Rogers State University will host a remembrance ceremony featuring award-winning performers on Tuesday, Jan. 19, to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Center Ballroom and is open to the public. Instead of purchasing tickets, attendees are asked to bring a canned food donation to benefit the Good Samaritan Food Pantry at First United Methodist Church in Claremore.
The MLK Remembrance Ceremony will feature musical performances by Lonnie Liggitt, founder of the Claremore Symphony League and the Sand Springs Symphony League; Ernestine Dillard, an award-winning vocalist; and Roosevelt Credit, a Broadway performer and vocalist. As part of the ceremony, Liggitt will debut an original musical work inspired by King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
RSU Director of Student Development Katy Launius says she hopes the ceremony will engage and educate both students and the public about King’s life and legacy.
“I believe there’s a renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion education on campus,” Launius said. “During MLK Week, we hope the performance will inspire people, help them engage in discovery and self-reflection, and, in response, go and engage in service.”
The MLK Remembrance Ceremony is part of RSU’s annual MLK Week of Service, one of the largest service projects in the area. The MLK Week of Service helps the university positively engage the community and encourage opportunities for cultural, intellectual and personal enrichment for the university and the communities it serves. Launius expects more than 150 students will volunteer in community service projects as part of the week’s activities.
“The MLK Week of Service kicks off a semester of activities focused on issues of race, gender, sexual orientation and religion,” Launius said. “It seems appropriate to introduce these ideas by examining the legacy of one of this country’s greatest proponents for justice and equality.”
In December, the university was awarded a $1,800 MLK Day Mini-Grant Award to expand its service activities to include alleviating hunger and serving veterans. Launius said the grant will allow RSU to send more volunteers to the community as well as welcome more people to campus events.