Lamar University commemorates life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tuesday Jan. 19

Published 9:18 am Monday, January 18, 2016

Lamar University will commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a special observance on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
The event, “Remembering the Man … Remembering the Legacy,” will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Landes Auditorium of the Galloway Business Building.
“The LU campus community and the public are invited to join us as we honor and pay tribute to Dr. King’s aspirational legacy,” said Vernice Monroe, special assistant to the president, University Multicultural Enhancement. “We will reflect on and remember the power of his words that after 40 years still ring true. His writings continue to inspire.”
David Willard, the son of former Beaumont civil rights attorney, Elmo R. Willard, will serve as the moderator for the event. Currently dean of students and language arts instructor at All Saints Episcopal School in Beaumont, Willard holds a masters and doctorate in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a bachelor’s in finance from Morehouse College.  A former school administrator and diversity coordinator, he has taught at the elementary, secondary and university levels.  In addition, he has served on numerous boards and planning committees involving education. Willard is a co-author of the book Grassroots Social Action:  Lessons in People Power Movements published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2008.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was a Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian and leader in the African-American Civil Right Moment.  He is best remembered for his role in the advancement of civil right through nonviolent civil disobedience.  At 35, he became the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would contribute the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.
Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January.
Shortly after King’s death in 1968, the campaign for a national holiday to honor his life’s commitment to end racial segregation and establish racial equality in the United States began. After the first bill was introduced, trade unions took up the cause for the federal holiday, and it first came to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979, but fell five votes short of what was needed for passage. Following support from musician Stevie Wonder and his single, “Happy Birthday” a national petition gathered six million signatures – then the largest petition in favor of an issue in U.S. history – the bill became law in 1983.  Martin Luther King Day was first observed in 1986, although in many states it was combined with other observances, and was not observed solely as its own holiday in all states until 2000.
For more information on the M.L. King Jr. observance, contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at (409) 880-8216.