The historically Black college Morgan State University was scheduled to hold the first public viewing of Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died Thursday from ongoing health complications. Morgan State, located in Baltimore, Cummings’ hometown, planned the public viewing for Wednesday morning on its campus.
The viewing is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. A tribute service will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
“During the service, the family and attendees will hear brief remarks from a number of elected officials, religious and community leaders and friends. In between portions of the service, the Morgan State University Choir will perform three musical selections personally requested by Congressman Cummings’s wife, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings,” Morgan State University said in a statement.
Cummings has a long history with the HBCU, which is located in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, where he served since 1996. The legendary legislator had been on the University’s Board of Regents for 19 years and, in 2006, Morgan State University gave him an honorary Doctorate of Laws.
The graduate of Howard University and the University of Maryland School of Law became a member of the Maryland House of Delegates in 1983 before moving on to the U.S. House of Representatives 13 years later.
The shocking news of his death came weeks after Cummings, the ranking chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, announced that he was having a medical procedure. However, he never returned to his Capitol Hill offices afterward. He was previously only expected to miss about two weeks of work.
Cummings’ wake and funeral were scheduled to be held Friday at New Psalmist Baptist Church, where he worshiped for nearly four decades. One day earlier Cummings will make history as the first Black elected official to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, where only two other African Americans have ever enjoyed that distinction.
In his final hours, Cummings was still pushing policy, according to a tweet from Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley wrote on Twitter hours after the Congressman’s death was announced.
Cummings is survived by his wife, who is reportedly considering running for his seat in the House, and their three children. He was only 68 years old when he died.
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