U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock to Deliver Address at MSM's 37th Commencement Exercises

Georgia’s first Black U.S. Senator to bring message of health equity and human rights to the historically Black medical school in Atlanta; ceremony moved to Chastain Park.

Senator Raphael WarnockU.S. Senator Raphael Warnock

(Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta) – April 14, 2021 – U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) will deliver the keynote address for Morehouse School of Medicine’s 37th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 15 at 10 a.m., the institution announced today. Sen. Warnock will be awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the institution.

This year, for the first time ever, the ceremony will be held in the Cadence Bank Amphitheater at Chastain Park. The venue, which holds up to 6,500 people, allows MSM to provide an in-person, socially distanced Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2021. All participants and guests will be required to wear facemasks.

Dr. Warnock made history when he won the closely watched Jan. 5 run-off, becoming Georgia’s first Black U.S. senator. Rev. Sen. Warnock was recently named chair of the senate subcommittee that has oversight over financial institutions and monitors federal consumer protection efforts.

Georgia's voters sent a powerful message by electing Raphael Warnock to the U.S. Senate”
MSM President and Dean, Valerie Montgomery Rice

“Georgia’s voters sent a powerful message by electing Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock to the U.S. Senate,” said MSM President and Dean Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD. “They showed their commitment to civil rights, justice, and health equity for all — a commitment that MSM makes every day. This is more important now than ever before, as the country continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic and its outsized impact on disadvantaged communities. We are pleased Sen. Rev. Warnock will be bringing a message of hope and change to this year’s commencement.”

For the last 16 years, Dr. Warnock has served as senior pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, the former pulpit and spiritual home of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A proponent of criminal justice reform and economic justice, Sen. Warnock has long been politically active and was jailed twice for his participation in social justice protests.

Sen. Warnock grew up in Savannah’s Kayton Homes public housing project with 11 siblings. He graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a degree in psychology in 1991 and later earned Master of Divinity and Master of Philosophy degrees, as well as a PhD in Philosophy from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

He has two children: daughter Chloé and son Caleb. 

“I am ecstatic about the announcement of newly elected US Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock as our Commencement speaker for our May ceremony. He is the personification of determination, perseverance, and teamwork,” said Kameron Robinson, MSM Student Government President. “Sen. Warnock’s work in the community and for Atlanta is unprecedented, and it is awesome to have a speaker who is a living example of what we as students, administrators, and an institution strive to be. I am looking forward to hearing him bring a message to the graduating class that will set us on our path to become leaders and creators of health equity.”

MSM will confer the degrees of Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences, Master of Science in Biomedical Research, Master of Science in Biomedical Technology, Master of Science in Biotechnology, Master of Science in Clinical Research, Master of Science in Medical Sciences, Master of Science in Neuroscience, Master of Public Health, and Executive Master of Public Health.

For more on the ceremony, the speaker, the venue and other information, visit our Commencement Web Page.

About Morehouse School of Medicine

Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), located in Atlanta, Ga., was founded in 1975 as the Medical Education Program at Morehouse College. In 1981, MSM became an independently chartered institution. MSM is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians and was recently recognized as the top institution among U.S. medical schools for our social mission. Our faculty and alumni are noted in their fields for excellence in teaching, research and public policy. Visit us online at www.msm.edu.


Nicole Linton
(404) 202-8991