BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Rep. Elijah Cummings was a member of Morgan State’s Board of Regents.

The University’s President, David Wilson, said Rep. Cummings was devoted to Morgan State and other historically black colleges and universities.

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Just four months ago, Cummings delivered Morgan State’s commencement- a sign of the late Congressman’s devotion to the University.

“Never forget the bridge that brought you over,” Cummings had said at the commencement ceremony. “Never forget.”

In March, the school hosted a small business roundtable organized by Cummings.

“We’re going to miss him,” Wilson said. “We already do.”

Wilson said Cummings always asked him how he could help the school- and did so by increasing Pell Grant Funding and creating partnerships and employers with NASA.

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“It’s gonna be tough for us as a University not having him there to be the kind of guardian over our progress,” Wilson said.

“A lot of people just don’t know how fiercely Elijah fought to make sure young people got an education, that they had a chance to pay their tuition,” Morgan State Board of Regents Chair Kweisi Mfume said.

For students, access to a civil rights and legislative legend will be missed.

“It’s kind of cool not to just read in a book what they did, but to actually be alive while they were doing it, and now somebody has to pick up the torch and keep it going,” Morgan State senior Tyrell Caine said.

In his final message to the Class of 2019, Cummings alluded to the sunset of his life.

“At 68, I’ve now lived longer than I will live,” he had said. “Your lives are in front of you, and, so I beg you to go out and stand up for this democracy.”

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The Board of Regents will meet Nov. 5. Wilson said he expects an emotional void in the room.

Paul Gessler