Claflin University has announced that Marc H. Morial will deliver the 145th Commencement Convocation address on Saturday, May 9 at 11 a.m. at the South Atlantic Seventh-day Adventist Convention Center, 514 Neeses Highway, Orangeburg.
Morial is the president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League (NUL) and whose distinguished and diverse professional career spans 25 years. In addition to leading the nation’s largest civil rights organization, he has experienced success as an entrepreneur, lawyer, educator, legislator and mayor. He is recognized as one of the nation’s most accomplished servant-leaders.
As president of NUL since 2003, Morial has been the primary catalyst for an era of change -- a transformation for the 100 year old civil rights 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 Blacks as well as rich and poor Americans.
Under Morial’s stewardship, the NUL has experienced unprecedented fundraising success and secured the Better Business Bureau nonprofit certification, which has established the NUL as a leading national nonprofit.
As a lawyer, Morial won the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for his legal service to the poor and disadvantaged. He was one of the youngest lawyers at age 26 to argue and win a major case before the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Morial served in the Louisiana senate (1992-94) and was named Legislative Rookie of the Year, Education Senator of the Year, and Environmental Senator of the Year. He was later was elected for two terms as mayor of New Orleans (1994-98, 1998-02). During his tenure the city’s economy experienced its most dramatic growth in over 20 years as the Convention Center was expanded, thousands of new hotel rooms were built, the Downtown Casino and Sports Arena opened and New Orleans hosted Super Bowls and Music Festivals, as well as International and Hemispheric Summits. The NBA also returned to New Orleans as he led the effort to relocate the Hornets from Charlotte.
He also was elected by his peers as President of the bi-partisan U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM). He served during the 9/11 Crisis and championed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federalization of airport security screeners. The USCM achieved unparalleled visibility and prominence under his leadership.
Morial is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics and African American Studies. He also holds a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., as well as honorary degrees from Xavier University, Wilberforce University, and the University of South Carolina Upstate. He has been an adjunct faculty member of Xavier University in Louisiana, where he taught Constitutional Law and Business Law.
Under appointment by President Barack Obama, Morial has served as Chair of the Census Advisory Committee, the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, and the Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the Black Leadership Forum. He was listed as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine as well as one of the Top 50 Nonprofit Executives by the Nonprofit Times.
Morial is married to broadcast journalist Michelle Miller. Together they have two young children.