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Dungypoythress

(Lauren Dungy-Poythress, courtesy photo)

Jackson College invites the community to the 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration featuring keynote speaker Dr. Lauren Dungy-Poythress, on Saturday, Jan. 14 in the Robert Snyder Dining Commons, Potter Center.

This year’s celebration will be historically special as we pay tribute to Jackson College’s first African-American professor,

Dr. Wilbur Dungy

Dr. Wilbur Dungy

the late Dr. Wilbur Dungy.  Dr. Dungy was a brilliant scientific scholar who inspired many Jackson students to set and achieve high academic goals. His wife, Cleomae Dungy, was also an educator and they inspired each of their children to academic excellence (Tony, Sherry, Linden and Lauren). Lauren (Dr. Lauren Dungy-Poythress) is now a highly decorated, internationally regarded medical doctor (obstetrician/gynecologist) and is scheduled to be our keynote speaker as we pay tribute to her father’s life and legacy. Her keynote address will be entitled “The Content of Our Character,” relating to Wilbur Dungy emphasis on family, education and character, and his similarity to Dr. King. The title comes from a line in Dr. King’s 1963 speech at the March on Washington:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Dungy-Poythress is a medical doctor who specializes in maternal-fetal medicine, bringing more than 23 years of perinatology experience. She has designed, developed and led successful maternal-fetal medicine offices and/or programs in three states. She earned her medical degree from The University of Michigan’s Medical School. This was followed by residency training in obstetrics and gynecology in Ann Arbor, Michigan and subspecialty training in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Dungy-Poythress currently serves as an associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine. She has held faculty appointments as associate and assistant professor at several university medical programs, and serves, or has served on many community boards and programs. She enjoys opportunities for motivational speaking. Throughout her distinguished career, she has received many honors, some of which include a key to the city from the mayor of Jackson, Mich.

Jackson College is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Service Award. This award recognizes individuals or groups of individuals in Jackson County for their commitment to King’s ideals and community service. Medals will be awarded during the Jackson College King Celebration on Jan. 14, 2017.

Applications are currently available, either online at  www.jccmi.edu/multicultural-affairs/ or at the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Potter Center 213B. Deadline to return the application is Thursday, Dec. 15.

The award criteria include those who are committed to carrying out the dream and vision of Dr. King in several areas:

·         Belief in the basic tenets of cultural and ethnic diversity;

·         Giving back to the community through volunteerism and service;

·         Support and promotion of educational opportunities for underrepresented populations in Jackson County;

·         Promoting financial opportunities for poorer citizens of Jackson County;

·         Guiding youth and offering opportunities for social and moral development, giving them tools to interact socially with the broader culture; and,

·         Working toward a safe community and reduction of crime in Jackson County.

Previous award winners include: Bobby Thompkins (2016), retired administrator and educator for Jackson Public Schools; Farris Coppage (2015), retired educator and administrator for Jackson Public Schools; Henry N. Grayson (2014), retired warden for the Michigan Department of Corrections; Sheila Patterson (2013), supervisor at Consumers Energy; Woodrow Wilson Jr. (2012), retired Jackson College professor.

Nomination forms detail the required criteria by which nominees will be judged. For more information, contact Lee Hampton at 517.796.8470.   

The King Celebration will also include presentation of the Medal of Service Award. Tickets for the celebration will be $25 adults, $20 students and senior citizens. Please contact the Potter Center Box Office for tickets at 517.796.8600.