ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University will remember the life of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 17 with a rally, march and vigil.
A Nobel Peace prizewinner, King was assassinated by James Earl Ray at a Memphis motel in 1968. His birthday is Jan. 15, but it is observed as an official federal holiday and a state holiday on the third Monday of January. There will be no classes on Jan. 17 at Winthrop, and offices will be closed.
Winthrop’s celebration, under the direction of the Office of Multicultural Student Life, has planned the following:
- Unity Rally
7 p.m., Winthrop Ampitheatre
Sponsored by the Winthrop Chapter of the NAACP, the free event will offer presentations of spoken word poetry and student speakers, Rashon Carroway and Willie Lyles. Carroway is a 20-year-old mass communication major from Darlington, S.C. He is the president of Winthrop's Society of Professional Journalists, a member of the Pentcostal United Church of Christ, Apostolic in Florence, where he serves as an ordained associate minister. Lyles is a 20-year-old political science major from Blythewood, S.C. He currently serves as the chairman of the Voter Registration and Education Taskforce. He also is the former president of the Association of Ebonites and former president of the College Democrats of Winthrop. He is a member of Freedom Temple Ministries in Rock Hill, S.C.
- Unity March and Candlelight Vigil
9:06 p.m., Steps of Byrnes Auditorium
This free event is sponsored by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. The march begins at the Winthrop Amphitheatre and concludes at the steps of Byrnes Auditorium. An event reminiscent of the civil rights marches of Dr. King’s era, this march will be filled with singing, purpose, and the spirit of unity. The speaker is Melvin M. Stroble, who works as a senior environmental specialist at SCANA/SC Pipeline Corporation and is a speaker and trainer for various fraternal events.
Participants will meet at 10 p.m. at the Dinkins Student Center to discuss methods of strengthening unity on campus and in the community. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information, call 803/323-2248.