Penn State Berks celebrates MLK Jr. Day with banquet

MLK Day of Service
Credit: Photo Courtesy of Corporation for National & Community Service

WYOMISSING, Pa. — Penn State Berks will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by hosting a banquet on Monday, Jan. 20. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will begin at 6 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room. This year’s theme is “Dare to Dream.” This event is free for and open to the public but seating is limited and attendees must get their tickets in advance.

This year’s keynote speaker is Robert S. Jefferson, former president of the Reading Branch NAACP and co-founder of ILEAD Charter School in Reading, Pa. Previously Jefferson was a correctional officer for the California and Pennsylvania State Department of Corrections and a radio broadcaster in both states. Over the past 10 years, he has delivered the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech at many events in the Berks County area. 

During the banquet, awards will be presented to students who have demonstrated the characteristics for which King was known: leadership, community involvement, and commitment to social justice. Three Penn State Berks students were selected: Steven Filby, Serena Schade and James Watts.

For the third consecutive year, local high, middle and elementary school students were eligible to receive an award at the banquet. This year, Exeter High School senior Karleigh Patton was selected.

Berks students were asked to nominate one faculty and one staff member for an award.

Donna Chambers, assistant teaching professor of Spanish and coordinator of the Center for Academic Community Engagement, will receive the faculty award, while Alexa Hodge, coordinator of Student Support Services and the Aspiring Scholars Program, will receive the staff award.

This event is sponsored by the Penn State Berks Diversity Committee and supported by the Berks Campus Arts and Cultural Fund and the Student Activity Fee. For additional information or to reserve a seat, contact Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez, coordinator of diversity and international programs, at 610-396-6080 or via email at [email protected].