Jesuit Will Be M.L.K. Banquet Speaker

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

Black Catholic scholar and writer Joseph A. Brown, SJ, will be the featured speaker at the 17th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee Awards Banquet, to be held on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 5:30 p.m. in the Welch Dining Room of Lyons Hall.

At the dinner, which is expected to draw as many as 500 administrators, faculty, staff, students and guests, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, will present the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship. The scholarship is given annually to a Boston College junior of African descent whose achievements echo the spirit of the slain civil rights leader, and covers three-quarters of the student's tuition for senior year.

"The banquet is a special event on campus because it brings together the entire BC community to recognize the achievements of African-American students," said Assistant Dean for Student Development Adrienne Nussbaum, chairwoman of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee. "By awarding a scholarship to a student who exemplifies the ideals of Dr. King, we not only honor his memory and encourage future leadership, but also take the opportunity to celebrate our own diversity with colleagues from throughout the University."

Fr. Brown, recently named head of the Black American Studies Program at Southern Illinois University, is a former director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University. He is the author of a recent book on the late Sr. Thea Bowman, the first black woman to receive a doctorate in theology from BC, and for whom the AHANA Student Programs' house is named.

Another book by Fr. Brown, To Stand on the Rock: Meditations on Black Catholic Identity , is due to be released shortly by Orbis Books. An accomplished poet, Fr. Brown has had works published in such periodicals as America , National Catholic Reporter and Callaloo .

Learning to Learn Director Dan Bunch described Fr. Brown as "an excellent speaker who is very motivational and knowledgeable about black history during the Civil Rights era."

A member of the Society of Jesus Wisconsin Province, Fr. Brown received his doctorate n 1984 from Yale University.

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