Grayson County will celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 17, at 8:30 a.m. in Sally and Jim Nation Theatre of Ida Green Communication Center at Austin College.
The event, open to all members of the community, will be hosted by Austin College, Grayson County Rotary Club, and Sherman Rotary Club. Livestream viewing of the celebration is available on Austin College’s YouTube channel.
Rev. Charles Brown, pastor of New Birth Cathedral of Praise in Sherman, will offer an invocation to begin the service, and Austin College President Steven P. O’Day will welcome the audience on behalf of the College and the Rotary members.
Sherman High School sophomore Michael Gary, who serves as president of the SHS Interact chapter, will lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Rotary 4-Way Test.
President O’Day will introduce the morning’s student speaker, Austin College sophomore Clemon White. He is the historian of the campus Pre-Law Society and a member of Black Expressions.
Mrs. Susie Viars-Allen, a native of Sherman, will present two songs on behalf of the Sherman Federated Choir.
Following that music, Sherman Rotary President Teresa Johnson will introduce the morning’s keynote speaker: Carllos D. Lassiter, Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Austin College.
Lassiter came to Austin College in August 2021 with 18 years of experience in the student affairs profession. He most recently had served at American University in Washington, D.C., where he was Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement in the Office of Campus Life. Prior to that role, he served as Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Students, and Title IX Coordinator at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. He also has worked at The University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, and Tulane University, among other colleges and universities.
Following Lassiter’s comments, Dr. Al Hambrick of the Grayson County NAACP branch will provide an update on last year’s scholarship recipients and share the brand’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Scholarship and the need for continued donations to that fund. Donations can be made through the ActBlue link found on the MLK page of the Austin College website, www.austincollege.edu/mlk. Sarah Pierce, president of Grayson County Rotary Club, will make final comments and dismiss those assembled.