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Community gathers for "I Have a Dream" commemoration

Elon students, faculty and staff marked the 50th anniversary of MLK's famous speech by coming together in McKinnon Hall to hear its rebroadcast and reflections from today's political and spiritual leaders.

Members of the campus community gathered Wednesday to watch the rebroadcast of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech on the 50th anniversary of its delivery from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

An Aug. 28, 2013, commemorative program in the nation’s capital was shown on a large screen in McKinnon Hall, where students, faculty and staff heard remarks from President Barack Obama, King’s daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, and former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

“When people come together for these kind of occasions, it creates a shared experience,” said Smith Jackson, the university’s vice president of Student Life and dean of students. “It’s uplifting and inspiring.”

A “Let Freedom Ring” bell-ringing ceremony took place at 3 p.m. at many sites worldwide, including the ringing of bells on the Elon campus and the Elon Community Church.

Elon University sophomore class president Alex Bohannon was among the students in attendance at the program. He lauded the university for arranging the event.

“It really makes you feel included,” Bohannon said. “I love the fact that people were here and attentive.”

Eric Townsend,
8/28/2013 4:35 PM