Student leaders nominated to attend Martin Luther King Student Appreciation Luncheon

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his speech “I Have a Dream” almost 50 years ago. He is still revered today as an icon for civil rights. If he were alive, how would he feel when he saw hundreds of thousands of people striving to fulfill his dream?

As part of UAA’s commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr., students will be recognized at the upcoming 19th annual Martin Luther King Student Appreciation Luncheon at the beginning of next semester, Jan. 25. All UAA faculty and staff have been invited to recommend up to three UAA students who each make a positive difference.

“It’s a great honor. That means that somebody at the university has noticed the student has contributed to class, school, family and the community to the extent that they’ve been noticed,” Mike McCormick, assistant director of Student Activities, said.

The luncheon is considered an integral part of UAA. Daphne Brashear, Student Life and Leadership program coordinator, said the event is funded by Student Activities. The Student Life and Leadership Office will assist on the day of the luncheon. She said an array of other offices and organizations have joined in collaboration, from the Student Union Information Desk to the Chancellor’s Office.

“Last year we had a new record of 400 people attending the luncheon, and it looks like our numbers this year will be close to that again,” Brashear said.

Brashear said that though the deadline has just passed, she would not say no to any staff and faculty who still want to recommend students.

All recommended students get to bring a guest to their ceremony where they will be presented with a certificate that they can keep for their portfolios. They will hear from keynote speaker, Kenji Yoshino, a New York University Law professor, who will touch on corporate America’s civil rights advancements.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that people could make a difference in their communities by individual actions. At UAA, we have many, many students who exemplify the UAA spirit and give to our campus in profound ways,” UAA Chancellor Tom Case said in a statement. “Through student involvement and leadership, UAA is a better place for us all.”

Due to limited capacity, this event is invitation-only. The deadline for invited guests to RSVP is Friday, Dec. 14. For more information, email MLK@uaa.alaska.edu or call Brashear at 907-786-1219.

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