Bethany College Day of Service Celebrates Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College honored the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the 25th anniversary of the federal holiday on Monday with A Day of Service. Volunteers gathered to share in a variety of service projects, as well as a celebratory dinner featuring remarks by Shaunda Miles, director of programming and cultivation of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.
The MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service, “A day on, not a day off." The commemoration serves as a reminder of Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community” and his challenge — “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”
“From my standpoint as a college president, community service is one of the most rewarding actions I can encourage our students to participate in. It proves that one person can make a difference and that when a group of people pools its resources, anything is possible,” President of the College Scott D. Miller stated.
Bethany was selected by West Virginia Campus Compact as a MLK Day of Service 2011 Host Campus and received a mini-grant to help fund the day’s efforts. Fifty-three volunteers — including faculty, staff and students — logged 212 hours of work with local organizations such as Weirton Christian Center Central Project, Weirton Geriatric Center, American Red Cross, Brook Hills Park, Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless, Wyngate Senior Living Community, Easter Seals, Mary Ann Manor and Child Place CASA.
Projects included helping children read to the elderly, cleaning and painting, preparing meals and organizing and stocking shelves, visiting with Alzheimer’s patients, and making survey calls.
Concluding the day’s activities, Miles spoke on “Tzedakah and the Remembrance of Self.” Her remarks were followed by a video presentation of “I Have a Dream.” The recording of Dr. King’s famous address was created by members of the FSEM113 class, taught by Assistant Professor of Communications Jay Libby. It included portions of King’s speech spoken by Bethany faculty, staff and students and served to express the College’s continued respect for diversity on campus.
“Here at Bethany, our students participate in community service activities all throughout the year, so today was no exception to that service,” Miller reminded participants during the evening festivities. “What makes it stand out, however, is that today’s activities serve to remind us of Dr. King’s incalculable contribution to strengthening the fabric of American life by calling on citizens of all races and all creeds to weave their efforts together to further the cause of liberty for all, justice for all, freedom for all, and hope for all.”
Bethany is a small college of national distinction located on a historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, it is the oldest college in the state.