FSC Observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Service, Celebration And Prayer
The Rev. Timothy Wright offered a prayer, citing King’s life and sacrifice and his refusal to retaliate against those who attacked him
Evening celebration in the Thrift Alumni Center
FSC students planted trees at Circle B Bar Reserve.
LAKELAND (Jan. 17, 2012) – Florida Southern students, faculty and staff observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday with volunteer service, prayer and a celebration honoring the life and legacy of the civil rights leader.
The evening celebration in the Charles T. Thrift Alumni Center was organized by the Multicultural Student Council and attended by about 40 people. There were short presentations by students about King’s life and influences, notable moments in his career and the circumstances surrounding his assassination in 1968.
Dr. Ed Plowman, professor of sociology at FSC, discussed his personal encounters with King and his wife, Coretta, in the early 1960s and displayed his autographed copy of King’s book “Strength to Love.”
“I was privileged and blessed to hear Dr. King speak when I was about your age,” he said, addressing the students. “He was a man for all seasons.”
Plowman played excerpts from King’s speeches on the topics of discouragement and mortality. FSC President Anne B. Kerr concluded the evening by praising King’s example.“It’s an encouragement to me every year to reflect on Dr. King’s life. Every one of us has a dream and a mission from our Lord, to love one another,” she said.
Although classes were not held in observation of the holiday, about 20 FSC students fulfilled one of the ideals associated with the day, to participate in a day of service to the community.
The students gathered at Circle B Bar Reserve, a nature preserve in Lakeland, to offer several hours of service. Led by Rachel A. Smith, VISTA Coordinator of Volunteer Programs, the students joined numerous other volunteers in planting trees at Circle B Bar.
The day’s observation also included a brief noon prayer service in the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel. Dr. Waite Willis, professor of religion, led participants in singing the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” and “Amazing Grace.” The Rev. Timothy Wright, Riley P. and Claire M. Short Chaplain at FSC, offered a prayer, citing King’s life and sacrifice and his refusal to retaliate against those who attacked him.
“We thank you for his time among us, and we rejoice in his example of obedient faith,” Wright said. “We ask for the strength, faith and courage not just to remember him but to follow his example … in a world where love is so desperately needed but so sadly absent.”