Lamell McMorris Delivers Saint Augustine's University Commencement Address

Perennial Strategy Group CEO was featured speaker at spring graduation ceremony on Saturday

May 15, 2017



WASHINGTON, May 15, 2017 -- In a historic sesquicentennial year for Saint Augustine's University (SAU) located in Raleigh, N.C., leading public affairs expert and civil rights advocate, Lamell McMorris, was selected by SAU to deliver the spring commencement address for the graduating class of 2017. The ceremony took place on May 13 on campus at the Julia Chester Emery Gymnasium. McMorris was also presented with an honorary doctorate degree during the ceremony.

SAU, a designated member of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, was chartered in 1867 by the Episcopal Church of North Carolina with a mission to provide secondary education to freed slaves. Since then, SAU has evolved into a four-year liberal arts university servicing the education and growth of men and women of all backgrounds.

"Having Mr. McMorris, an accomplished entrepreneur and national leader as commencement speaker, couldn't be more timely," stated SAU President Dr. Everett B. Ward. "As we celebrate the university's 150-year anniversary, it is critical that we focus on the defining pillars that cement the foundation of the university's future: entrepreneurship, STEM, public health and mass communications. Mr. McMorris' focus on the future and spirit of entrepreneurship is just what we need to invigorate a new, dynamic class of Falcon leaders."

McMorris, CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based companies Perennial Strategy Group and Perennial Sports, and founding principal of Greenlining Realty USA, is often cited for his instrumental work in opening doors of opportunity through broad based coalition-building, and for his advocacy for diversity, access and inclusion. It's this style of leadership that he brings to the board room as an active trustee at Miles College and his alma mater Morehouse College, coupled with his passion for mentoring young men and women who often seek him out for his sage advice and approachable appeal, that has afforded him a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges faced by secondary education institutions and college graduates alike.

In his address, McMorris encouraged graduates to prepare for the new emerging technological world, to embrace their entrepreneurial passion, to honor and love their family, to stay connected to community, and to embrace their faith in God. McMorris remarked, "We are faith. We are living, walking, breathing faith, and when you come to understand that you are the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, then there's nothing you cannot do."

ABOUT LAMELL MCMORRIS

Lamell McMorris is the founder and CEO of the Washington, DC based companies, Perennial Strategy Group and Perennial Sports. In his work, Mr. McMorris offers strategic insight and external affairs services to some of the nation's leading decision-makers in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. In 2016, Mr. McMorris founded Greenlining Realty USA, a premier comprehensive urban property redevelopment firm with the mission to reverse the historic discriminatory practice of “redlining.” As a lifelong advocate of civil, economic, and social rights, Mr. McMorris serves as a member on numerous nonprofit and college boards, and volunteers his time with several youth-focused and mentoring organizations. He is frequently recognized for his entrepreneurial leadership and pragmatic, high-impact approach to effective advocacy, and he is often invited to speak at a wide range of conferences and events. Mr. McMorris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Society from Morehouse College and a Master of Divinity in Social Ethics and Public Policy from Princeton Theological Seminary.

ABOUT SAINT AUGUSTINE'S UNIVERSITY

Saint Augustine's University, established in 1867, is a four-year liberal arts university in Raleigh, N.C. With an average annual enrollment of 1,500, the University offers over 20 undergraduate degree programs in five academic divisions. Saint Augustine's University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The school's name and status changed from Saint Augustine's College to Saint Augustine's University August 1, 2012.