The 12th annual Grayson County Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Breakfast will be held Monday, January 18, at 7:15 a.m. in Mabee Hall of the Robert J. and Mary Wright Campus Center at Austin College. Sherman and Grayson County Rotary clubs, Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center, and Austin College sponsor the event. Members of the community are welcome. The cost is $15 per person, payable at the door.
The keynote speaker for this year’s breakfast will be Michael J. Sorrell, the 34th president of Paul Quinn College. Under his leadership, the school has become one of the most pioneering small colleges in America and is rapidly becoming a model for urban higher education by focusing on academic rigor, experiential learning, and entrepreneurship. The Washington Monthly recently named President Sorrell one of America’s 10 Most Innovative College Presidents. He completed his undergraduate studies at Oberlin College in Ohio, his J.D. and M.A. in public policy at Duke University, and earned his Ed.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. Sorrell serves as a trustee and director for groups such as the College Board, Teach For America, Earth Day Texas, Dallas Regional Chamber, the Dallas Foundation, the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series, and the Department of Education Policy and Leadership in the Simmons School of Education at SMU.
Austin College President Marjorie Hass will welcome guests. Students from Grayson and Austin College service and cultural organizations will participate. Grayson and Austin College Rotaract officers Jack Kennady and Logan Beauchamp will lead the Rotary Four-Way Test. Kennady, a junior at Austin College from Lenorah, Texas, studies public health, environmental studies and French and volunteers locally with Keys of Care, the Wheelchair Foundation, and St. Baldrick’s. Beauchamp, a sophomore at Grayson College and a sociology major from Sherman, is active in many college and community organizations such as the History Club, Film Club, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Travis Masonic Lodge.
This year’s student breakfast speaker is Austin College junior James Hemen of Grand Prairie, Texas. Hemen is a political science major, a linebacker for the ’Roos football team, and is active in the College’s Black Expressions organization. Dr. Sorrell will be introduced by Austin College junior Kyra Carl of Houston, Texas. She is a history major and serves as the president of the college’s Black Expressions group. The Sherman Federated Choirs, directed by Ella Childs, will provide music.
On Saturday, January 16, all individuals, civic and social groups, and churches are invited to Sherman’s annual parade celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. The parade begins at noon at 400 S. Travis St. near downtown Sherman. Austin College junior Joe Traylor of Winona, Texas, will address the crowd. Traylor is completing majors in business administration and sports science, plays football for the ’Roos, and is active in Black Expressions and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. A service will follow in Wynne Chapel on the Austin College campus.
Grayson College embraces lifelong learning focused on educational, cultural, social and public service activities designed to tangibly enrich the individual and our community. The mission of Grayson College is to cultivate student success and community building in North Texas by providing a broad and dynamic curriculum to support university transfer, career technical education, developmental and community education. By developing innovative curricula and services facilitated by appropriate technology, the college creates a supportive learning environment promoting diversity and cultural enrichment. Our programs support economic development, and our commitment to an institutional effectiveness process assures continuous improvement in the pursuit of excellence.
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 36 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of 1,250 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 12:1 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.