In the News

MLK at lectern 1968

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Manchester on Feb. 1, 1968

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – On Feb. 1, 1968, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to an overflow audience at the tiny campus of what was then Manchester College in rural Indiana.

Security was tight. Tensions were high. They were turbulent times for a divided nation grappling with race relations, social and economic inequality, and the entanglements of a protracted military conflict. What no one would have predicted was that this was to be King’s last campus address before he was slain on April 4, 1968.

Each year, the northeast Indiana school brings in a speaker for the MLK Remembrance & Rededication Ceremony.

Why was Dr. King at Manchester?

  • Manchester was founded by the Church of the Brethren, a historic peace church that continues its long tradition of practicing and advocating non-violent conflict resolution.
  • Established in 1948, the Peace Studies Institute and Program for Conflict Resolution at Manchester was the first undergraduate Peace Studies program in the world.
  • Manchester was the first university in the United States to hold permanent observer status with the United Nations, as a non-governmental organization (NGO).
  • Andrew Cordier, who graduated from Manchester in 1922, was a key player in drafting the founding charter of the United Nations.
  • King had a personal connection to Manchester. Jean Childs was a student at Manchester in the 1950s who went on to marry Andrew Young. Both were active in civil rights movement with King. Andrew Young went on to be a U.S. congressman, ambassador to the United Nations and mayor of Atlanta. The Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center at Manchester opened in 2018.

About Manchester

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Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

May 2023