Dr. King’s Words at MHC Inspire More than Fifty Years Later

Martin Luther King Mount Holyoke College

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks in Gettell Amphitheater on October 20, 1963. Courtesy of MHC Archives/Vincent S. D’Addario

Each January, the country celebrates the life and work of the Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. More than half a century ago, Dr. King spoke to the Mount Holyoke community, delivering a sermon on October 20 in Gettell Amphitheater.

His powerful words still inspire today, as these quotes attest:

  • “All life is interrelated; we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.”
  • “God gave us ‘broad understanding, penetrating vision, the power of endurance, and lasting faith’ in order that we may achieve ‘the brotherhood that transcends race and color.”
  • In the fight for equality, “’We shall overcome,’ he trusts, for ‘although the arc of the moral universe is long, it bends toward justice.’”
Read the full transcript of Dr. King's speech
click to expand

The Mount Holyoke News reported on the homily, which took as its topic “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life.” These are, according to King, length (“the push forward to achieve personal ends”), breadth (“outward concern for the welfare of others”), and height (“the upward reaching for God”).

Read the Mount Holyoke News article.

Article about Martin Luther King's sermon, part 1

Mount Holyoke News article, part 1

Mount Holyoke News article, part 2

Mount Holyoke News article, part 2

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6 responses to “Dr. King’s Words at MHC Inspire More than Fifty Years Later”

  1. Franckline Casimir-Benoit says:

    I would like to read the full speech but it won’t upload.

    • Anne Pinkerton says:

      Apologies for any confusion. If you simply click on the phrase “Read the full transcript of Dr. King’s speech,” the transcript of his speech will appear below.

  2. Sallie Wright Abbas says:

    On this day celebrating his life, I recall hearing Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak at my college, Mount Holyoke College, over a half-century ago. I was so impressed by his ability to speak to any audience –those who had little education or at an institute of higher learning, to college students and PHDs.

  3. Krysia Villon says:

    How did I work there for so long and never know this?! I hope the class of ’64 has a Laurel Parade sign that references that! 🙂

  4. Laura Kamrath says:

    Why does the inset square of “Part 1” of the article says “please ignore the squashed bananas”?

    • Emily Weir says:

      Laura: I wish I could tell you the reason, but I can’t. It seems to have been an inside joke by the editors of the “News.” In any case, neither that editorial note nor the Tarzan reference elsewhere on the page has anything to do with the MLK talk.

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