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Meet Morehouse's Class of 2023 top scholars



ATLANTA — The Class of 2023 is proving to be impressive as Morehouse College announces three valedictorians and a highly regarded salutatorian. These men were celebrated during Morehouse's 139th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21 on the College's Century Campus.

Co-valedictorians Alan Cowan, George Pratt and Darryl Sams performed at the highest level of their class with salutatorian William Whitfield also claiming a spot at the top. Deeming the four men the top scholars of 2023, the historically Black men's college is celebrating their diverse studies and accomplishments.

Cowan is a finance major originally from Brooklyn. He founded The Black Odyssey Society where people use chess to learn critical thinking skills. He's also a Martin Luther King, Jr. scholar, a Black Venture Capital Consortium member and was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Society, according to the college. Passionate about venture capital, Cowan will be moving to the west coast following graduation to work in late-stage investing at Mastry Capital in San Francisco.

"Being a finance major at Morehouse College, I have discovered there are opportunities I can create to empower underrepresented business owners through venture capital," Cowan said in a prepared statement.

Co-valedictorian Pratt is from Jacksonville and studied both history and religion at Morehouse. He hopes to become a cultural theorist and scholar of Black studies, according to Morehouse. To accomplish his dream, he plans to complete a master of philosophy in theology and a doctorate of philosophy in theology and religion at the University of Oxford as a Marshall scholar.

Pratt expressed gratitude to the International Chapel Assistants Program at Morehouse to help him guide his post-graduation plans.

"Working under the tutelage of Dean Lawrence Carter has proven to be a transformational experience that has enriched my learning environment far beyond the classroom," Pratt said in a news release. "Dean Carter's moral and sociologically ethical mentorship has allowed me to imagine a reality where I can dream of a new world for the betterment of society."

A biology major from St. Louis, Sams is also a co-valedictorian. A member of Phi Beta Kappa Society, Sams legacy at Morehouse is marked by his presidency of the Health Careers Society. Within the organization, according to Morehouse, Sams spearheaded initiatives to prepare aspiring healthcare professionals for their futures.

00:Following graduation, Sams will pursue his doctorate in medicine at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania specializing in gastroenterology. According to Morehouse, this is part of Sams' plans to "create equitable pathways for marginalized communities and promoting diversity within the healthcare profession."

"From matriculating through Morehouse, I feel comfortable entering and thriving in any room. With this newly instilled confidence, I know I will make a difference for the better in all the rooms I enter," Sams said.

Also a biology major, Whitfield is Morehouse's Class of 2023 salutatorian. Hailing from Dickinson, Texas, Whitfield interned at Chan Zuckerberg Biohub San Francisco and received the Atlanta Advancing Research Careers in Science Award for his research.

He plans to attend Baylor College of Medicine's postbaccalaureate research education program to prepare for a top medical scientist training program specializing in cardiovascular surgery, medicine and cardiovascular research, according to Morehouse.

"Through my work, I want to begin filling the deficit of Black male physicians," Whitfield explained. "I want to be an example to other young Black men that they can make it in the medical field. I can educate my community on the heart, how to keep it healthy, and provide exceptional care to those with cardiovascular diseases."

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