Student contest part of MLK academy's 50th-anniversary celebration

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Three MLK Academy students at a table studying together.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—One of Western Michigan University's longest-running academic support programs, the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Scholars Academy, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Students were instrumental in founding the MLK Academy, and now students are playing a role in publicizing and commemorating the academy's semicentennial.

All undergraduate and graduate students are invited to compete to design a serigraphy/screen-print poster that commemorates the anniversary. The flyer announcing the competition already has been created by Collin Keener, a senior from Grass Lake majoring in marketing.

MLK Academy officials are staging various celebratory events this calendar year to mark reaching the midcentury milestone. These events will culminate with a banquet for the program's alumni and friends that will take place during WMU's 2018 homecoming day festivities.

Design competition

An image of Martin Luther King and text: Celebrating 50 years, Martin Luther King Jr. Program, 1968-2018, Western Michigan University.

Anniversary logo

Only students may enter the serigraphy/screen-print poster competition. Entries must be submitted by 4 p.m. Monday, March 12, and must:

  • Be an original design.
  • Include the official MLK 50th-celebration logo.
  • Include the words "homecoming 2018."

The winning student will be notified by Friday, March 30, and will receive a pair of Beats headphones as well as be acknowledged as part of the MLK Academy committee that will be making a presentation at the WMU Board of Trustees meeting in April. The winning design will be on the commemorative poster that will be given as a memento to those who register for and attend the homecoming day banquet.

To make a design submission or obtain more competition information, contact Sue Murray in the Division of Multicultural Affairs at or (269) 387-3323.

MLK Academy

The Martin Luther King Jr. Student Scholars Academy has the capacity to serve 200 participants in any given year. The program provides academic, social, and professional development support and services to participants from their first year at WMU through graduation. Participants also receive an MLK GOLD Scholarship, annually valued at $8,000.

The program is housed in the Division of Multicultural Affairs and named in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It began in 1968 as an offshoot of work done by a group of young black students—the Black Action Movement—and is the forerunner of similar programs now offered at many other U.S. colleges and universities. A $194,000 grant from the Kellogg Foundation and donations from friends of the University initially helped get the program off the ground.

For more about the MLK Academy, visit Keep checking WMU's events calendar at to learn the date for homecoming day, as the fall 2018 football schedule has yet to be announced.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit