Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Candlelight March from Strong Hall to the Kansas Memorial Union during a Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration led by KU's Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity on Jan. 19, 2015. 

Over 50 students, faculty and alumni, as well as Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, gathered at the Strong Hall rotunda Monday evening to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with guest speakers and vocal and acting performances.

The group walked with candles in groups of three, singing songs down Jayhawk Boulevard to the Union.

Maddi Duncan, a sophomore from Lenexa, walked with Genuine Imitation, the University’s a cappella group.

Duncan said. “He’s important to the University because of the amount of inclusion and diversity we have at KU, and obviously he’s done so many great things for the progression of communities.”

Patrick Jacquinot, a senior from Parsons, said honoring King is important to the University and its need for diversity.

“The ideals that [King] has set for our country, those radiate in our University, too,” Jacquinot said. “It’s all about brotherhood and being together, it’s important to be here and be supportive of the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr.”

Schuyler Kraus, a senior from Allen, Texas, said she thinks King opened a door to modern civil rights and equality movements.

“The civil rights and equal rights movement will never be over really, and kind of what we’re doing here is really supporting that movement and offering our protection for everyone,” Kraus said.

Danica Hoose, a junior from Parsons, said she thinks King’s legacy and ideals exist today on campus with groups dedicated to diversity and acceptance.

“I think the longevity of his legacy and discovery inspires us as students, to step forward into rights movements and help us help each other,” Hoose said.

The celebration of King’s life continues throughout the week with a screening of his “I Have a Dream” speech 3 p.m. Thursday on the fourth floor of the Union.

— Edited by Emma LeGault