Jack Thomas, president of Western Illinois University, will be the featured speaker at the first of two Monmouth College events on Jan. 31 celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
That evening, Tony Franklin, director of a University of Illinois Extension unit that includes four local counties, will speak at the First Street Armoury in Monmouth as part of a two-hour “MLK Day of Service” that starts at 7 p.m. The group Colorful Voices of Praise will also perform at the event, which is free and open to the public.
Sponsored by the offices of Greek life, intercultural life and the college chaplain, the event will include stations by various student organizations, a cultural trivia contest and a time for reflection.
Thomas will speak about “The Journey of the Dream” at 12 noon in the Whiteman-McMillan Highlander Room of the Stockdale Center. The public is invited to attend the free lecture; a buffet lunch costs $7.50. Reservations can be made by calling 309-457-2241 by Jan. 27 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas recently completed his first year of president at WIU, where he previously served as provost and academic vice president. He is the author of numerous publications and is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, particularly in his area of expertise, black males in literature.
Thomas earned his Ph.D from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, his master’s degree from Virginia State University and his bachelor’s degree from Alabama A&M University.