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Mayor Kasim Reed and Morehouse President John Wilson on the Passing of Mandela

Mandela, South Africa's first black president, died Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa after a long illness. He was 95

Floral tributes and a picture are left at a statue of Nelson Mandela at Parliament Square in London, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Mandela, South Africa's first black president, died Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa after a long illness (AP /Sang Tan)
Floral tributes and a picture are left at a statue of Nelson Mandela at Parliament Square in London, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Mandela, South Africa's first black president, died Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa after a long illness (AP /Sang Tan)
Mayor Kasim Reed
Today, we mourn the passing of a leader who was peerless in his sacrifice, courage and commitment to changing not only a nation, but the world. Nelson Mandela was truly a hero for the entire human race. As an undergraduate student at Howard University, I had the opportunity to meet President Mandela when he visited the campus in 1994. I was profoundly moved by his strength, dignity and grace. A photograph from that day hangs in my office; Mr. Mandela has been a constant source of inspiration for me and millions across the globe. We are all better because of the life he lived.

John Wilson Jr., President, Morehouse College
“I am profoundly saddened by the news of the death of Nelson Mandela. He lived an extraordinary life.  It was a highlight in the history of Morehouse College when he visited our campus on June 27, 1990 and we awarded him an honorary degree and unveiled an oil portrait of him, which now hangs in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.    

He will forever be among those we admire most as a Morehouse Man.   

I had the opportunity to meet him in 1992 during a visit to South Africa.  That extraordinary meeting has affected me ever since, and even moved me to make a special charge to my first graduating class during the 2013 Commencement at Morehouse College this past May.   

I charged the hundreds of new Morehouse Men to believe intensely in themselves.  Through his most difficult times, including 27 years of imprisonment and four years of solitary confinement, Mr. Mandela was able to go to a deeper place in his spirituality to “believe” that all would be well.  It was that belief that led this great man to ultimately find forgiveness for his jailers and lead the South African nation to peace. It is a lesson from which we all can learn.  The world has been made a better place because of his presence in it.  He will be missed.”

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