WWU pays tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was remembered at William
Woods University with a week-long series of programs that began Jan. 21. The
programs included an art exhibit, musical tribute, films and a storyteller.

An art exhibit, titled “Symbolic Expressions of Dr. King’s Dream,” was on display all
week in the Corridor Gallery of the Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts.
The exhibit featured the work of the late Jane Bierdeman-Fike, faculty,
students and the children of Head Start.
On Monday, Stephen Hageman, history instructor, spoke about “White Americans and the Black Freedom Struggle.”
The presentation explored the important role played by white Americans in the
long struggle for African-American freedom, including radical abolitionist John
Brown, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt and white college students in the

Later that day, “Take it to Church
– A Gospel Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” was performed by WWU’s First Impressions show choir. First Impressions was joined by Regina Blanchard,
Urban Empowerment Ministries C3 Choir; DaMia Day, a youth performer and singer;
and Marla Lynn, a new solo artist.  The
choirs performed musical numbers from traditional hymns to spirituals and
contemporary gospel.
Students had an opportunity to
learn while having fun on Tuesday when they played
Civil Rights Trivia.
Hageman did another program on Wednesday, showing a
discussing “25 Years of Eyes on the
Prize.” The event celebrated the 25th
Anniversary of the of Eyes on the
Prize, a landmark documentary series.
It tells the definitive
story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and
women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric
of American life, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be
felt today.

Gladys Coggswell, a professional storyteller, speaker,
author, folklorist and educator from Frankford, Mo., spoke on “the Rewards of
Living the Dream” on Thursday.  
In addition, “King (History
Channel),” the documentary
film with newsman Tom Brokaw, was
shown on Thursday. The film takes viewers through the extraordinary life and
times of America’s civil rights visionary.
“King” goes beyond the legend to
portray the man, the questions, the myths and, most importantly, the relevance
of Dr. King s message in today’s world. It includes a rare interview with his
son, Martin Luther King III, as well as associates from the civil rights campaigns and
contemporary figures, such as former President Bill Clinton, Condaleezza Rice,
Bono, Forest Whitaker, Chuck D and others.
In a presentation on Friday, Terry Martin, WWU professor of
art, discussed “Painting the Dream: Reflections on Art and Inspiration.” Martin talked about the artwork of
local children who painted their own dreams in honor of Martin Luther King
Day.  He also discussed how a friend (the
late Jane Bierdeman-Fike) and a visionary (Martin Luther King) have inspired
his own values and commitments.  
This piece by Alaina Leverenz is one of several “Symbolic Expressions of Dr. King’s Dream” displayed
in the Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts all week. 

Regina Blanchard, of the Urban Empowerment
Ministries C3 Choir, sings with WWU’s First Impressions show choir. (photo by Hannah
Gladys Coggswell, a professional storyteller, speaker,
author, folklorist and educator from Frankford, Mo., speaks on “the Rewards of
Living the Dream.” (photo by Rachel
Terry Martin speaks with students about “Painting the Dream: Reflections on Art and
Inspiration.” (photo by Meghan Greenwalt)