April 4, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and Seton Hall University hosted several events that ran from April 3-13 to commemorate and celebrate his life.
“Dr. King gave us many gifts, but perhaps the greatest was his vision of a nation in which all people are free and at peace,” said Interim President Dr. Mary Meehan on Seton Hall’s website. “That dream is still our dream today. It remains a rallying point in the fight against evils — both old and new. Even 50 years after he was taken from us, Dr. King’s light is just as bright — and just as necessary — as it ever was.”
At their core, the events seek to embrace open dialogue along with reflection between various members of the university, like faculty, students and alumni.
Student services, among others, acted as sponsors and hosted a variety of events.
“In an effort to help us all to understand and appreciate how past events influence the present, we encourage our community to attend these events and reflect on significance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Student Services stated in an email.
Rev. Forrest M. Pritchett, the director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Program established in 1970, shared the importance of the MLK Leadership Program—one of the sponsors for some of the events, including the “REEL TIME:” Marginalized Groups in Media discussion.
“The MLK Leadership Program provides partial tuition scholarships to exceptional students each year, and it also provides management and leadership development skills to its scholars. Scholars learn how to execute programs and events from the conception, development and implementation on and off campus,” Pritchett said. “The University CORE curriculum also compliments our goals by the emphasis on intellectual and ethical engagement through a values and spirituality oriented approach to critical thinking.”
Pritchett also discussed the importance of celebrating this anniversary as it carries a need for special emphasis similar to other anniversaries celebrated in life.
As for expected turnout to events, Pritchett shared his opinion of how one person can get the conversation going.
“We are pleased with the size each audience, because it’s all about the dialogue. One person could go forth from an event and be the catalyst for future change,” Pritchett said.
Other groups hosting events include the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Vocational and Servant Leadership, the Center for Faculty Development, the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute, the Core Department and MLK Scholars Association.
Rhania Kamel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.