evil of slavery to provide greater historical context.