Morehouse Scholars To Study Leadership, Economics, Politics In West Africa On Annual Spring TourFebruary 24, 2020
ATLANTA—Sixteen Morehouse College scholars will visit West Africa from March 6-14 to meet with senior level staff of Coca-Cola, Citi, and the U.S. Embassy during the 34th annual International Spring Tour. The free academic adventure will take students from Atlanta to Accra, Ghana and Dakar, Senegal, more than 5,000 miles away from Morehouse.
The Spring Tour, an annual program of the Morehouse College Office of Career Development and Engagement, exposes top Morehouse students to international lessons in business, politics, language, customs, and culture. Since the program's inception, more than 700 students have traveled with the Spring Tour to visit economic and cultural centers on every continent. The educational trip has taken students from the Americas to Europe, Asia, and Australia. For many men of Morehouse, the Spring Tour is their first journey abroad.
“The trip adds to their global perspective on a host of issues,” Douglas Cooper, executive director of Morehouse College’s Career Development and Engagement said of the Spring Tour. “They will see issues related to leadership, economics, and geopolitics in their travels to Ghana and Senegal. Anytime you can see firsthand how policy is driven and financial strategies are developed, it makes for a much better prepared young man.”
The Spring Tour is being funded through donations from business community supporters of Morehouse College, including JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Boeing, Citi, Coca-Cola, Dell, Moody’s Corporation, Google, Wells Fargo, Société Générale and Grant Thornton LLP. The donations will cover meals, hotels, vaccinations, and new visas for students.
A diverse group of students was selected to travel on the Spring Tour after a rigorous screening process. The students—mathematics, psychology, sociology, political science, international studies, and business majors—had to be nominated by a faculty member, interviewed, and reviewed for academic performance. The finalists also had to write a 10-to-15-page research paper analyzing the social, economic, historical, and political implications of capital investment in Sub-Saharan Africa by China.
Five faculty and staff members will accompany the student group on the international trip. Students will travel to Ghana first for meetings at the U.S. Embassy. They will then visit Citi and Coca-Cola to meet executives and make a presentation about their studies at Morehouse. Upon their return, students will document the impact of the trip on their academic experience.
The students will also have free time to sample local cuisine, visit marketplaces, and photograph historic landmarks. Students are scheduled to tour the slave fortresses of Elmina Castle along the Gold Coast of Ghana, as well as Goree Island off the coast of Dakar, Senegal, known for the “Door of No Return.”
“For these gifted men of Morehouse, we are calling this engagement with Africa, and our understanding of the Motherland and its history and majesty, the ‘Year of Enlightenment,’’’ Cooper said.
Networking time with Morehouse Men living in Africa may also be added to the schedule. “We have had a couple of Morehouse alumni working in Ghana who have asked to connect with us,” Cooper said.
The Spring Tour was developed and implemented in 1982 by Dr. James Hefner. It was originally designed to allow accounting students to visit banking and accounting firms and graduate schools. It later was expanded as an international trip in 1985 under the guidance of by Dr. John Williams.
Traveling with the Spring Tour has opened many Morehouse students to the idea of living and working abroad. Some past participants are now studying abroad in fellowships or in advanced degree programs at universities. Others have successful international careers.
“There have been a number of graduates who have decided to go and work overseas as a result of this,’’ Cooper said. “We have graduates living and working in Brazil and South Africa. We have met former students doing consulting in Berlin and London. There are Morehouse alumni living, working, and thriving around the globe.”
The following Morehouse scholars are traveling with the 2020 Spring Tour: Samuel Abrams – Senior, Economics; Malcolm Beason – Senior, Mathematics and Chinese; Jared Bryson – Senior, Economics & Chinese; Drew Byrd – Junior, Chinese & Economics; Ronnie Crimes Jr. – Junior, Accounting; Brian Etienne – Junior, Economics; George Grier – Senior, Business; Iyvor Diohn Hypolite – Senior, Finance; D. Alexander Jackson – Senior, Business; Austin Jeter – Senior, Business & Chinese; Aaron Johnson – Senior, Marketing; Tiago Rachelson – Junior, Sociology; Nathan Rolle – Senior, International Studies; Zach Manuel – Senior, Political Science; Nolan Saddler – Senior, Finance; and Michael Walker – Senior, Psychology.