Largest local area MLK Day of Service kicks off at Concordia U.
More than 1,200 students from 11 colleges and universities join in service city-wide
More than 1,200 students from 11 colleges and universities gathered today at Concordia University in Northeast Portland to kick-off the largest service event in Portland's history in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
"It's exciting to see so many of our students collaborating to make a difference and tangibly live out their values and those of the University in the form of service leadership and community engagement," said Scott Ferguson, Concordia's Associate Director of Service Learning dedicated to creating positive social change.
The day of service, coordinated across universities by Oregon Campus Compact, began at 9 a.m. with a rally at Concordia, including music by King Elementary School's choir and remarks from Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Concordia President Charles Schlimpert and Pastor Mark Strong of Life Change Christian Center. During the rally, Emmett Wheatfall, Senior Pastor for Remember the Hope Christian Fellowship, delivered a stirring rendition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech, touching the hearts and souls of the hundreds in attendance.
Immediately following the rally, students boarded busses for project sites across Portland. A wide variety of projects included refurbishing schools, churches and community centers. Service projects were coordinated with the help of Hands On Greater Portland and United Way of the Columbia-Willamette.
In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve." Each year, colleges and universities hold events in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. throughout the country. This year, these efforts became collaborative, with the help of Oregon Campus Compact, to enable students from around the Portland Metro area both learn and serve together for greater community-wide impact.
Concordia University is a private, Lutheran, liberal arts university located in northeast Portland, Ore. with a mission of preparing leaders for the transformation of society. Founded in 1905, Concordia University serves more than 1,900 students through its College of Education, College of Health & Human Services, College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences and School of Management. In August of 2009, the university dedicated the George R. White Library & Learning Center, a state-of-the-art, 74,000 square-foot facility that serves as the hub for the campus and the neighborhood. The university also recently opened a new residence hall to students. Construction of a new athletic complex for baseball and soccer will begin later this year.
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