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Manchester announces spring Values, Ideas and the Arts series

mlkblairoutsideunionManchester University’s Values, Ideas and the Arts series has a robust schedule for spring semester, starting with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance and Rededication Ceremony.

The ceremony is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1. King spoke at Manchester on Feb. 1, 1968, his last speech on a college campus before he was slain. The Manchester community gathers at this time each year to reflect on King’s life and the ways we can honor his legacy.

At the ceremony, Timothy Lake of Wabash College will explore what King identified as America’s triple-evils: militarism, racism and poverty.

"Why America Might Go to Hell" was the title of what would have been King's next sermon, but he was assassinated before it was completed. Lake will explore that subject and connect it with King’s passion for social justice.

The ceremony presentation will be livestreamed at

Other presentations will also be livestreamed on the MU Facebook page. Check the schedule at for updates.

The semester's other presentations are at 11 a.m. Monday’s in Cordier Auditorium on the North Manchester campus, unless otherwise noted. All except the “Spaces” concert are free and open to the public. Masks and social distancing are required.

Feb. 7 – “Mindfulness and Impacts on Mental Well-Being” by Jon Walker, a retired physician from Modestly Mindful is our speaker. This will also be livestreamed on Facebook.
Feb. 14 – “How Did the Taliban Get the Holy Grail?” Janina Traxler, professor emerita of French and English at Manchester, will speak about the legend of the Holy Grail as it is treated in popular culture. She is a 1973 Manchester graduate.
Feb. 21 – "I Never Give Up": Reflections on Volunteering at a Juvenile Prison” by faculty member Stacy Erickson-Pesetski. She will share reflections on her four summers leading a Shakespeare class at Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility. 
Feb. 28 – “Meant for So Much More” is the topic of President Dave McFadden’s Spring Convocation. A 1982 Manchester graduate, he will talk about “setting your personal GPS” and becoming your best self.
March 7 – “Race and Racism, Historical and Current Experiences.” A panel of alumni and current students of color will talk about their experiences and perspectives. 
March 14 – “PeaceTech: Engineering to Change the World” by Zia Haque will look at how we can think about peace and train young peacebuilders and peace engineers in a digital age. He directs the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College.
April 4 – “Manchester and the United Nations: The Legacy of Andrew Cordier.” Manchester seniors Christopher Carroll and Omar Gadzhiev will discuss the United Nations and Manchester’s historical relationship with the institution. 
April 11 – In “CommuniKate: Artalive,” Kate Billingsley offers a comic performance portraying a young American moving to Spain, using improvisation and cultural anecdotes.
April 18 – Alicia Smith, community liaison with Junction Coalition in Toledo, Ohio, presents “Environmental Justice & Community Democracy -- BIPOC & Beyond,” an exploration of justice and fairness for people in the face of climate injustice.
April 25 – Mary Miller, CEO and owner of JANCOA Janitorial Services, will talk in “Dream Big” about how treating people well at work has transformed her life.
May 2 – “Trailblazers: Honoring Manchester's First Black Students” is the keynote address on the day Manchester is naming the Academic Center in honor of siblings Martha and Joseph Cunningham.
May 9 – Manchester seniors will talk about their senior honors theses: Kendall Brown, “Immigration in Wabash County: A Case Study;” Madison Brown, “Efficacy of Variations of Carbocyclic Nucleoside Analogues Against HIV Protease;” Mallory Sands, “Investigating the Local and Systemic Wounding Response in Soybeans;” and Samuel Springer, “Social Media and Me: An Analysis of the Relationship between Social Media Usage, Self-Esteem and Identity among Sexual and Ethnic Minority Members.”
May 15 at 3 p.m. in Cordier – Violist Derek Reeves performs the world premiere of "Spaces," a concerto composed for him by Professor Debra Lynn, director of choral organizations and vocal studies at Manchester. This is a collaboration with the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, where Lynn is conductor.

For the media
If you are interested in a particular presentation, the VIA page has a link to contact the primary event organizer for each event. 

Although all VIA programs are open to the public, they are primarily intended to expose students to a variety of cultural, artistic and intellectual experiences. Undergrads earn academic credit for participation.

Note: The symphony was founded in 1939 through a partnership with the citizens of Wabash County and what was then Manchester College. It remains a separate entity but maintains a close and collaborative relationship with Manchester University. 

Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., provides vibrant and transformative student experiences. Learn more at

Our mission
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.