After a long holiday break, students are returning to campus this week to begin another semester of classes. It is also a week when we celebrate the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the struggle for equality.
Here on campus through the Fischer Institute, talk show host Ayanna Crawford will lead a two-part taping of her show Inside Excellence, that discusses “Martin Luther King’s Legacy: How Far Have We Come in Building a Colorblind Society?”
We recognize the value of providing opportunities for our student to examine critical issues facing today’s society through class content, films, discussions, and notable speakers. As Dr. King said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
While King has offered many words of wisdom through his speeches, one that I believe is applicable to college students and to the members of this community is his quote about service. He asks us to consider one of life’s most persistent and urgent questions, “What are you doing for others?”
While the question is often not easily answered, it is one worth asking. On campus, serving may be an act as simple as offering an encouraging word to a student, giving extra help to a co-worker, or volunteering for an on-campus service project or activity. In the local community, it may mean helping at the local food bank, volunteering to help out at a local school, or serving as a scout leader or a children’s athletic coach.
Whatever activity each of us selects, we need to recognize that it does make a difference. As Dr. King states, “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”