Villanova University Pays Tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Service opportunities, lectures and workshops comprise a series of events scheduled to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University will celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a series of lectures, workshops and service opportunities intended to honor the life and work of the great civil rights leader.

On Monday, Jan. 20, over 400 Villanova students, faculty and staff will participate in the 2014 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, traveling throughout the Greater Philadelphia area to 21 service sites, including Veterans Comfort House, Tindley Soup Kitchen and the IHM Center for Adult Literacy. A group of 75 student-athletes will volunteer on campus, leading sports camps for elementary school children from Philadelphia. Villanova’s participation in the national Day of Service is coordinated by the Center for Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Student Development and the Center for Peace and Justice Education.

“At Villanova University, we celebrate the life and hope of Dr. Martin Luther King as a way of practically affirming our academic, social and even spiritual mission,” said Teresa Nance, PhD, assistant vice president of the Center for Multicultural Affairs. “It is our goal on this Day of Service to ensure that the volunteers and the people we serve grow as one and learn from each other through the formation of friendships and understanding.”

In addition to the hundreds of Villanovans on campus, alumni groups across the country will also participate in the Day of Service.

On Thursday, Jan. 23, the Center for Peace and Justice Education will host its annual Freedom School, consisting of a series of sessions conducted by and for Villanova faculty members, staff and students. The Freedom School will address various aspects of social justice that relate to and extend the vision of Martin Luther King Jr.

The celebration will continue on Monday, Jan. 27, with the annual Martin Luther King Keynote Lecture, presented this year by Anthea Butler, PhD, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Graduate Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Butler will present her lecture, “King, Pope Francis and Poverty: The Poor Peoples Campaign for the 21st Century,” at 6:00 p.m. in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“In one of his speeches, Dr. King said that we are to be ‘maladjusted,’ meaning that we should not accept the gross inequalities we see as somehow inevitable,” said Carol Anthony, chair of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week committee.  “The programs we are offering during our Celebration week serve to expand our knowledge of unjust inequalities and inspire us to be ‘maladjusted’ until they are addressed and eliminated.”

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.