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Black History Month: Where was MLK’s last campus address?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Manchester on Feb. 1, 1968

MLK50-180pxNORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Fifty years ago, on Feb. 1, 1968, 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.

Why was Dr. King at Manchester?

  • The school 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.

    Throughout this academic year, Manchester is exploring topics close to King’s heart and paying tribute to his legacy. We reflect on his teachings of nonviolence. We celebrate the lives of Manchester graduates who advanced the causes of justice and human dignity. And we prepare to break ground in February for the Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center, where people from all walks of life will gather for important conversations that lead to a deeper understanding of our shared humanity.

    Childs Young, a Manchester graduate, was the first wife of Andrew Young, and a civil rights leader in her own right. Young has said in interviews that it was through Jean and Coretta Scott that he and King met.

    Related 2018 events:
  • Jan. 15, 2018 – MLK Day of Service
  • Jan. 31-Feb. 28– “Bending Toward Justice: Dr. King’s Visit and the Manchester Legacy,” a photo exhibit honoring Manchester’s tradition of peace and justice.
  • Feb. 1 – MLK 50 Remembrance & Rededication Ceremony. Includes groundbreaking ceremony for the intercultural center.
  • Feb. 6, 2018 – Where do we go from here? – Convocation by President Dave McFadden offers charge to students to carry forward MLK’s legacy and Manchester’s tradition of peace and justice.
  • March 2018 – Civil Rights Heritage Trip

About Manchester University
Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 60 areas of academic study to nearly 1,600 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Athletic Training, a Master of Pharmacogenomics and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy. It has students from 20 nations and is home to the world's first undergraduate peace studies program, established in 1948. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu.

October 2017