LATROBE, PA - As part of Saint Vincent College’s commemoration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Office of Campus Ministry has released a series of poignant video tributes offered by SVC students recognizing and celebrating King’s life and legacy.
“I asked some students to reflect on what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King meant to them,” said Father Killian Loch, O.S.B., director of Saint Vincent Campus Ministry. “I was not surprised with how good the reflections are, but deeply impressed by how each student spoke from a different perspective.
“Watching the students share their understanding of the important role the Rev. Dr. King has had in their dreams for a better tomorrow is a moving experience.”
Videos were contributed by Mary Anand, senior chemistry major from Wexford; Thomas Anand, freshman biochemistry major from Wexford; Tyrique Anderson, senior psychology major from Crofton, Maryland; and Kyle Watson, senior integrated science major and senior class president from Essex, Maryland.
“I feel elated and honored to be asked to speak about Rev. Dr. King,” said Watson, who reflected on a sermon delivered by Dr. King in which he relayed his definition of love. “I felt that his message on love was really relevant and important, especially nowadays, given everything that’s been going on in America. Whenever I am asked to talk about Rev. Dr. King or one of his speeches or sermons, I like looking for and talking about ones that aren’t as well-known, because a lot of the messages he talks about are super important and were done outside of the larger platforms that he had, like the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in Washington, D.C.”
Anderson, who spoke about the power of Rev. Dr. King’s words and endless hope, was also eager to take part in the project and was elated to learn that the SVC community would still be commemorating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day despite the delayed start to the spring semester.
“I was saddened that the start of the semester was pushed back,” he said, “and thought that would mean that we, as a community, would not get to celebrate Rev. Dr. King. So, learning about this project made me excited. I felt honored to participate in something like this to honor the life of Rev. Dr. King.
“Rev. Dr. King hoped for the future,” Anderson continued, “and we must, too. We must all believe things can and will get better. We must keep fighting to make America better, even if it means risking our lives, because it is that important.”
The Campus Ministry tribute videos mark the start of Saint Vincent College’s celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which will continue upon the return of students for the spring 2021 semester during the week of Feb. 8.
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the offices of Campus and Multicultural Student Life and the Uniting All Peoples club will hold a belated celebration of Rev. Dr. King’s birthday. The SVC community will be invited to a virtual presentation by Ryan Bomberger, Emmy Award-winning creative professional and author of the powerful book “Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong.”
The Feb. 10 events will also include the announcing of the winners of Saint Vincent College’s annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Department of English. This year’s submissions follow the theme, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
The student tribute videos can be viewed below and on the SVC YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/SaintVincentCollege).
Reflecting on the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Father Paul Taylor, O.S.B., President of Saint Vincent College
Hatred. Violence. Bigotry. Discrimination. In these times, when many are quick to anger and to hate, division and violence seem to follow. These sins plague our society and cast a dark shadow over the positive work being done by so many to build up our communities and to lift up one another.
On this observance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, current Saint Vincent College students are offering reflections on the life and work of Rev. Dr. King. Thank you for being a part of our remembrance today by listening to their words and seeing their dedication to Rev. Dr. King’s legacy. At Saint Vincent, we are together as one community where each person strengthens those ties that bind. These leaders of our community clearly show that.
At Saint Vincent, as with the Rev. Dr. King, we recognize the sanctity and value of each human life, given by God. The ways in which we support one another – through listening, learning and loving – move us forward. In the spirit of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., each of us are called to take up that mantle, reject evil and put into action the good, and, at the heart of it, to love one another as Christ taught us.
As Rev. Dr. King wrote in “Strength to Love” in 1963:
“Hate is just as injurious to the person who hates. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the truth.”