Wednesday, February 14, 2007


An extra credit opportunity related to this event this Saturday:

The 2007 Bennie and Candle honorees will be featured in Reflections of Excellence, a panel discussion with Q & A, moderated this year by Monica Pearson, Anchorwoman, WSB TV, on Saturday, February 17, 2007, at 11:00 A.M. in King Chapel. PLEASE BE ON TIME! At this time, Dr. Melvin Smith'61, Robert C. Davidson, Jr.'67, Senator Leroy Johnson '49, Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown Sr. '64, Alden McDonald, Dr. Joseph Lowery, Roscoe Lee Browne, and Sidney Poitier will discuss their "road to success" and will provide "prescriptions for overcoming obstacles to achieve success."

Students can attend this event for "extra credit" to them for writing on one of the topics below. Because of the tremendous benefits that students derive from attending this program, students will not want to miss this wonderful event.




1. Sidney Poitier was ridiculed when he applied for his first acting job because of his thick Bahamian accent. Determined not to be a dishwasher all of his life, Poitier learned to speak English in a compelling manner by

listening to announcers on the radio. He achieved considerable success because of his determination to overcome obstacles.

What obstacles have you had to overcome to get this far in your career? What challenges do you still face that you are struggling to overcome? What is your “game plan” for overcoming obstacles and for achieving success?

2. Alden McDonald, president and CEO of Liberty Bank and Trust Company in New Orleans, often speaks about “doing well by doing good.” Robert Davidson ’67, prominent businessman, says that his lifelong effort has been “to help others, especially the underprivileged and children.”

Senator Leroy Johnson ‘49, the first African American to become a senator in Georgia since Reconstruction, was always available to help others. Julian Bond said of him: “Anybody can call him, day or night, for any kind of legal or political help.”

Dr. Joseph Lowery has spent his entire life fighting for human and civil right, and he was a prominent figure with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement.

What is the “bottom line” of obligation for those who have succeeded? Are there any mandates by which successful leaders are to provide service once they have succeeded? Are there any limits? If so, what are they and why?

3. When famed actor, director, and producer Sidney Poitier was a sickly baby and his father thought that he was going to die, his mother took the baby to a soothsayer who predicted that the baby would, indeed, live. She also predicted that one day Sidney would “travel the world over and walk among kings.” Poitier’s outstanding career in arts and entertainment has well fulfilled this prediction.

When Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, civil rights activist and pastor, was eight years old, his Sunday School teacher told him that, like the biblical prophet Amos, he would “bear the burdens of the people.” By the time Amos was 14 years old, he was working with Medgar Evers, amid the violence and racism in the Mississippi Delta, registering blacks to vote. Dr. Brown has continued all of his life to challenge the status quo when human rights have been violated.

In both cases, the predictions have been borne out and demonstrated throughout illustrious careers.

Do you think “greatness” is sometimes or always predestined? That is, are there certain people who are marked for servant-leadership from the time they are born. Do you know of similar predictions that have been fulfilled through the life and work of the individuals?

4. Dr. Melvin Smith’61, world-renowned pediatric surgeon, invented ( with the assistance of Dr. Robert Campbell) the Vertical Expandable Titanium Rib Prosthesis that has saved the lives of hundreds of children all over the world born with birth defects.

Do some reflection on your own aspirations, goals, and priorities. Then write an essay in which you outline the various career opportunities you would like to pursue beyond your major at Morehouse. What do you plan to “invent”or create that will make life better for those who use it?

5. Which of the honorees inspired you to “raise the bar of excellence” in the pursuit of your career and life goals?


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