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A Message From CMU President Tim Foster

Martin Luther King Jr. Day reminds us that peaceful protest, civil disobedience and making change with words is the best way towards a better future for all people. Remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy reminds us that ideas can create and sustain lasting equality.

Martin Luther King Jr. used speech and philosophy to demonstrate the measure of human value. He believed worth was based on the character of individuals and the fortitude of each person’s moral agency. He saw intrinsic dignity in all humanity. His ideas manifested from tireless work, and his achievements resulted from the striving of those who came before him and those who worked alongside him. The outcomes and benefits of that work are in part what we celebrate today. Perhaps no orator or religious leader in modern history has more forcefully and clearly conveyed the principles of equality like Martin Luther King Jr. 

Today the organization Black Citizens and Friends is conducting celebratory events to mark the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. These local citizens are honoring his action and his life and their efforts are applauded by CMU.

Normally, these events would culminate at CMU in the Love Recital Hall. While this year such an event isn’t possible due to the pandemic, local civil rights advocates have persevered and continue celebrating. Despite this year’s efforts being remote and virtual, the significance of MLK Day is anything but virtual— the significance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s accomplishments for equality are real, measurable and transcendent. The values symbolized by this holiday transcend hate and Martin Luther King Jr.’s principles have the power to transcend racial bigotry.

Today is a time to revere Martin Luther King Jr. We join together in his belief that with effort love might permeate our campus, community and country — not just today but each and every day. This is possible thanks to what he taught us about ourselves and the potential we each have to change.


Tim Foster, CMU President


Editor’s Note:

MLK performer Stephon Ferguson visited CMU in 2019 as an exclusively licensed performer of the King Estate.


Written by Tim Foster