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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 2010 holiday celebration's theme is 'Embrace Our Past; Imagine Our Future'

Dec. 17, 2009 -- Arkansas State University-Jonesboro’s Office of Multicultural Affairs announces this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, “Embrace Our Past; Imagine Our Future.” Various events will take place throughout Jonesboro and on the campus of ASU-Jonesboro.

On Monday, Jan. 18, the northeast Arkansas and citywide observance of Martin Luther King Day will begin with a parade starting at 10:30 a.m. at Bill’s Super Foods, Inc., 725 East Johnson Avenue at Fisher Street. The parade route will follow JohnsonReverend Dr. Chester Jones Avenue to Arkansas State University’s Centennial Hall, located in the Reng Student Services Center/Student Union (101 N. Caraway Road). The post-parade program in Centennial Hall will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will feature keynote speaker the Reverend Dr. Chester Jones, who currently serves as district superintendent of the South Central District of the Arkansas Conference, United Methodist Church. He supervises 58 clergy who are serving in 57 churches. Prior to his appointment to the Arkansas Conference, Dr. Jones served for eight years as general secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race for the United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. He is the brother of Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U. S. Surgeon General and professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, Mr. Fred Turner (BSE ’60; MSE ’72), one of the first African Americans to graduate from ASU, will offer a keynote speech at 7 p.m. in the Student Frederick C. TurnerUnion Auditorium. Frederick C. Turner Jr. LTC, USA, Ret. is one of the first African American Students to be admitted to and subsequently graduate from Arkansas State University. Turner graduated from Arkansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 1960.  His major was Physical Education and he minored in Biology and Military Science. Graduation was followed by twenty-two years of military service.  During that time (1968), he returned to ASU as an assistant professor of military science in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. While in this capacity, Turner completed the university's requirements for a Master of Science in Education degree. Following retirement from military service in 1982, Turner began another career with the state of Texas as a workforce development specialist. After 19 years and a few months, he again retired and then went to work as the director of the Department of Human Resources at Hampton University, retiring for good in 2004. Mr. Turner was married to Gussie Turner and has two daughters, Suzette and Debbye, who was crowned Miss America in 1990. Turner is currently retired and plans to stay that way. He resides in Newport News, Va., and is happily awaiting the birth of another grandchild from his daughter, Dr. Debbye Turner-Bell.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 6 p.m., the “How King Matters” case study competition will be held in ASU’s Mockingbird Room. All students, both undergraduate and graduate, are eligible to compete in this case study competition. The deadline for application to the case study competition is Thursday, Jan. 14, 3 p.m. in the Leadership Center, Student Union. Each participant should pick up a packet in the Leadership Center, read the guidelines, and prepare to utilize his or her best analytical skills. Personal reflections on the meaning of Dr. King’s legacy are also encouraged. For more information, contact Kimberley Johnson, assistant dean of students, at (870) 972-2055, or e-mail


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