Morehouse College's valedictorian

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on May 19, 2008

Morehouse College, one of America's historically black colleges, has a first in its history -- its first white valedictorian.

It's a great read, but I want to point out this little anecdote from the story.

When [Joshua] Packwood applied to Morehouse, he had frequent conversations with George Gray, an alumnus who was a recruiter at the school. Gray was impressed by Packwood's credentials and spent months trying to talk the sought-after senior into choosing Morehouse over other elite schools.

"He had outstanding numbers," said Gray, now director of admissions at historically black Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark. "He was the kind of kid we were looking for to be a presidential scholar."

After several conversations, Packwood began to suspect that Gray had no idea that he was white. His suspicions were confirmed when one of Gray's calls caught Packwood in the middle of track practice.

"Don't let the white kids walk you down," Gray quipped.

"Wait," Packwood re-sponded. "You know I'm white, right?"

Silence. Uneasy laughter. Confirmation.

It's clear that Packwood has learned a lot in his time at Morehouse. Gray hopefully learned something too, it just took a little bit longer.

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