Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization, will deliver the 2015 LSU Law Center Commencement address on Friday, May 29, at the LSU Pete Maravich Assembly Center, according to an announcement today by LSU Law Center Chancellor Jack M. Weiss. The commencement ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m.
“We’re delighted to announce Marc Morial as LSU Law’s 2015 commencement speaker,” said Chancellor Weiss. “Mr. Morial plays an important role on the national scene as President of the Urban League. As a former Mayor of New Orleans and native Louisianan, he retains deep ties to our state. Of course, Mr. Morial also has a special connection to LSU Law as the son of Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial ‘54, our first African-American graduate. Our students are looking forward to an inspiring address on their graduation day.”
Morial has a distinguished professional career that has spanned 25 years. He has served as a lawyer, professor, legislator, and mayor, and, since 2003, President and CEO of the National Urban League. During his tenure with the Urban League organization, Morial has expanded the League’s work around the “Empowerment Agenda” which seeks to redefine civil rights in the 21st century. The organization has launched the historic “Jobs Rebuild America: Educate, Employ, Empower” initiative in 2013, established the Urban Youth Empowerment Program, and created the Urban Empowerment Fund.
As Mayor of New Orleans from 1994 until 2002, Morial was a popular chief executive with a broad multi-racial coalition. He led the 1990s renaissance of New Orleans and left office with a 70% approval rating. As a lawyer, the Louisiana State Bar Association awarded Morial the Pro Bono Publico Award for his legal service to the poor and disadvantaged. As a professor, Morial served on the adjunct faculty of Xavier University where he taught Constitutional Law and Business Law. As a Louisiana state senator, Morial was named Legislative Rookie of the Year, Education Senator of the Year, and Environmental Senator of the Year, while authoring laws on a wide range of important subjects.
Under appointment by President Obama, Morial has served as Chair of the Census Advisory Committee, a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, and on the Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission. He was also appointed to the Twenty-First Century Workforce Commission by President Bill Clinton.
Morial has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine, one of the Top 50 Nonprofit Executives by the Nonprofit Times, and one of the Top 100 Black Lawyers in America.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics and African American Studies, he also holds a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., as well as numerous honorary degrees, including Xavier University and Howard University.