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HBCU Students & Alumni Invited Morgan State Students To Homecoming After Theirs Was Canceled

After a mass shooting on Morgan State University’s campus in Baltimore on Oct. 3, university President David K. Wilson announced on Oct. 4 that all homecoming activities would either be canceled or postponed. In the wake of the announcement, students and alumni at other historically Black colleges and universities stepped up to offer support to Morgan State students and alumni, and some have even invited them to come to their own schools’ homecoming activities.

The shooting injured five people, all between the ages of 18 and 22, and four of which were Morgan State students, according to ESPN. CNN reports that all five victims were brought to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The shooting, which took place during a homecoming event, prompted the university to tell students to shelter in place for about four hours. Classes for Oct. 4 were canceled, with classes for the rest of the week and homecoming activities also being canceled soon after.

On Oct. 4, Wilson sent a letter to the community and a video message was uploaded to Morgan State’s official Instagram account. “Today, we unfortunately find ourselves navigating this tragic event during a time at which we should be celebrating our National Treasure during Homecoming,” he wrote. “Please understand that the safety of our campus is of the utmost importance and our resolve in ensuring that we have a secure campus is paramount. 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.”

He continued, “Regarding 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(s) of this atrocity have been found and brought to justice.” Among the canceled events, he listed the school’s Homecoming Concert, Silent Headphones Party, Homecoming Pep Rally, Homecoming Parade, and Lady Bear Volleyball match. The Homecoming Football Game against Stony Brook University, originally scheduled for Oct. 7, and the MSU 39th Annual Homecoming Gala were both postponed.

While homecoming is a tradition at many universities, it holds special importance for HBCUs. HBCU homecomings provide an opportunity for students and alumni to connect with Black culture and center Black joy. The National Museum of African American History and Culture showcases the important legacy of HBCU homecomings and some of the events that typically take place during homecoming week, from step shows, to elaborate halftime performances at the homecoming football game, to closing chapel services that feature HBCU gospel choirs. Given this important context, it’s clear that Morgan State canceling homecoming for the first time in the school’s history is a tragic development.

Other HBCU students are uplifting the Morgan State community in light of the announcement. In the comments of a post about the news by HBCU Buzz, several HBCU students and alumni invited Morgan State students to their own homecoming festivities. “Bowie State stands with Morgan State. You’re more than welcome to come down the road and join us this weekend. 💛🖤💙🧡,” one commenter wrote. “Come to NCCU yard November 4 we welcome y’all with open arms !!!!!” another said.

“I hate this for them but it’s so important,” one person shared. “Sending love and prayers and open doors if needed to just breathe for sec from your HBCU family at Alabama State . 🥲🤎” On Morgan State’s official post, HBCU students and alumni likewise left supportive comments. One wrote, “Sending HBCU love from Texas Southern & Clark Atlanta Universities ♥️🙏🏾” while another said, “This Howard grad holds my fellow HBCU Morgan Family lifted in prayer.” The official Cheyney University Instagram account showed their solidarity as well, writing, “We stand with you Dr. Wilson and the Morgan State Community 💙🤍.”

For now, Morgan State is focusing on the wellbeing of its school, its staff, and students. Wilson’s letter shared that the university “will implement campus-wide programming geared towards the health and welfare of our University community. We strongly believe that this moment calls for reflection, thus allowing our students, faculty and staff the opportunity to focus on their mental wellness.” The school shared another Instagram post thanking people for their support on Oct. 6, with a university sign displaying the message “Morgan Strong.” Hopefully, with the support of their fellow HBCUs, the Morgan State community can heal from this tragic event.

Erica Kam is the Life Editor at Her Campus. She oversees the life, career, and news verticals on the site, including academics, experience, high school, money, work, and Her20s coverage. Over her six years at Her Campus, Erica has served in various editorial roles on the national team, including as the previous Culture Editor and as an editorial intern. She has also interned at Bustle Digital Group, where she covered entertainment news for Bustle and Elite Daily. She graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from Barnard College, where she was the senior editor of Columbia and Barnard’s Her Campus chapter and a deputy copy editor for The Columbia Spectator. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her dissecting K-pop music videos for easter eggs and rereading Jane Austen novels. She also loves exploring her home, the best city in the world — and if you think that's not NYC, she's willing to fight you on it.