Pearson knew before Oprah that hundreds of “Morehouse Men” would also be an emotional part of her surprise spectacular.
Oprah is Morehouse College’s largest single donor. Her endowment is worth $12 million.
Years ago, Oprah said her goal was to guarantee 100 young men got their college education. So far, there are more than 400 “Sons of Oprah,” each with an impressive resume.
Bankers, lawyers, doctors and artists, all of the Morehouse men traveled to Chicago for a reason.
Like dozens of Hollywood stars, they too had a surprise for Oprah.
We’re thrilled to be part of historic moment, milestone in television history and Oprah’s life and in Morehouse College History, Morehouse College President Dr. Robert M. Franklin said.
Led by some of the first Oprah scholarship recipients, her Morehouse Men are signing a pledge to raise money for a scholarship of their own.
This gave me an opportunity; I want to help the people who come behind me to do the same thing,” Morehouse junior Shawn Teasley said.
Monica asked Franklin, For some of these young men would they have been able to continue their education at Morehouse without the scholarships?”
Absolutely not. We lose a number of young men each year for financial reasons,” Franklin replied.
Men like New York City attorney Imar Hutchins.
I had a 4.0, but I desperately needed money to stay in school,” Hutchins said.
Wall Street’s Shaka Rasheed, who now manages billions of dollars, was another recipient.
He came to Morehouse with a father in prison and a mother raising three sisters in the inner city.
I knew walking in I didn’t have the money to pay for it. Receiving the scholarship made it possible for me to be a great student,” Rasheed said.
Oprah’s example has touched each of the men and though many have achieved financial, professional and personal success, they have not forgotten how it felt before Oprah’s “light” came into their lives.
It was difficult at times not knowing if you will be able to realize the fullness of your potential because you didn’t have the money. But it worked out, Rasheed said.
In less than a month, Oprah’s “sons” have raised nearly $400,000 for Morehouse scholarships.
You can their emotional thank you on stage during the “surprise spectacular” Oprah shows Monday and Tuesday on Channel 2 at 4 p.m.