SMU celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The annual Day of Service and the Unity March are among the SMU events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 18-21.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at SMU

DALLAS (SMU) Fifty years after Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke on the campus of SMU, the visionary civil rights leader’s visit will be celebrated by the University community as part of the Jan. 15-21 Dream Week activities surrounding Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

Dr. King at SMU in 1966

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks at SMU in 1966

“This is an opportunity for us as an SMU community to join the rest of the country in celebrating and commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” says Director of Multicultural Student Affairs Creston Lynch. “Whether it’s participating in the MLK Day of Service, parade, or any of the week’s programs, there are plenty of chances to reflect in different ways on the issues relating to social justice and equity that Dr. King stood for.”

Headlining the list of SMU Dream Week activities is an appearance by “Black Lives Matter” founder Alicia Garza, who will speak about the origins of the social justice movement at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hughes-Trigg Commons.


SMU presents Dallas Civil Rights Museum with memorabilia from 1966 MLK campus appearance

Time: 4:30 p.m.

Location: Dallas Civil Rights Museum at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 2992 MLK Jr. Blvd.

About: A contingent of SMU representatives, including Student Body President Carlton Adams, Association of Black Students President D’Marquis Allen and former Student Senate Chair Charles Cox, who introduced King before his speech at SMU, will present a transcript of the speech and a photo from the event to the Dallas Civil Rights Museum at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

More about the presentation.


SMU Participates in Dallas’ 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Location: Hyatt Regency Dallas Hotel, 300 Reunion Blvd.

About: SMU President R. Gerald Turner will participate in the MLK Community Center’s annual fundraiser by telling the story of how King was invited and came to speak at SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium on March 17, 1966.

Ticket Information: See "Celebration" at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center Dallas


SMU Participates in the Dallas Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Parade

Time: 10 a.m.

Starting Point: Intersection of Holmes St. and Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd.

About: SMU administrators, faculty and students will participate in the annual Dallas parade and celebration. Led by the Mustang Band, participants will include former SMU Student Senate Chair Charles Cox, who introduced King when he spoke at the University 50 years ago, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner. Alumni of SMU's annual spring break Civil Rights Pilgrimage, members of the SMU Student Senate, incoming SMU Vice President for Student Affairs Pamela Anthony, SMU Vice President for Development and External Affairs Brad Cheves and SMU student athletes and coaches also will join the parade.

Dallas MLK Parade Route
More about SMU at the Dallas Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade
For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at 

MLK Day of Service

Time: 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Location: Meet at Hughes-Trigg Varsity at assigned time.

About: SMU students, faculty and staff will join others across the country in a national day of service. Opportunities include building fun and educational environments for children at SPARK!, organizing and restocking a Brother Bill’s Helping Hand grocery store that provides free food to more than 300 families per week, building ramps at homes of those with physical disabilities and helping prepare items for the Dallas region’s homeless. Brunch and transportation provided. Co-sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and Community Engagement and Leadership.

Read more about MLK Day of Service at SMU.
For more information, contact SMU's Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at 


Commemorative Unity Walk on SMU campus

Time: Noon

Starting Point: Hughes-Trigg Commons, 3140 Dyer St., Dallas, 75205

About: SMU President R. Gerald Turner and student leaders will lead the annual Unity Walk, a demonstration of the University's support of Martin Luther King Jr.'s work. All members of the SMU community are invited to join the walk, which will begin at Hughes-Trigg Student Center, continue around Bishop Boulevard and return to Hughes-Trigg. The time together is a demonstration of commitment as a university to the work of Dr. King. 

An Evening with Alicia Garza

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: Hughes-Trigg Ballroom Central-West

About: Alicia Garza is cofounder of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. She will talk about the process of creating and spreading the hash tag that branded the movement, the controversy behind it, and her personal experiences in the social justice movement.


Film Screening: Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin

Time: 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Location: Hughes-Trigg Forum

About: “Brother Outsider” examines the life of Bayard Rustin, King’s right-hand man and chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Rustin had a significant influence on the civil rights movement, but rarely served as a public spokesman due to his homosexuality and involvement in an interracial relationship. Sponsored by SMU’s Women & LGBT Center.


SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.