January 13, 2014

SLU Celebrates Dr. King's Legacy

Eight community leaders were recognized during the annual event that honors the life and influence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King honorees
Participants and honorees of the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Tribute. In the back row, from left, are Michael McMillan, Patty Harberberger and Paul Stark, S.J. In the front row, from left, Donald Suggs, DDS; Melanie Dileo; Frankie Muse Freeman, J.D.; Maxine Clark; Bob Fox; Karla Scott, Ph.D. (accepting the award for Norm White, Ph.D.); and Pastor MIchael Jones. Photo by Danielle Lacey

More than 200 members of the local and University community joined Saint Louis University for its annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 10. The event celebrated the life and accomplishments of King with music provided by the Jeffrey Hardin Band, prayer and the recognition of eight St. Louis leaders who've demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equality and civil rights.

Jeffery Hardin Band
The lead singer for the Jeffrey Hardin Band sings "What's Going On?" during the Jan. 10 event. Photo by Danielle Lacey

Patty Haberberger, interim vice president for Human Resources, kicked off the event with words of welcome, and Paul Stark, S.J., vice president of Mission and Ministry, delivered the invocation and benediction. Michael McMillian, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, once again served as master of ceremonies.

The event's keynote address was delivered by the Michael Jones, pastor at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church. Jones spoke on the life of King and encouraged those in attendance to live their life with same drive and purpose as the late civil rights leader.

As part of the celebration, the university honored SLU and community leaders who have worked to promote equality in the St. Louis community. Those recognized were:

  • Norman White, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the criminology and criminal justice undergraduate program, received the Don Brennan Humanitarian Award Norm has worked extensively with the researchers to examine the role of educational performance on the development of antisocial and delinquent behavior. His community work in youth violence prevention has fostered collaborative relationships with local organizations, stakeholders and political leadership.
  • Frankie Muse Freeman, J.D., attorney and the first woman to be appointed the United States Commission on Civil Rights, received the Civil Rights Award. Freeman won the landmark NAACP case Davis v. the St. Louis Housing Authority, which ended legal racial discrimination in public housing. In 2007, Freeman was inducted to the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta.
  • Donald Suggs, DDS, oral surgeon and publisher of the St. Louis American, received the Education Award. Suggs was the first African-American associate clinical professor at SLU's School of Dentistry. Suggs is the founder of the St. Louis American Foundation's Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarships, which is designed to increase the recruitment and retention of undergraduate students who typically are underrepresented at institutions of higher education.
  • Melanie Dileo, Missouri state director for Citi Community Development, received the Civic Leadership Award. Under Dileo's leadership, Citi's businesses work closely to leverage Citi's financial and human capital in addressing community needs, such as community outreach and marketing events. Dileo believes that investing in neighborhood communities is a cost-effective means of delivering quality care to underserved communities.
  • David and Thelma Steward received the Corporate Leadership Award. David Steward, founder of World Wide Technology, Inc., and his wife Thelma Steward have demonstrated exemplary leadership in community advancement. They have been praised and received numerous acknowledgements for their civic and philanthropic involvement in the St. Louis community.
  • Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, and her husband Bob Fox, founder of New Space Inc. and Casa de Salud, received the Community Leadership Award. Maxine Clark and Bob Fox set the bar in terms of community involvement , service, and leadership in the St. Louis Community. Casa de Salud provides free health care services to more than 12,000 members of the community each year.

The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial tribute was sponsored by the Human Resources MOVE committee.

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