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25 Colleges Honor 25th Anniversary of MLK Day

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January 17, 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The humble Dr. King once said, "Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”

From Ivy League universities to local community colleges, students from across the country participated in Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service events to experience “A day on, not off.”

In honor of the 25th anniversary of this significant federal holiday, we’ve created a unique list of 25 colleges and universities that held MLK Day events this year.

1. Arizona State University. Students from all ASU campuses were encouraged to honor Dr. King’s legacy by giving back to the community through several service projects on the campus of University Public School Phoenix on January 17. Family, friends and neighbors were welcome. ASU Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee.

2. Belmont University. Belmont University will be holding a week’s worth of events as part of its 15th annual series of Commemorative Programs, which include the MLK Worship Service and Diversity Dialogue as well as Multi-Culturalism and the Christian University: MLK Celebration Keynote Address. Belmont’s commitment to MLK Week began in 1997 and continues to grow today. MLK Week at Belmont.

3.Bryn Mawr College. Bryn Mawr College’s Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service gave students the opportunity to participate in a variety of service projects, such as the Cynwyd Heritage Trail Clean Up and the Greater Norristown Police Athletic League (PAL) Day of Service. Bryn Mawr Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

4. Colorado College. Colorado College held a variety of events to honor Dr. King, including the MLK Candle Lighting in Shove Chapel and “I have a Dream” Video broadcasts, which were open to the general public. Colorado College Celebration to Honor the legacy of MLK.

5. Davidson College. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Walk for Change, the MLK Seminar Series and the MLK Community Celebration: Gospel Extravaganza were free and open to the public. Davidson College Martin Luther King Day Celebration.

6. University of Florida. UF community members learned about service opportunities in Gainesville and met new people while experiencing their community and celebrating Dr. King’s legacy. University of Florida MLK 2011 Day of Service.

7. George Fox University. Students and staff from George Fox University joined more than 1,200 representatives from eight other colleges and universities to serve the Portland metropolitan area with acts of volunteerism on January 17. George Fox MLK Day of Service.

8. Georgia Perimeter College. Georgia Perimeter College’s 15th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Beyond the Dream” 2011 National MLK Day of Service gave students the opportunity to participate in over 15 community service projects. Georgia Perimeter College Beyond the Dream 2011.

9. Ithaca College. Ithaca’s MLK Day of Service was an opportunity for students and Ithaca College community members to perform service at organizations and agencies in the Greater Ithaca area, including Ithaca State Theatre, Level Green Institute and Books Through Bars. Ithaca College 2011 MLK Day of Service.

10. Linfield College. Linfield College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service featured 1,000 students from 8 colleges volunteering across the city of Portland. They were united in the spirit of service and MLK. Linfield College Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

11. University of Louisville. University of Louisville students volunteered at a variety of community service sites and donations were accepted for the Dare to Care food drive. A guest speaker and free food were also provided. University of Louisville Martin Luther King Day of Service 2011.

12. UMass Amherst. UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College students collaborated with local community organizations for the day, winterizing classrooms at The Literacy Project’s Ware and cleaning and painting rooms at Girls, Inc. of Holyoke. Commonwealth Honors College 25th Anniversary of MLK Day.

13. Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Minneapolis Community and Technical College students participated in the MLK Day of Service breakfast and volunteer service event, which included an inspirational message from Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe, the founder for the Student African American Brotherhood. MCTC’s 3rd Annual MLK Day of Service.

14. New York University. New York University’s 6th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Week will be held from February 7 through 12, 2011. All NYU schools, departments, units, student organizations and alumni are invited to be an integral part of MLK Week. NYU MLK Week 2011.

15. North Carolina Wesleyan College. The North Carolina Wesleyan College Office of Community Engagement and the United Way Tar River Region partnered for the MLK Day of Service on January 17. Following the City of Rocky Mount’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, students and other volunteers performed service projects at a variety of sites. North Carolina Wesleyan College MLK Day of Service.

16. University of North Dakota. The University of North Dakota was closed in honor of the holiday, and students participated in a march around the campus, followed by coffee and tea and a mass meeting. UND Martin Luther King Day Activities.

17. Northern Virginia Community College. Student volunteers at Northern Virginia Community College volunteered for a variety of causes and collected school supplies that will be assembled for students in Iraq and Afghanistan. NOVA Serves: Martin Luther King , Jr. Day 2011.

18. Ohio State University. Ohio State University’s Dr. Martin Luther King Day events were a campus-wide community service event involving over seven hundred students, faculty members and staff members. The OSU representatives honored the life and legacy of Dr. King through a morning of community service in the university district as well as the greater Columbus area. OSU Dr. Martin Luther King Events.

19. Penn State. Penn State students commited their day off to serving their community as part of a University-wide commemoration of Dr. King’s legacy. Penn State Lehigh Valley served as the host for dozens of students from the Northeast Regional Penn State campuses as they gathered to honor the vision of Dr. King and perform service at locations throughout the area. Penn State MLK Day of Service.

20. Princeton University. Princeton University’s annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. included a program on campus as well as annual literary, visual arts and video contests open to students in New Jersey grades 4 through 12. Princeton Martin Luther King Day Celebration.

21. Rollins College. The Martin Luther King Day of Service volunteer project was a collaborative effort between the Rollins College community and the Apopka Farmworkers. The event was held to commemorate and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rollins College Day of Service-Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration 2011.

22. Simpson College. Students from Des Moines area colleges were led by Simpson College to unite with various youth organizations across Des Moines on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for a day of service. Students were assigned individual service projects and given the chance to sign up for other service opportunities at a volunteer fair. Simpson MLK Day for Service.

23. Tulane University. Tulane MLK Day of Service volunteers participated in a variety of tasks such as painting, gardening and cleaning for a variety of non-profit organizations in the community. Tulane MLK Day of Service.

24. Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt University Martin Luther King, Jr. Day activities included transportation for students to the Nashville MLK Day March, community service volunteer projects, “teach-ins” by faculty on themes related to the life and work of King, Roundtable lunch discussions, a candlelight vigil and more. Vanderbilt Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Series.

25. University of Washington. University of Washington students were able to participate in MLK Day of Service projects through the United Way of King County. The University of Washington—Tacoma is hosting an entire week honoring Dr. King from January 17 through January 22. Events include the MLK Jr. Unity Breakfast and 2011 MLK Jr. Celebration at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall. University of Washington MLK Opportunities.


Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.

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