Heidelberg University conducted a campus celebration in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Tuesday.
The guest speaker for the day was Sharon Perry-Nause, director of institutional diversity and assistant professor of management at Tiffin University, where she chairs the University Diversity Committee. During her tenure, TU has earned recognition for increases in black student graduation rates.
Heidelberg President Robert Huntington welcomed the audience by asking, "Why are we here today?"
"We are here today because we are not satisfied," Huntington said. "There is more work to be done." August will mark 50 years since the march on Washington, he said.
"In words expressed by Dr. King, 'No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream,'" Huntington said.
The topic of the celebration was "Humanity." Perry-Nause expressed that throughout King's life, there was a lot of uncertainty.
"Now, we are light years ahead from where we used to be," Perry-Nause said.
As a little girl, Perry-Nause said, she told her mother she wanted to go to college. In a single-parent home, there wasn't much money for college, Perry-Nause said. "But with the people I met throughout my life, they showed me to path to get there."
"I am all about education. It can change your life. I know because it changed mine with the opportunities given to me through Dr. King," Perry-Nause said. "It is my job to educate and my responsibility to give back to help those individuals, no matter what type of school, to get through what they need to get through. Helping those individuals ultimately helps society as a whole."
Concluding her message, Perry-Nause said, "(The) Humanities are stories, words and experiences. They connect lives with the opportunities to meet people you may not have ever met, see places you may not have every seen and get ideas that you may not have had the chance to express. That is my passion that is diversity."
In addition to the address by Perry-Nause, the President's Volunteer Service Award was presented to 2008 Heidelberg graduate Joe Worthy for his commitment to a life of service.
Worthy, during his time on campus, organized a get-out-the-vote campaign that encouraged 200 Heidelberg students to register to vote. Worthy also was president of the campus's Black Student Union and served as a part of the Martin Luther King Community Planning Committee and Honors Program Committee.
Since then, Worthy has volunteered with Nexus Alliance and the Children's Defense Fund. He has worked with the Defense Fund as a national coordinator for youth leadership development in Washington, D.C., and is working through the Cleveland office, where he founded the New Abolitionist Association and the Call to Consciousness Symposium.