Author, graduate speak at Fall Commencement Dec. 18

Commencement speakersDavid Lee Morgan Jr., an award-winning sportswriter, author and high school English teacher, gives the keynote address at Youngstown State University’s Fall Commencement 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, in Beeghly Center on campus.

The student speaker is Kendall Bartels, who graduates with a bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science with a concentration and minor in Chemistry. 

In her time at YSU, Bartels served as the “delight dates” coordinator for Delight Ministries, a tutor for Organic Chemistry students and a Forensic Science teaching assistant. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Pi and Honor Society and the recipient of the Dr. Eugene D. Scudder Organic Chemistry Award. She worked as an intern this past summer at the Central Ohio Regional Crime Laboratory in Newark, Ohio. 

Morgan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing and Editing from YSU, is the author of 11 books, including LeBron James: The Rise of a Star and More Than a Coach: What It Means to Play for Coach, Mentor, and Friend Jim Tressel. His latest book, Breaking the Lines: The Marion Motley Story, will be released nationwide next summer. Morgan co-produced a documentary of the same title that aired nationally on PBS, was distributed by American Public Television and won a 2022 regional Emmy Award.

Morgan, who also holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University, is currently an English and video journalism teacher at Stow-Munroe Falls High School. Prior to transitioning into teaching, he was a sportswriter for the Warren Tribune, Youngstown Vindicator, Raleigh (NC) News & Observer, Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun Bulletin, WYTV Channel 33 and the Akron Beacon Journal.

He is a member of the Warren High Schools Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, the Trumbull County African American Achiever’s Hall of Fame, a member of the Board of Directors for PBS Western Reserve, a member the National Council of Teachers of English, the Stark County NAACP, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon Club.

Morgan and his wife, Jill, live in Canton and have seven adult children and three grandchildren. Visit