2006-2007

WPI to Observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 15

WPI's Office of Diversity Programs will honor the legacy of the late civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, Jan. 15, by asking members of the campus community to complete a pledge of nonviolence. Pledge forms will be available in the Rubin Campus Center lobby that day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WORCESTER, Mass. – Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) faculty, staff, and students will join the rest of the nation on Monday, Jan. 15, in remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the values he stood for: civil rights, peace, and nonviolence.

WPI’s Office of Diversity Programs will honor King’s legacy by asking members of the campus community to complete a pledge of nonviolence. Pledge forms will be available in the Rubin Campus Center lobby from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The completed forms will be displayed in the Barnes and Noble Rubin Campus Center book store window until Friday, Jan. 19. The first 300 people to make their pledge will receive a “Remembering the Dream” rubber band bracelet.

King was a leader of the American civil rights movement, a political activist, and a Baptist minister. In 1964, he became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a peacemaker, promoting nonviolence and equal treatment for different races. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.; in 1977, President Jimmy Carter posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“Through our observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on campus, WPI’s faculty, staff, and students demonstrate their commitment to nonviolence and to remembering the legacy of the Dr. King,” says Calvin Hill, director of WPI’s Office of Diversity Programs.

WPI’s Office of Diversity Programs runs the Excellence in Mathematics, Science and Engineering Program (EMSEP), a retention program for students of color; cooperates with other WPI departments to support students of color during their enrollment, works with campus organizations and departments to provide cultural events for the community, and serves as a resource to the campus for issues regarding diversity and inclusion of people of color.

“WPI has been able to provide underrepresented students with a worldview that involves STEM disciplines and careers, and in the process, to help reduce the educational achievement gap that exists for underrepresented students, especially those pursuing STEM careers,” Hill notes.

The office was established in 1993 to assist in the recruitment and retention of students of color, who are underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). WPI provides a wide range of educational and career opportunities for students of color.

For more information about diversity programs at WPI, visit the Office of Diversity Programs Web site, www.wpi.edu/+diversity.

January 12, 2007

Contact: Lorraine U. Martinelle, Public Relations Specialist, +1-508-831-6425, lurbans@wpi.edu Eileen Brangan Mell, Director of Public Relations, +1-508-831-6785, ebmell@wpi.edu