Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 12, 2010) – During the celebration of his birthday and the holiday established in his honor, many in and around the USF campus are pausing in remembrance and taking part in a full schedule of events dedicated to the memory of Dr. King from Jan. 12 through Jan. 21. Speakers, a luncheon, a day of service, a street festival, a gospel concert and a community parade bring people together to discuss his ideas and live the spirit of what he stood for and represents to millions around the world. 


The kick-off celebration took place Jan. 12 and continues with a commemorative luncheon Jan. 14. 


But for many, MLK Plaza is the closet they will get to Dr. King’s legacy.  It is worth noting that MLK Plaza was first dedicated in 1982.  It was a project taken on by the USF Black Student Union and Student Government. Student fundraising efforts helped produce and install the original bust of Dr. King which was put in place in 1992. Then in 1996, the statue was recast by artist L. Ackley-Eacker, shoulders were added and this version was placed in the middle of the trellised walkway where it has resided to this day.  The five bands of granite radiating from the statute point to cities that played a major role in King’s life. His renowned “I have a dream” speech is etched on a granite wall at the far end of the reflecting pool. MLK Plaza as we now know it was completed in the spring of 1997.


Students, faculty, and staff serve on a committee that organized the following events:


·         Jan. 12: Change at Hand: Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges – the Black Student Union and Student Government host this symposium from 5pm to 9pm in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theatre


·         Jan. 14: MLK Commemorative Celebration – the USF Office of Multicultural Affairs hosts a luncheon from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom


·         Jan. 15: Daryl Davis, "Klan-Destine Relationship," presented by the University Lecture Series at 7 p.m. in the Marshal Student Center Ballroom


·         Jan. 16: Stampede of Service, organized by the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement – begins at 8 a.m. with a pep rally, buses leave at 9 a.m. and students return to the Greek place at noon and celebrate until 2 p.m.


USF students, faculty and staff will be participating in:


·         Jan. 16: Tampa Bay Black Heritage "Street Festival" – takes place in Al Lopez Park 4810 N. Himes Ave. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. 


·         Jan. 17: Tampa Bay Black Heritage "Jazz/Gospel" in Al Lopez Park 4810 N. Himes Ave. This event is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


·         Jan. 18: MLK Celebration Community Parade presented by the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  USF will be….


·         Jan. 18: MLK Community Interfaith Service, hosted by Mt. Calvary Seventh Day Adventist, 4902 N.40th St., at 4:30 p.m. includes


·         Jan. 19: Alpha Phi Alpha Candle Light Vigil - hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity’s USF chapter at 4:30 p.m. MLK Plaza.


·         Jan. 21: Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival – Movie and discussion from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Tampa Theatre


For more information contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at: or (813) 974-5111.


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.