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March 24, 2014

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance Rescheduled for April 3

topstory2-lgChristine M. Darden
topstory2-lgBJack L. Ezzell Jr.
http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/about/principal_staff/Maurice A. Jones
topstory2-lgDDr. Patricia King
BIOGRAPHY OF LDr. L.D. Britt

Old Dominion 's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance, delayed because of wintry weather on its original January date, will now be held on Thursday, April 3.

The rescheduled event is being held to coincide with the anniversary of King's assassination in Memphis, April 4, 1968. It will feature four noted Hampton Roads community leaders, speaking in an event that begins at 7 p.m. in the North Café of Webb Center.

The annual program has adopted the theme for 2014 of "A Legacy of Service Through the Eyes of Community Leaders of Hampton Roads." The theme recognizes the lifetime of service that King performed for the betterment of society.

This will be ODU's 30th annual observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The program is held each year to honor King for his work in civil rights and all the changes in society that occurred as a result.

Each of the four community leaders who will speak briefly during the program fits this year's theme, said Cecelia Tucker, assistant to the president for community relations.

"We honor a towering figure in American history by working each day to make the world a better and more just place. These four individuals represent the ideals of hard work and compassion that Dr. King espoused," Tucker said.

The speakers are:

Christine Mann Darden, retired director of the Aero Performing Center Program Management Office at NASA Langley Research Center;

Jack L. Ezzell Jr., president and chief operating officer of Zel Technologies, LLC;

Maurice A. Jones, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and secretary-elect of commerce and trade for the commonwealth of Virginia; former publisher of The Virginian-Pilot; and

Dr. Patricia King, noted psychiatrist.

Dr. L.D. Britt, physician, Brickhouse Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School, was scheduled to attend the event in January. He cannot attend the April 3 rescheduled event, but will be recognized as the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy of Service Award recipient at the observance. He is a former president of the American College of Surgeons and former president of the Southern Surgical Association.

Each of the other speakers will receive the Hugo Owens Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award. This award recognizes individuals in the community whose lives mirror the principles of equality and humanity King fought for. The award's other namesake, Hugo Owens, was a former rector of the ODU Board of Visitors and a longtime champion of civil rights in Hampton Roads. (Britt is a past recipient of this award.)

The event is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested by March 31: visit www.odu.edu/ao/univents (event code: KLS14) or call 683-3116.