Gardner-Webb University to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s Humanitarian Legacy on Jan. 18

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MLK Day of Celebration & Service to Offer Education, Outreach Opportunities

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—On the day America pauses for a holiday named for Martin Luther King Jr., Gardner-Webb University will celebrate and follow his humanitarian example with education and outreach. GWU will host an MLK Day of Celebration and Service on Monday, Jan. 18, joining many organizations across the country in honoring King’s legacy.

“It has become a national movement to serve on King’s day,” explained Dr. Tom LeGrand, director of GWU’s Center for Christian Ethics and Social Responsibility and an assistant professor. “It was a fight in many states in the beginning to have MLK Day recognized. Now, we’re trying to move beyond just having a holiday to also honor King’s legacy through service. The further we get from Dr. King’s time, the more people don’t remember his battle during the Civil Rights Movement. We need to remember.”

Gardner-Webb will provide a number of educational programs throughout the morning on MLK Day.

  • Dr. Albert Brinson of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., a longtime friend of the late Martin Luther King Jr., will share his story and answer questions, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Tucker Student Center’s Stewart Hall on campus. Brinson will also be featured during GWU’s Dimensions program the following day on Jan. 19 at 9:25 a.m. in the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center. The program is free and open to the public.
  • The “Eyes on the Prize” civil rights documentary will play continuously, beginning at 8 a.m. in Faith Hall of the Tucker Student Center.
  • Audio of King’s sermons will play throughout the morning, beginning at 9 a.m. in the chapel on the main floor of the Tucker Student Center.
  • Jondra Harmon (instructor of music) and students will present music in the Tucker Student Center throughout the morning.

“These events will help you get a better picture of why Martin Luther King Jr. is important,” LeGrand shared, “and why the Civil Rights Movement was so transforming in the history of our country.”


Following a morning of educational activities, members of the greater Gardner-Webb community are invited to serve in a variety of initiatives in the afternoon. Groups will provide aid at local homeless ministries in Shelby, N.C., and Gaffney, S.C. Others will build wheelchair ramps and spend time with senior adults throughout the community. Supplies will also be packaged for missionaries serving in India. Volunteers are encouraged to gather at the Tucker Student Center at 1 p.m. to join service teams. Transportation will be provided, and groups will return to campus at 5 p.m.

“We do this service to help our students reflect on Dr. King’s legacy and to connect with it,” added Micah Martin, director of Student Leadership Development and Community Engagement at Gardner-Webb. “Part of the lifestyle of being a student at Gardner-Webb is to serve. On MLK Day, we’re going to be out in the community serving others.”

To get involved in the day’s service activities, contact Martin at For more information about the day’s educational programs, contact LeGrand at

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate, (For God and Humanity).