Published on January 16, 2024
Over 200 community members, John A. Logan College faculty and staff, and students attended the first annual John A. Logan College Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. The breakfast event was held on Tuesday, January 16, in the College’s Conference Center. College officials chose the day after Martin Luther King Day to allow more students to be able to attend.
“We wanted to have an event that allowed as many of our students to attend as possible,” said President Dr. Kirk Overstreet. “Our students do not live on campus, so by having the event today, they were able to attend some of the other events in the region yesterday and join us today for our event.”
Terance Henry, a local entrepreneur and the IT director for the City of Marion, was the keynote speaker. Henry spoke about his commitment to continuing Dr. King’s dream and how everyone is responsible for following those principles.
John A. Logan College Speech Team members Kellen Olson, Alberta Grinston, and Mischa read excerpts from some of Dr. King’s speeches. The JALC choir led attendees in a rendition of “We Shall Overcome,” and JALC Music Faculty and Choir Director Chris Thornton sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.”
Other speakers included John A. Logan College President Dr. Kirk Overstreet, Reverend Wad Halva, local music group Houze of Hope, and members of Carbondale United’s Violence Interrupters.
The first Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Alexis Anders during the ceremony. Alexis is working towards her Associate in Arts Degree in Criminal Justice.
President Overstreet Announced plans to continue the event annually on the Tuesday following Martin Luther King Day. “I could not have been more pleased with the large crowd and the program that our Diversity and Inclusion Committee put together,” said Overstreet. “This will be an annual event for us to continue on the Tuesday following the holiday.”