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Gathering Will Be Held in King’s memory, scholarship to be awarded

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy Lives On Through Remembrance And Change

Heights Editor

Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

Next Monday, Jan. 23, the Office for University Mission and Ministry will host the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Gathering. The event will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s strides in civil rights and honor his memory. Hosted in Gasson 100, the event will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The United Voices of Freedom, a joint musical effort of Boston College choirs and singers, will be featured at the gathering. This year's group is composed of the Voices of Imani, the Liturgy Arts Group, Against the Current, and other campus singers. Faculty, students, and the public are welcome to the free gathering next week.

The Office for University Mission and Ministry, ALC, Black Student Forum, and other groups on campus have worked hard to commemorate King's memory over the years. The youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and a prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. was a social justice advocate who strove for equality and peace. Assassinated on April 4, 1968 while leading a protest march in Memphis, Tenn., MLK is now commemorated as a leader in the movement towards racial equality. For over 30 years, students at BC have worked hard to celebrate MLK's memory, enhance multi-cultural education and understanding on campus, and share in his dream of social justice and equality.

On Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee will present the 30th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Ceremony. Hosted in Robsham Theater at 4:00 p.m., the event awards a junior at BC of African-American descent who exemplifies King's spirit and demonstrates academic excellence. According to the MLK Memorial Committee website, the committee has worked hard to raise substantial funds for scholarship recipients. In 1982, the award was around $500. A year later, the award's amount doubled. By 1990, Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J., then University President Boston College, insured a scholarship award equal to 75 percent of senior year tuition. The committee has continued to work to raise funds for the junior scholarship recipient over the past 20 years.

The Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship ceremony has been awarded to exemplary students since 1982. In 1979 and 1980, before MLK Day became a national holiday, Donald Brown, director of AHANA Student Programs, led efforts to hold a prayer service in King's memory. By 1982, faculty members of BC planned to schedule annual dinners that would feature a notable guest speaker. That same year, the group also decided to establish a scholarship for a junior BC student. Thirty years later, the scholarship ceremony features Charles J. Ogletree, Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, as the keynote speaker. The ceremony is open to alumni, parents, and friends and a reception will follow the event. At 2:00 p.m., a panel discussion will precede the scholarship ceremony in the Murray Function Room. Scholarship winners, prior finalists, and members of the committee will be in attendance to commemorate the occasion.

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