Carnegie Mellon University
January 12, 2015

Carnegie Mellon Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.'s Life and Legacy Throughout January and February

National Expert on Minority Participation and Performance in STEM Fields To Deliver Keynote Address

By Abby Simmons / 412-268-4290                       

Freeman HrabowskiMembers of the community are invited to join Carnegie Mellon University in celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy throughout January and early February.

Beginning this year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed as a university holiday. Classes will be cancelled and offices will be closed Jan. 19 to increase opportunities for students, faculty and staff to participate in commemorative activities at the university and around the region. CMU is extending its schedule of events over multiple weeks to stimulate ongoing discussion about diversity and social justice through global, national and local perspectives.

Freeman A. Hrabowski III (right), president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), will deliver this year's keynote address as part of CMU's Simon Initiative Distinguished Lecture Series on Monday, Jan. 26. Hrabowski and his colleagues have received national acclaim for dramatically improving learning outcomes and persistence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields for many underrepresented minority students at UMBC.

UMBC, part of the University System of Maryland, has been a key partner of CMU's Open Learning Initiative (OLI) for more than five years. The university offers OLI courses in statistics, biology, psychology and computing, and its faculty work with CMU researchers to develop and improve courses and conduct research on technology-enhanced learning.

The following are event highlights. A full schedule is available at

Revisiting Haiti: Five Years Later
CMU is partnering with Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti (HAS) to present a series of events in remembrance of the 2010 earthquake. The late William Larimer and Gwen Mellon of Pittsburgh founded the nonprofit hospital in rural Haiti in 1956. Advance registration for the following events is encouraged at Student organizer: Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences junior Siriana Abboud.

  • Soup & Substance
    An evening of storytelling and reflections from Haiti in an intimate atmosphere, presented in partnership with the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation
    6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 12
    Rangos Ballroom 3, Jared L. Cohon University Center
  • Benefit Concert
    An evening of student performances to raise funds for Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti
    7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 30
    Rangos Ballroom, Cohon University Center
  • Delivering Hope to Haiti
    A panel discussion exploring the role of innovation in delivering solutions to Haiti's greatest challenges
    6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 4
    McConomy Auditorium, Cohon University Center
  • Is Haiti Hopeless?
    A debate featuring faculty and students from various universities in the region.
    6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 24
    Connan Room, Cohon University Center

Martin Luther King Jr. Writing Awards
4:30-6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 19
Rangos Ballroom, Cohon University Center
Local high school and college students will read award-winning personal narratives dealing with individual experiences with racial difference and discrimination. Performances by students from the School of Drama and multicultural groups will accompany the readings, and a light dinner will be served. Sponsors: The Creative Writing Program, Division of Student Affairs and Office of the President. Advance registration is encouraged:

The Simon Distinguished Lecture Series presents Freeman A. Hrabowski III
President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
12:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 26, Reception to follow
McConomy Auditorium, Cohon University Center

6-8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 30, Opening reception; Exhibit runs through Feb. 20. (See hours of operation)
The Frame Gallery is at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Margaret Morrison Street.
This exhibit will showcase CMU students' works from a variety of disciplines about racial and social injustice. Student curators: College of Fine Arts sophomores Maya Kaisth and Jarel Grant.

"I, Too, Am Carnegie Mellon"    
4:30 p.m. Reception, 5 p.m. Panel discussion, Friday, Feb. 6    
Giant Eagle Auditorium, Baker Hall
Inspired by the 2014 #itooamharvard campaign, participants will discuss their experiences at CMU, living in the Pittsburgh community and beyond. Moderator: Darius Prier, assistant professor at Duquesne University's School of Education. Student organizer: College of Engineering senior Millard McElwee

All events are free and open to the public. Contact the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs at 412-268-2075 with questions.


Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), will deliver this year's keynote address as part of CMU's Simon Initiative Distinguished Lecture Series on Monday, Jan. 26.