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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Jan. 11, 2011

University plans events to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University students will mark the national holiday honoring the birth of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. by collaborating with Maryville Community Services to help those in need.

As part of "Project Homeless," students are striving to supply 250 bags of personal hygiene items to individuals who cannot afford them. Volunteers will organize the packages from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 17.

Supplies needed include small combs that fit into sandwich-size bags, travel-size toothpaste, toothbrushes, travel-size lotion, bars of soap, travel-size shampoo, and sandwich-size plastic bags.

Interested donors are encouraged to send an e-mail to by Jan. 14 with items they plan to donate. Individuals or organizations interested in volunteering to assemble packages also should send an e-mail with their name and organization.

In 2010, "Project Homeless" helped more than 150 homeless individuals in the Nodaway County and surrounding areas. 

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Northwest will not have classes Monday, and university offices will close.

The Northwest men's and women's basketball teams, however, will host Missouri Southern State University that night. The women will tip off at 5:30 p.m. and the men will tip off at 7:30 p.m. at Bearcat Arena. The Northwest Gospel Choir also will perform during halftime of the men's basketball game.

The first 50 students in attendance at the game will receive a T-shirt with King's signature quote: "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.'

Inside Bearcat Arena, fans will have an opportunity to sign banners that will be placed in the J.W. Jones Student Union, the Student Service Desk and Colden Hall during the week after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The banners will feature King's message and fans will be asked to leave their reflections about the future of our society, equality and what a loving environment means to them.

Additionally, sixth-graders at Northwest's Horace Mann Laboratory School are invited to submit a one-page essay reflecting on the same topics. Essays are due to Amy Nally by 4 p.m. Thursday. Winners will receive a prize.

Although King was born on Jan. 15, 1929, his birthday has been observed as a national holiday on the third Monday of each January since 1986.

King was a Baptist minister who helped lead the American civil rights movement during the 1950s and '60s. He is remembered for leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott and helping found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 

King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. The march dramatically raised public consciousness about civil rights and established King as a world figure. He was assassinated April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.

For more information about Martin Luther King Jr. Day events at Northwest, contact Amy Nally, director of volunteer, service learning and civic engagement, at 660.562.1954 or

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468