Morgan State University has canceled the 2023 Homecoming festivities in the wake of the mass shooting earlier this week. It marks the first HBCU in history (outside of COVID-19 restrictions) to take such measures.
The news comes just one day after suspect(s) shot five people—four of them students—during the “let out” of this year’s coronation on Tuesday (October 3). The gunfire broke out at two separate locations: Thurgood Marshall Hall, a dormitory on campus, and the Murphy Fine Arts Center, where the event took place.
Shortly after the shots rang out, the university issued a shelter-in-place order to ensure everyone’s safety. The president of Morgan, Dr. David K. Wilson, delivered a message via social media on Wednesday (October 4), detailing the steps the school has made.
“It is with great consternation that I deliver this message to our university community following the most incredible and unfortunate of events that occurred on our campus last evening,” he said, adding it was an “unbelievable act of violence.”
He continued, “I can assure you that in response to last evening ‘s events, we are aggressively increasing security measures on campus, further amplifying additional security measures that have been implemented in recent years. With regard to homecoming, regrettably for the very first time in Morgan’s history, all activities planned around homecoming will be either canceled or postponed until the perpetrator or perpetrators of this atrocity have been found and brought to justice.”
The Washington Post reported that Tuesday’s incident was the third consecutive year in which gunshots disrupted homecoming week at Morgan State University.
The administrator said that the decision was not singular but made in concert with key stakeholders within our university community, including student leaders.
“We greatly appreciate the outpouring of support from our larger community, literally all over the world, expressing their concern and their support for this institution during this trying time,” Wilson concluded, punctuating his remarks with a request to keep the identities of the young adults injured during the campus shooting private.
One act of solidarity was expressed by the Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on Delaware State University’s campus.
The president posted a note, with the caption, “The ladies of the Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated are standing with @morganstateu and @alphagamma_dst. We would also like to extend Congratulations to the 79th Miss Morgan State University Soror Jade Berryman and to the 36th Mr. Morgan State University Mr. Tyler Hairston. We are praying for the safety of your University.”