King’s legacy explored, celebrated at St. Andrews
Laurinburg, N.C. – “A bullet took his life but his legacy lives on. If he were here today, Dr. King would continue to teach and preach the power of love. He would say that before you start trying to love your nation, before you start trying to love your job, you first need to learn to love yourself.”
The Rev. Dr. Gentile Everett shared these reflections during the 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at St. Andrews University Monday evening.
The audience of close to 200, including U.S. Congressman Larry Kissell and Scotland County Board of Education Member James Underwood, spent the evening reflecting on King’s impact in their own lives guided by the ideas shared in service, word and song.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was a prophet with a message of love,” said Everett. “He had an anointed mind with great imagination and vision. He was willing to immerse himself in the solutions of humanity.
“King preached of unity and love irrespective of skin color,” he continued. “He could not let the travesty go on. Nothing ever gets done until somebody says so. You can’t be an effective leader and be afraid of what will happen to you. In order for the seed to morph into what it will become some dirt has to get on it. Anyone who became anybody has to go through a process.”
St. Andrews Vice President for Administration and Dean of Students Glenn Batten had his reflections on King shaped by a question asked by a student.
“I had a blond haired, blue-eyed freshman say ‘I don’t understand what this means for me,’” he shared. “It made me think back to a night in April 1968 when a 10-year-old boy was watching the TV news coming from Memphis. I didn’t understand how it would impact me either.
“Two years later I learned how it would impact me with the schools being integrated,” Batten continued. “I went from playing on an all-white football team to an integrated team. My life has been blessed by the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through my interactions with staff, faculty and students of multiple races who I come in contact with on a daily basis. This is truly a celebration of the life and legacy of a man who changed all our lives.”
One way King’s impact was reflected by the university community was through a Day of Service. During Monday evening’s celebration, coordinator Renée Jones shared the statistics from that volunteer work.
“We had 17 locations with two student leaders for each location,” Jones said. “Between student, faculty and staff volunteers we had a total of 204 workers perform more than 500 volunteer hours. Thank you Scotland County for providing us with the opportunity and thank you to the volunteers for sharing your time and skills.”
The celebration included a musical selection by St. Andrews students Park Hoey and Victoria Bickett accompanied by music instructor Sean Moore and a featured performance by The Peay Brothers.
“Rowland, Greensboro, South Carolina, New York City and the world have heard and been mesmerized by the soulful music of The Peay Brothers,” said Dr. Rona Leach McLeod, event planning chair, in introducing the group. “They have gone from a little southern town to New York and they know that if God surrounds you, all things are possible. They have kept God first and foremost and just keep singing, praying, playing, harmonizing, and mesmerizing.”
The Peay Brothers did not disappoint, sharing a variety of gospel songs to the delight of the audience.
Everett closed with a simple instruction from the heart of King’s work.
“Let love define you,” he said. “Then learn to love what is around us. Let love flow around us.”
About St. Andrews University
St. Andrews is a student and teaching-focused University which offers a broad range of undergraduate majors in a curriculum that is global in scope and practical in its application. The quality of the St. Andrews educational experience has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and GI Jobs among others. In addition to its academic programs, the University has an acclaimed university press, men’s and women’s athletic teams, a nationally competitive equestrian program, and an award-winning pipe band. St. Andrews is a branch of Webber International University, Florida. Further information may be obtained by visiting the University’s website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198, or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.