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Saint Peter’s College remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s visit in 1965 with series of lectures, films and other events on September 22.

Jersey City, N.J. (September 20, 2005) – Saint Peter’s College will hold a series of events including lectures, music and poetry on September 22 to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the College awarding Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws and Letters. “Dr. King’s message of equality and pursuit of civil rights through non-violent means is a core component of the Jesuit mission as well, said Dr. Anna Brown, a political science professor at Saint Peter’s College and organizer of the commemorative events. “Dr. King’s visit to our campus is an important part of our heritage. These programs today aim to remind people of Dr. King’s core message and how to incorporate it into our daily lives to fulfill Dr. King’s dream for America.”

Dr. King spoke at Saint Peter’s College as part of the school’s annual Michaelmas Convocation, the spiritual start of the academic year. He addressed a crowd of about 500 people. Dr. King spoke against segregation and violence. Despite setbacks in the civil rights movement, King expressed optimism for the movement, according to an account in the student newspaper. “Although some will be scared, lose jobs and be called bad names, our problems will be solved,” King said. “We shall overcome.”

Echoing his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in August of 1963, King spoke to the College audience of a brotherhood of all people “where all of God’s children, white and black, Protestant and Catholic, Jew and Gentile, will be free at last.” From 9-10:30 a.m. in Irving Theatre, singers, storytellers and historical interpreters Kim and Reggie Harris will perform “Dream Alive.” The multimedia presentation utilizes music and poetry to tell about the accomplishments of African-Americans such as Dr. King, Rosa Parks and others. Kim and Reggie Harris have performed at numerous venues including The Smithsonian Institution, The Kennedy Center and at festivals throughout the country.

At 10:30 a.m. in Irving Theatre, College Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Eugene Cornacchia will read the citation given to King. College President Father James N. Loughran, S.J. will then offer remarks. Saint Peter’s College student Wesley McWhite III ’09 will read selected excerpts from Dr. King’s writings. Reverend Kevin Jerome Agee, pastor of Calvary CME Church in Jersey City, will deliver a keynote address entitled “Let Justice Roll: Living Dr. King’s Dream in the 21st Century” at noon outdoors in the quad area. The event will take place in Irving Theatre in the event of rain. A Washington, D.C. native, Rev. Agee has served as pastor of Calvary CME since 2000. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Maryland in College Park and a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. He was a Deputy Marshall in Jersey City’s 2004 Dr. King Parade.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact shudik@spc.edu or call 201-915-4951.

Saint Peter’s College is the Jesuit College of New Jersey. Founded in 1872, Saint Peter’s has an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. The main campus is located in Jersey City. The College has a branch campus for adults in Englewood Cliffs, NJ and also offers courses at various corporate sites at the Jersey City waterfront and in South Amboy, NJ.