A recently recovered recording of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Baccalaureate Address will be broadcast Feb. 20
KEUKA PARK — Fifty-five years after he addressed graduates of Keuka College, Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr.’s words will again echo across the campus.
A recently recovered recording of the civil rights leader’s June 16, 1963, Baccalaureate Address will
be broadcast in the college’s Norton Chapel at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20. The event is free and
open to the public.
A public discussion will follow the speech, highlighted by Dr. James H. Evans, Robert K. Davies
Professor of Systematic Theology at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Several members of the
Keuka College Class of 1963, some of whom attended the Baccalaureate Service, will be in attendance. The presentation will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. public reception in the chapel.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s visit to our campus was a watershed moment in the college’s history,”
said Keuka College President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera. “So we are thrilled to have the original recording of
this stirring speech back in our possession — and even more excited to share it with the public.”
A number of related events will be held earlier in the day, including a separate, midday broadcast of the
digitally restored speech for students and a roundtable discussion that will examine what King’s
words meant in his time and, more importantly, what they mean for ours.
The speech, which centers on King’s famous sermon “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,”
came amid a tumultuous period in the civil rights movement. The Birmingham marches against
segregation had begun just two months earlier, and fellow civil rights leader Medgar Evers had been
assassinated just days prior to the address. King came to Keuka Park directly from Evers' June 15 funeral in Jackson, Mississippi.
Following his address, King was presented with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from then-
College President Dr. William S. Litterick.