Three men graduating from Morehouse College in southwest Atlanta made history by sharing valedictorian honors at the 2016 commencement.
The college was founded in 1867 and hadn’t seen three such high achievers in 131 years of graduating ceremonies, the college said in a news release.
Liam Davis, Ian Niemeyer and Willie Thompson achieved 4.0 grade point averages and were recognized Sunday during commencement exercises for the class of 2016.
John Silvanus Wilson Jr., president of Morehouse College, said all three valedictorian business majors strive for the best in both intellectual and personal excellence.
“We celebrate these graduating seniors and their successes and will continue to prepare men who demonstrate principles such as acuity and integrity,” Wilson said.
Davis, 22, said he feels like he started college as a child thinking he was an adult.
“I feel like this was the incubator stage for me as a man,” Davis said. “Looking back to four years ago, I’m a completely different person.”
He’s headed to a master of science program in accountancy at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, N.C. His ultimate goal is to become the prime minister of the Bahamas.
Niemeyer, 22, called Morehouse the best choice he’s ever made.
“Morehouse represented the opportunity for me to both broaden my perspective and get a very unique experience I really don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else, a place that could really challenge my current world view,” Niemeyer said. “It was a chance for me to be a part of the brotherhood that I’ve heard so much about.”
Thompson, 22, minored in Chinese studies while pursuing his business economics degree. He is heading to Taiwan after graduation as a Fulbright Scholar. He admitted Morehouse wasn’t originally on his radar, but he’s thrilled at his accomplishments.
“I came kicking and screaming, but I’m leaving happy and rejoicing,” Thompson said. “At Morehouse, I’ve definitely been challenged academically; I’ve been challenged spiritually.”
His ultimate goal is to found an international fine arts school to improve international relations between countries.