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Widener remembers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Widener University will take part in community events that honor Dr. King's memory.

Widener University will take part in a number of community and tribute events as the nation pauses to reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Even though there are no classes on Monday, Jan. 16 in observance of the national holiday, plans are set to mark the day on campus and in Chester, where King once studied.

Widener students will be taking part in the city of Chester’s MLK celebration, based out of the Chester Salvation Army. They will do community service projects like painting and assembling toiletry kits for veterans, said Ariel Armstrong, program coordinator in the Office of Civic Engagement. The experience will culminate in a march to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where hospital officials will lay a wreath. King earned his bachelor of divinity degree at the Chester Theological Seminary, in a space that is now part of the medical center grounds.

Students will also work at other sites off campus, including:

  • The Frederick Douglass Christian School, where they will be helping prepare for the upcoming school semester with painting, cleaning and planting work.
  • The Chester Housing Authority, where they will do activities with children.
  • The Chester Boys and Girls Club, where they will be cleaning and organizing the facility.
  • Chester Lifewerks, a food pantry where they will be sorting donations.

Armstrong said she is organizing about 100 students, including a large contingent from Alpha Phi Omega fraternity.

“The eagerness from the students to be actively involved in the community has really stood out,” Armstrong said.

The university will also host a basketball clinic for children in first through eighth grade through the Hoops from the Heart initiative. Four area schools collaborate to present clinics, in which registration fees benefit the homeless shelters of the Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc. Participants also bring non-perishable food donations with them to the Schwartz Athletic Center, where they will spend the morning learning basketball skills with Widener coaches and athletes.

Projects are also happening outside of Monday. The Black Student Union will host a commemorative MLK Service on Tuesday, Jan. 17. The event will involve students performing poems, dances and reflections, said Tajiah McHenry, president of the group. It will be held in Alumni Auditorium, with a T-shirt giveaway and light refreshments. Everyone is welcome.

Students with the Physical Therapy Clinic were heading out to about 10 sites in the community today for service work, including at assisted living facilities with elderly residents. Student Tyler Suruskie said they were doing blood pressure readings and cleaning devices like wheelchairs, walkers and canes.