Alpha Mu and MLK Commemoration at Northwestern
The Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration at Northwestern began years before the MLK national holiday was established and decades before the construction of the MLK Memorial in Washington. Alpha Mu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha established the first MLK DAY at Northwestern in 1980, eleven years after King's assassination. King was a beloved member of the fraternity. Chaplain's Office (James Avery) and African American Student Affairs department (Dean Alice Palmer) were pioneering partners. Professor Ron Bailey and Second Baptist minister Hycel Taylor were the speakers for the first King Day. Over the first decade an array of great speakers came to campus to commemorate the life of Dr. King. They included Harold Washington who captivated the audience in his first campaign for the office of Mayor of Chicago. The University soon joined hands with Alpha Mu Chapter and the commemoration became an official University wide holiday with programming on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses.