President's Message for EMU Today: Jan. 16, 2019

Eastern Michigan University’s celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., begins tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 17) on our campus. This represents Eastern’s 33 rd year of honoring and remembering Dr. King and the ideals for which he fought and died.

The celebration begins with the commemorative march across campus as we reflect upon the historical significance of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march by thousands of non-violent demonstrators. Tomorrow’s march will begin at the MLK Garden at 3:30 p.m. and end at the Student Center, where the MLK Opening Celebration Reception and Student Art Showcase will take place. I encourage all to join us for these important kick-off events.

Events continue on Friday with the Day of Service and the Color of Drums Poetry Celebration, with many other events taking place over the weekend. On Monday, Jan. 21, the celebration includes the MLK President’s Luncheon, followed by the Keynote Address in the Student Center Auditorium, with other activities to follow through Tuesday, Jan. 22. The full schedule of activities can be found on the MLK Celebration website.

I would like to acknowledge in advance the fine work of the MLK Planning Committee and co-chairs Ellen Gold, Steve Bryant, and Tray McGuire. Please visit the Planning Committee website for a full list of all of the members.

I am pleased to note that the University’s campus climate assessment process will begin this semester. You may recall that this initiative was a recommendation of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, and we look forward to taking this important next step. We will share more about this in the weeks ahead.

And, we are pleased to be nearing the launch of a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website. The site will be a one-stop resource for all matters related to Eastern’s efforts to support a welcoming and engaging university environment where all members of the campus community can thrive.

We have heard much excitement and many accolades from students, faculty and staff about the “new” Strong Hall. Indeed, it is a beautifully constructed facility and an outstanding final element of the University’s Science Complex. Join us for the Strong Hall Dedication and Open House on Thursday, February 7 at 3 p.m.

On a final note, please join me at our second New Employee Welcome Reception on Friday, January 25, from 12:45–1:30 p.m. in the Carillion Room of Halle Library. It will be an opportunity to meet and greet our new employees and welcome them to Eastern. Light refreshments will be served. We had a great turnout and positive response to our first event last fall, and we hope you can stop by to say hello.

Many thanks to all of our faculty and staff for your ongoing support of our students and our University.

Go Green!

James M. Smith


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