Joshua Packwood knows what it’s like to be a minority.
This weekend he’ll be the first white valedictorian to graduate from the historically black, all male Morehouse College in the school’s 141-year history.
Morehouse, in Atlanta, Georgia, is one the nation’s most prestigious universities of its kind. For more than a century, the school has prided itself on personifying the dream of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the school’s most notable alums, by producing “Morehouse Men” – intelligent and successful black leaders.
“Because I’m one of the only white students, it’s easy to call me ‘the white boy,’ I’m naturally going to stand out,” says Packwood.
But Packwood, 22, doesn’t stand out solely because he is white or has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. For those who don’t know him, what is surprising is that a Rhodes Scholar finalist turned down a full scholarship to Columbia University to attend the all-black men’s university.