The 13th annual Grayson County Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Breakfast will be held Monday, January 16, at 7:15 a.m. in Mabee Hall of the Robert J. and Mary Wright Campus Center at Austin College. The cost is $15 per person, payable at the door, and admission is free for the faculty and students of Austin College and Grayson College.
Sherman and Grayson County Rotary Clubs, Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center, Austin College, Grayson College and the Sherman Neighborhood Recreation Committee sponsor the event.
This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. George Koonce, Super Bowl XXXI Champion, former starting linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, and current Senior Vice President of University Relations at Marian University in Wisconsin. Koonce is known as the “Doctor of Defense” because he is one of only two men who not only played for the Packers but also earned a doctoral degree. He began his college career at Chowan College in North Carolina. Before graduating in 1989, he was named Coastal Conference Defensive Player of the Year. After a year stint in the World League of American Football, Koonce was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1992. He was a starter for eight years.
He continued his education by earning his bachelor’s degree at New York University in 1999, his master’s in Sports Management from East Carolina in 2006, and his doctorate from Marquette University in 2012. Koonce has served in a variety of athletic administrative positions at Marquette University (Wisconsin), Wisconsin-Milwaukee, East Carolina University, as well as for the Green Bay Packers. His dissertation, “Role Transition of National Football League Player: Using the Grounded Theory,” brought awareness to the challenges that NFL retirees face. In 2014 he co-authored Is There Life After Football?: Surviving the NFL with James A. Holstein and Richard S. Jones.
The annual parade celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. will be held Saturday, January 14, at noon. All churches, civic and social groups, and members of the public are welcome. The parade route begins at 400 S. Travis Street and will progress eastward on Brockett. A service will follow in Mabee Hall in the Wright Campus Center of Austin College at 1301 E. Brockett. For parade participation information contact Eric Ross at 903.818.8607; for program information contact Bishop Charles H. Brown Sr. at 903.818.4728.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.