Assumption Hosts 39th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast

Jan 18, 2024

Assumption University hosted the 39th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast this past Monday on MLK Day to celebrate and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This event is organized every year by the Worcester Community Breakfast Committee, with musical selections, speeches from distinguished community members, and the distribution of scholarships honoring Dr. King. Typically, the breakfast is hosted by Quinsigamond Community College, but was relocated this year due to construction on their campus.

In addition to celebrating Dr. King, the breakfast also promoted service in the community with a book drive, community service awards, and the honoring of students in the community with scholarship money raised through the breakfast and an annual MLK Golf Tournament. Various community organizations were also present at the breakfast to encourage other attendees to participate in volunteer opportunities in the future. 

Master of Ceremonies for this year’s breakfast was Reverend Dr. Debora Jackson, Dean of the Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The attendees at the breakfast were also greeted by a number of prominent Worcester community figures, including Congressman James P. McGovern and Mayor of Worcester Joseph M. Petty

In addition, Worcester City Manager Eric D. Batista, who received his MBA from Assumption in 2015, and University President Greg Weiner, gave their remarks to the hundreds in attendance on the lasting impact of Dr. King’s legacy.  

Batista spoke about the enduring importance and meaning of Dr. King’s work, emphasizing how we must communicate and collaborate to overcome the obstacles of today.

“In a speech at Cornell College in 1962, Dr. King specifically addressed civil rights of Black Americans. But his words that day could be applied to any issue that he and that we aim to resolve,” said Batista. “He said he was convinced that people…fear each other because they don’t know each other. And they don’t know each other, because they don’t communicate with each other…If we want to solve the challenges of today, some of which, sadly, persist since Dr. King’s time, we must communicate with each other…Communication is the key to finding common ground and making progress.” 

The Keynote Address for this year’s breakfast was delivered by the President of the College of the Holy Cross, Vincent D. Rougeau. 

Seventeen scholarship winners were also formally recognized at the breakfast; this included Sam Aboagye, a member of Assumption’s class of 2027, who was awarded the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. scholarship. The winners of each of the scholarships were awarded them for use during the 2023-2024 academic year. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast Committee has awarded approximately $201,000 in scholarships since the year 1986, according to the Committee. 

“It’s never too early to start learning about Dr. King’s message,” said Batista. “And it’s never too late.”