MLK's 1963 Campus Visit
Nearly 50 years ago, on December 18, 1963, Martin Luther King traveled to Kalamazoo to give a speech at Western Michigan University. It was just four months after he had given I Have a Dream. More than 2000 people were present to listen to King discuss racial prejudice and race relations.
At that time, the university community was engaged in an ongoing discussion about such issues. After the visit, King continued to have a profound impact on campus in both the programs and curricula that were established—and the broader societal changes occurring all over the county.
After King’s death, the Martin Luther King Program was established to provide scholarship assistance.The current focus has shifted to a more encouraging and supportive nature which includes academic advising, vocational and personal counseling, tutoring, and testing.
The Black Americana Studies Program was also established to increase student understanding of Black Culture and Black History. Today, the Program offers fifteen courses and is both a major and minor.
The speech was lost for some time, but has been recovered and is now available online —transcripts, photographs, newspaper clippings, and more information about Dr. King’s visit and can be found by following the link below.
WMU ARCHIVES—1963 MLK JR. VISIT
In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and 50th anniversary of his WMU visit, the campus and Kalamazoo communities are hosting many events. For additional information, please follow the link below.
WMICH.EDU—SEEDING THE DREAM, MARTIN LUTHER KING Jr. CELEBRATION