On February 23, 2017, Armstrong State University held its Fifth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Dinner to salute organizations and individuals who through their actions have contributed to improving our community consistent with the teachings and legacy of Dr. King.
Held in the Savannah Ballroom of the Armstrong Student Union Building, the Awards Dinner was one of several activities to celebrate Black Heritage coordinated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Armstrong. According to Ms. Nashia Whittenburg, Director of Multicultural
Affairs, the goal of the month-long programing was to serve as a catalyst to “promote the academic, social and spiritual celebration of black culture in Savannah.”
Savannah Alderman Van R. Johnson was the keynote speaker for the awards program. He brilliantly used the parable of the “good Samaritan” to admonish the audience of approximately 200 students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders to be caring and compassionate while also investing in the welfare of others regardless of their perceived differences.
The 2017 Award Recipients included: Outstanding Greek Letter Organization – Sigma Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Outstanding Student Leader – Chelsea Sawyer; Outstanding Student Organization – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Outstanding Service to the Community – Shirley James; Outstanding Faculty – Dr. Maya Clark; Outstanding Service – Tobe Frierson; The spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. – Oraleethia Morgan; Outstanding Legacy – Nashia Whittenburg; and Outstanding Alumni – Latoriya Young. The Armstrong Celebration Committee, chaired by the Coordinator for Armstrong’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, Kwame Phillips, surprised retiring
Armstrong President, Dr. Linda Bleicken, with a special tribute to thank her for the outstanding leadership she has provided Armstrong, and especially her enthusiastic support for the multicultural population at the University. The Armstrong 2017 Black Heritage Celebration schedule included 27 programs during the month of February aimed at educating and inspiring the participants and other individuals in the community. Phillips noted that the events were designed to “place an emphasis on trailblazing leaders who paved the way for generations to come, while acknowledging the new movements that are focused on global change and equality for all.”