WT to Commemorate MLK Day with School Holiday, Celebration 

Chip Chandler

Aurora Garcia-Comer of the Black Student Union speaks at the 2021 celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at West Texas A&M University. Photo provided by WT Communication and Marketing

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]  

 

CANYON, Texas —West Texas A&M University students will offer tributes to and march in honor of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 18. 

The University, like other schools in The Texas A&M University System, will close Jan. 17 in remembrance of King. 

As classes resume Jan. 18, WT students will march from the University Dining Hall to the Jack B. Kelley Student Center beginning at 12:15 p.m. After they arrive, videos of leaders from several student organizations reading excerpts from King’s speeches will play in the JBK Commons. 

The University, on alternating years, incorporates a reenactment of King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, but this year, students will read excerpts from other orations.  

“There are so many more powerful messages for various causes that he delivered,” said Angela Allen, WT’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. “We wanted the students to find meaningful excerpts from those speeches to help us all recognize that the battles that are still going on are not new.” 

Participating students include Sir’Garen Grayson, junior public relations-advertising major from Amarillo, representing the Black Student Union; Tyrone Leggett, junior health sciences major from Bloomfield, Conn., representing the Black Student Union; Deanndra Murry, a December communication graduate from Houston, representing Diversity Ambassadors; Allan Baltazar, a senior criminal justice major from Houston, representing F1RSTGEN and Hispanic Students Association; Ashley Oakes, a senior marketing major from Amarillo, representing McNair Scholars; Tearanee’ Lockhart, junior broadcast journalism major from Amarillo, representing the Black Student Union; and Aurora Garcia-Comer, senior biology major from Borger, representing the Black Student Union. 

“The past few years have seen a rise in blatant racism and violence against American citizens of color,” Allen said. “So it’s important that we recognize, remember, celebrate and continue the fight for civil rights and equality for all Americans.” 

Being reflective of and responsive to a diverse student body, faculty and staff is a key principle of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. 

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched Sept. 23 — has raised about $85 million. 

 

About West Texas A&M University 

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs, 39 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.

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