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Martin Luther King Scholarship Ceremony Set for Feb. 4

Clayborne Carson, editor and publisher of Martin Luther King Jr.'s papers, will be the keynote speaker at this year's scholarship ceremony.

By Sean Smith | Chronicle Editor

Published: Jan. 28, 2013

Stanford University historian Clayborne Carson, who was chosen by Coretta Scott King to edit and publish her late husband’s papers, will be the keynote speaker at the 31st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Ceremony on Feb. 4 from 5-7 p.m. in Robsham Theater.

Highlighting the ceremony will be the presentation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, which recognizes a Boston College junior who embodies King's philosophy in their life and work. The competitive award provides for approximately 75 percent of senior year tuition.

This year’s King Scholarship candidates are Steven T. Jefferson, Philip McHarris, Kayla R. Mendonca, Natali Soto and Patrick G. Williamson.

The event is free and open to the BC community, but registration is required and must be completed by Jan. 31. A link to register is available at

Carson is founder and director of Stanford’s Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute. He has devoted most his professional life to King and the movements King inspired. Under his direction, the King Papers Project has produced six volumes of a definitive, comprehensive edition of King's speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings.

In addition to The Papers of Martin Luther King Jr., Carson's other works based on the papers include The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr., compiled from King’s autobiographical writings, A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

His play “Passages of Martin Luther King,” was initially produced by Stanford’s Drama Department in 1993, and subsequently performed at Dartmouth College, Willamette University, the Claremont Colleges, the University of Washington, Tacoma, and in 2007 at the Beijing Oriental Pioneer Theatre by the National Theatre of China. “Passages” also has been performed in East Jerusalem and several West Bank communities.

Carson’s writing reflects not only his research about King but his own civil rights and antiwar activism — his forthcoming book, Martin's Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., is a memoir tracing his life from teenage participant in the 1963 March on Washington to internationally-known King scholar. His first book, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s, is considered the definitive history of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the most dynamic and innovative civil rights organization. In Struggle won the Organization of American Historians' Frederick Jackson Turner Award. Carson also was a senior historical advisor for the landmark public television series "Eyes on the Prize" and co-edited the Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader.

For more information on the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Ceremony, e-mail or call ext.2-4757.