Morehouse College officials are spending much of the holiday break trying to convince parents that it's safe for their children to attend the prestigious, historically black school.

Following three student slayings in two months, officials have started a series of meetings across the nation with parents in 10 cities from New York to San Francisco. They began this week in Washington, D.C.The murders are a grim reminder to the 2,990 students at the men's college that the campus isn't an oasis from the real world of rising violent crime.

"This just reflects society in general," said Marc Watkins, a political science major from Tulsa, Okla. "Statistically, young black males are the most likely to be victims of crime."

The names Michael Singleton, Oronde Allie and George Moore hung over the campus last week. The three won't get the chance to join a list of Morehouse alumni that include the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; Dr. Louis Sullivan, the Bush administration's Health and Human Services secretary; Olympian Edwin Moses; film director Spike Lee; and a string of black leaders in politics, publishing and business.

Allie, a computer science major from Roxbury, Mass., was fatally shot by a carjacker a few blocks from campus Nov. 20. Later that week, Singleton, a 20-year-old from Warrensville Heights, Ohio, was among three youths killed during an apparent robbery in an apartment 20 miles from campus.

On Oct. 21, Moore, a 27-year-old freshman from Wilmington, Del., was fatally shot while driving through a nearby public housing development.

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A male student from nearby Clark University was wounded in a separate incident in October, and another Clark student, a woman, was robbed and kidnapped 16 hours after Allie's slaying.

The violence has many students taking a hard look at their surroundings at the Atlanta University Center complex, which includes more than 10,000 students from Morehouse, Clark, Morris Brown and Spelman colleges. The area is ringed by crime-ridden inner-city neighborhoods.

"You've got to be on your guard 24 hours," said Andre Turner, a corporate finance major from Rochester, N.Y. "It's changed the management of my time. I do a lot of studying in the library, and now I do it in the afternoon before it gets dark."

His parents are worried, he said.

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