Newman community honors Martin Luther King Jr.

Jan 23, 2019
mlk celebration

Community members gathered in the Gorges Atrium of De Mattias Hall at Newman University on Thursday, Jan. 17, to honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

The event, a unity march and service award ceremony, was planned by the Department of Student Life at Newman.

Those in attendance joined arms and walked in unity and silence from De Mattias Hall to St. John’s Chapel located in Sacred Heart Hall.

Lisa DeLoach, human resources employment specialist, said she felt the celebration was an important reminder that diversity, inclusion and service to others is an important part of creating a better future.

“For me, the celebration was an acknowledgment of Newman’s responsibility to truly carry out the core values, Newman code and the ASC (Adorers of the Blood of Christ) mission,” explained DeLoach. “My favorite part of the celebration would have to be the unity walk.

“I believe there is power in numbers. As we stood together, hand in hand, there was power. Together, we can achieve anything.”

Marisa-Nicole Zayat, Newman SGA president, speaks at the MLK Jr. celebration service.

The ceremony following the unity march included a moment of silence, prayer, song and a reading from King’s famous mountaintop speech.

In addition to the commemoration of King’s life and accomplishments, the Newman University Division of Student Affairs presented its first ever Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award.

Nominations for the award opened in December 2018 and a committee selected the 2019 recipient.

The six nominees were: Susan Crane-Laracuente, Ph.D., associate professor of English; Lisa DeLoach; Christopher Fox, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy; Yelando Johnson, Ph.D., Bachelor of Social Work program director; Ami Larrea, academic and international advisor; and John McCormick, Ph.D., professor of theology.

The 2019 recipient, DeLoach, said she was honored to receive the award.

Lisa DeLoach, HR employment specialist, is the first recipient of the Newman University Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award.

“Being selected as the first recipient of the Newman University Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award has truly been an honor,” said DeLoach. “Having vowed to serve others and be of service to both my community and those I come in contact with, it was a reminder for me as to why I do what I do.

“Knowing that I have been called to serve, this award was confirmation that God has not forgotten about the hearts and minds of his people. He is the foundation of what we are and why we serve.”