Benedictine University and the College of DuPage teamed up in order to honor one of the most groundbreaking activists; Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. On Monday, January 16, the 22nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast was held in the Krasa cafeteria at 8 a.m. With help from Nicor Gas, the two colleges were able to help create scholarships for students in King’s honor. The event included musical performances from Tyisha Brown and Anthony Perry of COD, breakfast, an address from the keynote speaker, and concluded with the presentation of scholarships.
Dr. Ernest E. Gibson served as the keynote speaker and recalled stories of his time with Dr. King. He worked very closely with King throughout his career; helping him plan the Montgomery and Birmingham Campaigns, the Selma March and the March on Washington. Gibson also used this time to plead with the audience. “Remember the power of love is the ability to understand and have a mutual concern and respect for one another.” Gibson goes on to talk about how far we as a nation have come, but that we are not done just yet. “Keep on keeping on. We have a lot of work to do.”
After Gibson was done addressing the crowd, it was time for Dr. Brophy of Benedictine and Dr. Rondeau of COD to present the scholarships to the four chosen students. In order to be in the running for the award, students had to apply online and get letters of recommendation from members of the faculty or staff. In addition, the students had to write an essay entailing how Dr. King’s principles have shaped his or her views and how to apply his teachings throughout the community. One of the scholarship recipients, Taylor Lunkin, explains what kind of an impact Dr. King has had on her. “As an elementary education major, Dr. King’s teachings will allow me to teach younger students the importance of loving those who are different culturally, ethnically, in sexuality, religion, and more. I can also teach as well as demonstrate leadership skills and how to not resort to violence when change is needed in society”, Lunkin explains.
The event drew hundreds to Benedictine, over 500 to be exact. Students, staff, faculty and other members of the community came to celebrate the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Following the breakfast, there was also an option to continue the conversation in Goodwin Hall or to participate in a day of service in Kindlon.