Skip to Content

Center for Civil Rights in Education

Center Resolution


to rename the

as the

 Robert M. Bell was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, raised in Baltimore, and attended Dunbar High School; and,Whereas in 1960, Robert M. Bell was one of twelve Dunbar High School students who entered a downtown Baltimore restaurant, were refused service, and were subsequently arrested and convicted for trespassing solely because of their race; and, Whereas Robert M. Bell, while yet a high school student, led an appeal of the trespassing verdict in a landmark civil rights case, Bell v. Maryland, which eventually was argued before the United States Supreme Court and brought an end to de facto racial segregation in public accommodations in Maryland; and, Whereas Robert M. Bell continued his education at Morgan State College, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with the A.B. in History and ranked number two out of a class of three hundred and sixty-one students and then earned the Juris Doctorate degree from the Harvard University Law School; and, 

Whereas Robert M. Bell practiced law in Baltimore as an attorney with the law firm of Piper & Marbury and he has served as a judge for more than twenty-five years in Maryland, first as a judge of the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City, then as a judge for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, subsequently appointed as a judge on the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, and then appointed to the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the highest court in the State; and,

Whereas Robert M. Bell was appointed as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland by Governor Parris N. Glendening, thereby becoming the presiding judicial officer in Maryland and the only active judge in the State to have served at least four years on all four levels of Maryland's judiciary and the first African American to be named the State's Chief Judge; and,
Whereas Robert M. Bell has honored his alma mater, Morgan State University, by his distinguished life as a jurist including, but not limited to, chairing the Judicial Compensation Committee and the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO), chairing the Committee on Building Public Trust and Confidence in the Justice System, serving as President of the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) Board of Directors, Vice Chair for the CCJ Committee on Access to and Fairness in the Courts, Chair of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Board of Directors Commission to Revise the Annotated Code of Maryland, and holding memberships in the Judicial Evaluation Committee for the Maryland State Bar Association, the Sentencing Guidelines Board, the Judicial Compensation Committee, the Judicial Education Committee, the State Bar Committee on Judicial Administration, and memberships in the National Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association, the Baltimore City Bar Association, and the Monumental City Bar Association; and,
Whereas Robert M. Bell has honored his alma mater, Morgan State University, by his distinguished life of community service, including but not limited to, service as a member of the Board of Directors of Villa Julie College, the Board of Directors of Provident Hospital, the Board of Directors of Sojourner-Douglass College, the Board of Directors of the African American Community Foundation, the University of Maryland Law School Board of Visitors, the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and as a recipient of numerous community service awards; and,

Whereas Robert M. Bell has been instrumental in dismantling institutionalized segregation and breaking down the longstanding barriers of racial bigotry and discrimination, consistently exhibiting his courage and convictions from his childhood years through his stellar advocacy as a lawyer and his distinguished record as a jurist; and, Whereas the Center for Civil Rights in Education, established at Morgan State University, unites research, teaching, training and advocacy on integral civil rights issues in education at the elementary, secondary and postsecondary levels; is instituted for the study of current issues and challenges related to equal educational opportunity, particularly with respect to African American and other minority students seeking real and meaningful opportunities for educational excellence and advancement; and convenes the legal profession, academia, students, advocacy groups, policy makers, and civic and community leaders and organizations to develop and promote substantive research and collaboration of research, strategies, remedies, solutions, programs, public policy initiatives and appropriate legal and community-based advocacy necessary to overcome obstacles to educational achievement, eliminate continuing policies and practices that foster discrimination or perpetuate segregated conditions in education, and enhance educational opportunity for all students regardless of race, ethnicity or background.

Now Therefore be it recognized that in order to honor its favorite son and to further substantiate the vision, mission, purposes and objectives of the Center for Civil Rights in Education, Morgan State University hereby renames the Center for Civil Rights in Education as the Robert M. Bell Center for Civil Rights in Education; and, be it

Further Recognized that by the authority of the Board of Regents and the President of Morgan State University, Robert M. Bell is hereby appointed a Visiting Professor to the faculty of Morgan State University with appropriate teaching, research, advising, and/or administrative responsibilities through the Robert M. Bell Center for Civil Rights in Education with all of the rights, privileges and responsibilities thereto appertaining.

Signed this day, April 28, 2010 by:

Earl S. Richardson