Skip to main content

Plaque Unveiling to Honor 65th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Speech

Plaque to be unveiled Sunday at 2 p.m. outside Davis Gym, the site of King’s visit to Bucknell on April 23, 1958

LEWISBURG, Pa. — A plaque honoring the April 23, 1958 address at Bucknell University by Martin Luther King Jr. will be unveiled on the 65th anniversary of that speech this Sunday at 2 p.m. during a ceremony outside of Davis Gym — the site of King’s campus address. Remarks will be made by President John Bravman and Rev. Kurt Nelson, director of religious & spiritual life, chaplain for the Protestant community and MLK Week Committee co-chair.

“We will gather to honor Dr. King — not simply as a dreamer — but as an organizer, a prophet and a leader within a vast movement that stood against racism, militarism and poverty and built toward justice, freedom and the beloved community,” Nelson says. “We will gather to wonder how each one of us will further that work and forge a path for others to follow.”

Special contributor Merrett R. Stierheim ’58 authored this piece to reflect on the experience of hearing King speak at Bucknell 65 years ago — and how King’s message continues to inspire him today.

Carolyn Schaaf Horter ’61 also reflected on King’s speech in this 2016 story.

The unveiling ceremony will be followed at 2:45 p.m. by a tribute to the late Carmen Gillespie, professor of English and founding director of Bucknell’s Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives & Cultures, at the Edward Brawley Bust outside of Vaughan Literature Building. Gillespie was instrumental in the development of the MLK Week commemoration at Bucknell during her tenure.

The tribute will continue at 3:15 p.m. with photos, poetry, music and food in the Hildreth-Mirza Hall Great Room.


CONTACTS: Kurt Nelson, 570-577-1183,; Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives & Cultures, 570-577-2123,; Mike Ferlazzo,

Comments are closed.