West Virginia University is offering multiple opportunities for the campus and Morgantown community to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.
On Monday, Jan. 21, at 8 a.m., the 23rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast will be held in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. At the breakfast, the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award and scholarship award winners will be announced. The Honorable Larry V. Starcher, former justice on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, will give the keynote address.
Starcher served on the state Supreme Court of Appeals from 1997-2008 and for part of that time was the court’s chief justice. Prior to that, he served as a Monongalia County Circuit Court judge from 1977 to 1996 and spent most of that time as the court’s chief judge. He is currently a lecturer for the WVU College of Law and serves the state Supreme Court as a senior status justice/judge.
He has served on the Martin Luther King Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission since 2004 and has been honored by civic groups that include the NAACP. As a circuit judge he pioneered the use of work release and community service as punishment for non-violent offenders, and established an alternative learning center for at-risk youth and a youth shelter.
Before his time as a judge, Starcher directed the North Central West Virginia Legal Aid Society, worked as a private attorney and was assistant to the WVU vice president of off-campus education.
Also on Jan. 21, a combined Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration and Inaugural Ball will be held to celebrate the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. The event will be held in the Mountainlair Ballrooms at 7 p.m.
“When we at the WVU Center for Black Culture and Research discovered that the inauguration of President Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. Day were both on Jan. 21, we decided that we would treat this news not as a scheduling conflict, but as a unique opportunity to combine the past with the future in a very special way,” said Marjorie Fuller, director of the Center for Black Culture and Research. “So we are encouraging everyone to come out and enjoy both events as we honor our history and celebrate our future.”
Formal or professional attire is requested for the ball. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served, and entertainment will be provided by Hubb’s Groove, of Cleveland, Ohio, a band known for jazz, soul, gospel, classical, and Rhythm and Blues music.
Please RSVP to the breakfast and/or Inaugural Ball by Jan. 14 by calling the Center for Black Culture and Research at 304-293-7029.
CONTACT: Marjorie Fuller, director, Center for Black Culture and Research
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