Bell is keynote speaker at 2013 M. L. King day tribute
PRINCESS ANNE, MD – (Jan. 16, 2013) – Lower Delmarva’s annual tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will have a University of Maryland Eastern Shore theme Monday, Jan. 21 at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury.
President Juliette B. Bell will be the keynote speaker for the 28th annual King Birthday Celebration Banquet in the civic center’s Normandy arena starting at 6:30 p.m.
“Dr. King is admired and revered by many generations of Americans. He remains a national inspiration,” Dr. Bell said. “I am honored and humbled to be asked to deliver the keynote address at this year’s tribute.”
The event’s founding sponsor is the Tri-County Organizations’ Coalition, which has expanded to include residents of Dorchester County as well as Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties.
This year’s dinner is dedicated in honor of H. DeWayne Whittington, who served on the banquet committee in the past. Whittington, a long-time educator and community leader from Somerset County who died in November, was a charter member of UMES’ Board of Visitors.
In addition to Bell’s speech, UMES’ Concert Choir will perform.
The speech marks Bell’s first major address to a Lower Shore audience since assuming the UMES presidency in July 2012. Bell grew up in Alabama, where she and her family watched King’s rise to prominence as leader of the civil rights movement.
Norma Barkley, who has spearheaded the event since its inception, said the banquet committee invited Bell to be the keynote speaker because “she’s an important leader in our community we think people are anxious to hear from. This is a great opportunity for people to meet her and hear her thoughts on how Dr. King’s works might have impacted her.”
King was the 1959 spring commencement speaker at Maryland State College, as the university was known in that era.
Barkley’s husband, Marion, said ticket sales are going well and the committee anticipates 800-to-1,000 people will attend the 2013 banquet. Tickets are $35 each, or $350 for a table of 10. They can be purchased by calling Marion (Bud) Barkley at (410) 742-2482 or Jesse T. Ballard (410) 546-4206.
Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355