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Plaque Dedication, Tolling of Chimes to Commemorate Life and Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Hendricks Chapel, in partnership with Chancellor Kent Syverud and Dr. Ruth Chen, will host a plaque dedication and unveiling honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4—a day that also marks the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s assassination.
The program, which will take place in the Shaffer Art Building Galleria, pays tribute to Dr. King and to the July 15, 1965, visit he made to campus to speak on “The Role of Education in the Civil Rights Movement.” The plaque dedication will take place near the location where King spoke, at what was then Sims Dining Hall.
“Dr. King’s visit to Syracuse came at a pivotal time in the history of the country and the Civil Rights Movement,” says Chancellor Syverud. “It was just a few weeks after that visit that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. This plaque is a testament to Dr. King’s faithful pursuit of justice, and it affirms the University’s own commitment to access and opportunity for all.”
Dean of Hendricks Chapel Brian E. Konkol will preside over the program, which will feature remarks by Chancellor Syverud and Special Assistant to the Chancellor Barry L. Wells. It will conclude with the plaque unveiling and a short musical number by Jose “Peppie” Calvar, assistant professor of music and assistant director of choral activities at the Setnor School of Music.
“Although this commemoration of Dr. King’s assassination is difficult and challenging for many people both here and abroad, the King family has advised us to keep hope alive because King himself, even in the most troublesome times, always had faith in humankind,” Wells says. “So let us be strengthened by his example and teachings and use this occasion to renew our commitment to his radical purpose and power.”
King was assassinated on the evening of April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, while visiting the city to support striking sanitation workers.
In addition to the plaque ceremony, the University will toll the Crouse College Chimes 39 times starting at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday evening. The tolling is in response to a call from the National Civil Rights Museum for places of worship, colleges, universities and other institutions nationwide to toll their bells 39 times in honor of the years King spent on Earth and to pay homage to his legacy.
American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be provided for the plaque dedication. For requests relating to accessibility and accommodations, please contact the Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services office at 315.443.4018.
For more information on the program, email Hendricks Chapel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 315.443.2901. To watch video footage of King’s funeral, which took place on April 9, 1968, visit the C-Span website.