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Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the federal holiday honoring the birth of one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders. More than 45 years after his death, it is easy to forget that America was once a place of legalized segregation, denial of basic civil rights, and institutionalized violence against the African-American community. Dr. King fought tirelessly and with great dignity against discrimination, poverty, and injustice, and his message of nonviolence continues to inspire. Today, there are African-Americans at the highest levels of government, business, and education. Our work is not yet finished, but I believe that Dr. King would be proud to see what has been accomplished thus far.

This Friday, members of the Marist community will be attending, as we do every year, the Catharine Street Community Center’s 23rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast. I’m pleased to say that this year’s breakfast honors longtime faculty members Donald and Margaret Calista, both respected educators who have been extremely active in our local community. We congratulate Donald and Margaret on their award and thank them for helping fulfill Marist’s mission of being of service. There are many other community events commemorating Dr. King, and I urge you to think about what you as an individual can do to honor his memory. However you choose to mark this day, I invite you to join me in remembering Dr. King’s noble work and enduring legacy. 

Finally, let me take a moment to thank those Marist employees who are working today to help students get ready for the first day of classes tomorrow. Your efforts on behalf of our students are greatly appreciated. Best wishes to all members of the college community for a productive and enjoyable spring semester. 

From: Dennis J Murray
Marist College

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