University Statements


University celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 17, 2014

On Monday, January 20, Cornell University will join the nation in celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This is a new staff holiday for the Ithaca campus, made possible by recent changes to our academic calendar, and I am delighted that we are joining Weill Cornell Medical College and other Cornell units in honoring one of the great figures in modern American history.

Cornell's founding vision was to provide a place where "any person can find instruction in any study." Today we continue to maintain a deep institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion as prerequisites to discovery, creativity, excellence and the meaningful exploration and exchange of ideas. Given our university's heritage and aspirations, it is especially appropriate that we celebrate the life of Dr. King, who did so much to promote equality of opportunity, social justice, nonviolence, and respect for human dignity during his all-too-brief life.

Members of our campus and local communities have planned workshops, meals, concerts, films and other events on January 20 and over the next few weeks to commemorate Dr. King's life and legacy. Events and activities can be found at our diversity and inclusion website. As Dr. King noted, "Our ultimate end must be the creation of the beloved community," and his commitment to service encourages us to mark his birthday by following his example.

While you are enjoying the day off, I encourage you to join your colleagues, friends, family and neighbors at some of these events and to honor the true spirit of Dr. King going forward through community involvement and service.

David J. Skorton,
President