On February 5, 1964, Drew University proudly hosted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a convocation speaker. Dr. King’s connection with Drew University was through Dr. George D. Kelsey, Professor of Christian Ethics. Prior to teaching at Drew, Kelsey taught at Morehouse College where he became a mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr., then a student, and who has credited Kelsey for his motivation to become a preacher. At the time of the event, Dr. King had been recently selected as Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” and shared his “An American Dream” speech to over 5,000 attendees. A student reporter for the Drew Acorn noted, “He is unimposing, seems quite ordinary, but, when he speaks, people listen. They tend to forget all else.”

Listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “American Dream” speech:

More information and media regarding Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s visit to the Drew University campus is available through the University Archives.