An illustration of Martin Luther King, Jr. in front of an American flag

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrations

Thank you to all who attended our annual community conversation programming and participated in the day of service! We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations.

On Thursday, January 12 the PNW community was invited to come together to discuss, learn, and reflect on topics related to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy.

Purdue Northwest celebrates MLK Day

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) celebrated its annual MLK Day recognition through several events intended to not only honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, but also capture the spirit of social justice and service to the community.

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History of the MLK Community Celebrations at PNW

For decades now, the Purdue University Northwest campuses have partnered with the community to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1992, PNW’s Hammond campus held its first MLK celebration, “The Dream: Diversity and Pluralism in Higher Education.” Professor Marcellus Barksdale, professor of history at Morehouse College, was the keynote speaker. The Brunswick Elementary School Choir (Gary) was the special guest.

In 1996, the MLK celebration started on PNW’s Westville campus when 12-year-old Michigan City resident Sarah asked her mother, Felicia Thomas, on several occasions why Michigan City did not have events to acknowledge and remember Dr. King’s Life. As a result, Felicia and Samara McNeal established a vision of a city-wide celebration of the life of Martin Luther King. They invited others to join in the vision, and annual community events and festivals have occurred ever since in collaboration with numerous community partners and organizations.

Combining the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of our two campuses, Purdue University Northwest will celebrate the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a multi-day event. Please support our continued efforts and quest to remember Dr. King’s dream and legacy of equity, inclusion and justice.


Sponsorship Opportunities

Community sponsors are welcome for Purdue University Northwest’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrations. If you’re interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Don Babcock, director of economic development and community relations, at babcocd@pnw.edu or (219) 746-6115.

2023 Sponsors

Dreamer ($7,500+)

  • Purdue University Northwest Cultural Heritage Celebration Committee
  • NIPSCO

Justice Seeker ($2,500)

  • Horizon

Silence Breaker ($1,000)

  • Shive-Hattery
  • Urban League
  • Visit Michigan City LaPorte

$500

  • PNW Department of Psychology

Sponsorship Levels

Dreamer – $7,500

Speaker Sponsor

Benefits include the opportunity to introduce or make remarks prior to the speaker livestream and receive logo recognition on screen.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed…”

– I Have a Dream, 1963

Justice-Seeker – $2,500

Reception Sponsor – Hammond or Westville

Benefits include logo and name recognition on screen and on banner or easel at the reception.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

– Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963

Silence-Breaker – $1,000

Community Conversation Sponsor – Hammond or Westville

Benefits include the opportunity to make remarks prior to the community conversation and receive logo recognition on screen.

“…I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart…”

– Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence, 1967

Marcher – $1,000

MLK Celebration Doughnut and Coffee Sponsor – Hammond or Westville

Benefits include logo and name recognition on screen and on banner or easel at the reception.

“Like an idea whose time has come, not even the marching of mighty armies can halt us.”

– Our God is Marching On, 1965