St. Thomas Aquinas College was honored to welcome civil rights leader and global humanitarian Martin Luther King III to campus earlier this week for a special Black History Month fireside chat.
Addressing a packed audience of over 500 attendees, including hundreds of St. Thomas Aquinas College and high school students, Mr. King shared inspirational words and a message of change. As the oldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III has devoted his life to promoting global human rights and eradicating racism, violence, and poverty, while earning a reputation as a respected international statesman and one of the world’s most passionate advocates for the underprivileged and marginalized.
“Today was a very special day for our community,” said St. Thomas Aquinas College President Ken Daly. “The words and wisdom shared by Martin Luther King III will have a profound and lasting impact on the lives of our students. We are so grateful for his presence here with us and his passionate commitment to social justice and the transformative power of education.” In his opening remarks, President Daly, who launched the Social Justice and Equity Forum on his first day as President in 2020, proudly highlighted the work being led by faculty in the College’s Justice Studies Institute in the School of Arts & Social Sciences.
During the fireside chat moderated by CBS anchor Maurice DuBois, Mr. King shared powerful memories of his father, recalled his mother’s resiliency, and their joint commitment to nonviolent social change. King also spoke directly to students encouraging them to strive for growth and opportunity. “You have unlimited potential here at St. Thomas Aquinas College, so you must find ways to tap into that unlimited potential as you decide what you want to do in your life,” said King. “Study very hard and perform as well as you can, because it will ultimately determine what your future holds.”
At the closing of the event, President Daly presented an Aquinas Medal Award to Mr. King – the Aquinas Medal honors individuals who “enlighten the mind through truth.” The Award was presented on stage by St. Thomas Aquinas students, as well as the College’s Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Admissions, Samantha Bazile.
The event was generously sponsored by Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc. and Wells Fargo and hosted by the St. Thomas Aquinas College Justice Studies Institute.
About St. Thomas Aquinas College
St. Thomas Aquinas College is an independent liberal arts college located on 76 acres in Rockland County, NY, providing education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The College’s diverse student body of approximately 2,000 full and part-time students can choose from over 100 majors, minors, and specializations across four Schools: Arts & Social Sciences, Business, Education, and STEM. The College is recognized by U.S. News & World Report in the Top-Tier for Regional Universities, and by Colleges of Distinction in its New York edition for Business, Education, and Career Development. The College is also recognized as a Yellow Ribbon Program institution. St. Thomas Aquinas College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; its School of Education is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), and its School of Business is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). For more information, visit www.stac.edu.