University to award those who continue Rev. King's legacy
By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- To celebrate the life and achievements of civil rights icon the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the Florida Institute of Technology will host a ceremony on Friday, Jan. 18.
The event, which will be hosted by Florida Tech's Office of Alumni Affairs and the Humanities and Communication Department, will be held in the John and Martha Hartley Room in the Denius Student Center on the Florida Tech campus.
"This event is a celebration of the past and an affirmation of our future. The legacy of Martin Luther King is the message that it carries for each of us to speak out for peace and justice," said Bino Campanini, assistant vice president of Alumni Affairs at Florida Tech, in an email. "No man, no woman is free if someone is oppressed. This is a message both timeless and new. As a university, we are educating our students not only to be proficient in their academic disciplines but to be as global citizens."
Since 2006, Mr. Campanini, said the event has honored those in the community, who represent Rev. King's legacy with their contributions to society, with the Julius Montgomery Pioneer Award, which, according to Florida Tech, was named after one of the university's first African-American students.
"(The) ceremony provides Florida Tech with an opportunity to recognize the significant contributions that exemplary individuals have made to improving the lives of those living along the Space Coast," Mr. Campanini said. "Though we are a young university, the faculty, Florida Tech's President (Anthony) Catanese and the Florida Tech alumni association think it is essential that we remember the work of those, who have contributed mightily into making Florida a better place."
Organizers of the event said Brevard resident Barbara Moore will be presented with the 8th Julius Montgomery Pioneer Award based on recognition for her efforts toward disadvantaged youth and her time as an instructor an counselor for several institutions.
The university also said the event will award former Florida Tech Alumni President Alan Prestwood with the first Dr. Harvey L. Riley Bridge Builder Award. The award honors Dr. Prestwood for his work with the Brevard Neighborhood Development Coalition, the university said.
The keynote speaker will be the Rev. David E. Bryant, who presides over the second oldest African-American Missionary Baptist Church in Florida --the Greater St. Paul Baptist Church in Cocoa, founded in 1886.
The Rev. Bryant has led services in seven countries and in several states across the U.S.
Organizers also said that the Rev. King's legendary "I Have a Dream" speech will be performed by Melbourne orator Leonard Ross, and live musical performances from the Florida Tech choir and Leroy Darby will also be performed.
The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18. The Florida Institute of Technology is located at 2976 Country Club Road in Melbourne.
For more information, contact Bino Campanini at (321) 674-8434.