LORMAN, Miss. — Marc Morial, president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, encouraged Alcorn State University graduates to remember those who are “locked out and left out.”

Morial spoke during Saturday’s commencement ceremony in Lorman. A former New Orleans mayor, Morial told graduates they’re standing on the shoulders of those who preceded them at Alcorn, including civil rights leaders Myrlie and Medgar Evers, actor Michael Clarke Duncan, author Alex Haley and the first black U.S. senator, Hiram Revels, of Mississippi. Revels became the university’s first president when it was founded in 1871.

Duncan, who appeared in “The Green Mile,” died in September at age 54. His 93-year-old mother was present Saturday when Alcorn State awarded him a posthumous degree.

He majored in communications and played basketball at the university in the 1980s.