MLK Jr. Day Service Event Kicks off Semester

Members of the Marymount University Community celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by reflecting on his teachings about service. Then they rolled up their sleeves and put together wellness packages for Hope for the Warriors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the sense of self, family and home to those touched by military service.

“It was a good way to start the semester and a nice way for us to be part of a larger community of service,” said Anne Aichele, director of Marymount’s Office of Student Leadership.

The event, held at the school’s Lee Center Atrium, included a video about Dr. King’s legacy and an interactive activity in which participants reflected on what service means to them. The wellness packages assembled will go to caregivers for post-9/11 service members or veterans who have been physically or psychologically wounded. It was part of a number of “Beyond Tolerance Week” activities welcoming students to the spring semester, which started Tuesday, and included an MLK Jr. interfaith prayer service at the Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel.

“The prayer service was really a nice way to get people from different faiths together,” said Vincent Stovall, director of Campus Programs and Leadership Development. “It was a wonderful opportunity to show that we have more commonalities than differences.”

Father Tom Yehl, chaplain and director of Marymount’s Campus Ministry welcomed participants, who included Pastor Drew Hill from Memorial Baptist Church and Salih Sayilgan, the Muslim Student Association Chaplain at Georgetown University. Kevin Cramer, James West, Alana Douglas and M. Jachuku Howard of the Black Student Alliance presented excerpts from King’s, “I Have a Dream Speech” in a group, spoken-word style. The service also included other readings, reflections and music.

“This event was a new collaboration, and there is interest in making this service an annual event,” said Stovall, who read an excerpt from King’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

Other “Beyond Tolerance Week” events included:

  • a spirit tailgate for men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader
  • “Know Your Rights and Use Your Voice Forum”
  • International Student Services Welcome Back Reception
  • Game Night 
  • Culture Fest and Rep Your Flag Dance

Photo caption

James West, Kevin Cramer, Alana Douglas and M. Jachuku Howard of Marymount University’s Black Student Alliance presented excerpts from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” at an interfaith prayer service at the Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel on Tuesday. Photo by Emily Benson