'SERVICE' THEME OF MARTIN LUTHER KING TRIBUTE - Glenville State College Holds Memorial

By Drew Moody

What could have been a mere history lesson was brought into the present with discussion and commentary on what Dr. King's life stood for, and the continuing impact of his life in 2007.

Katie Murray, a GSC student, told the audience, "He lifted up the value of service as a mark of living a full life."

The twin themes of the program were volunteer work and service to others.

Capturing the heart of the moment, Donte Fuller, spontaneously quoted parts of King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. He began by standing before the audience quietly saying, "Even though it's not part of the program I'm going to say it anyway."

There was little question Fuller (left) felt the words as he said, "Free at last, free at last; thank God Almighty, we're free at last!"

The audience felt those words as well.

Glenville State College President Peter Barr told those in attendance Dr. King was the most incredible man he has witnessed in his lifetime.

One of the changes President Barr would like to institute is a requirement for new students to perform a limited amount of volunteer work. Barr is committed to the belief that education must thrive outside the classroom and move into the community where people can work together and make a difference.

King's life, presenters said, was directed more toward thinking of others instead of "the Self."

One example offered suggested many people may first think of 'what will happen to me' if they're considering being vocal in support of others. While, in contrast, Dr. King would think, "what will happen to them if I don't stand up and support a particular cause?"

Education professor Marcia Bolton (right) spoke of the King Day of Service and Dr. King's vision of bringing diverse groups of people together to work for a common goal.

It is a vision of living with the idea of having priorities greater than mere 'self interest.'

Julie Becker of Hospice Care Corporation, locally headquartered in Burnsville, spoke about the importance of volunteering, and said many opportunities exist with the Hospice organization. Becker said assignments are varied and not limited to working with the terminally ill.

On January 27, Glenville State College student volunteers are scheduled to help Hospice set up a thrift store in Glenville.

Also speaking at the event were Heaven Tutson and Kipp Colvin, student programming coordinator. Colvin organized the King memorial celebration with the assistance of the student affairs staff.

The GSC Chamber Singers performed under the direction of Dr. Carol Benton. The celebration began with a brief outdoor candle-lighting ceremony, then continued in the President's Auditorium.

For more information about Hospice call 304-853-2279. Students wishing to find out more about volunteer opportunities at Glenville State College may contact Kipp Colvin at 462-7361, ext. 7441.