The Borough of State College will hold an official ribbon cutting ceremony on August 28 for the opening of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza, on South Fraser Street between West College Avenue and West Beaver Avenue.
The ribbon cutting occurs on the 54th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that took place on August 28, 1963, in Washington, D.C., where Dr. King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech.
The borough said in a release that the plaza will “remind citizens of Dr. King’s legacy as an advocate for peace, equality, and justice,” which it says is a legacy that lives on in the State College community and around the world.
Ceremony speakers include Dr. Charles Dumas, professor Emeritus of Penn State who will read a section of Dr. King’s speech, along with presentations from Vice Provost for Educational Equity Dr. Marcus Whitehurst, Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Nicholas Jones, and Assistant Professor Dr. AnneMarie Mingo, an advisor of The Underground.
In addition, Harvard Divinity School Professor Dr. Preston Williams will close the ceremony with a speech. Williams was the first African American hired at Penn State and was the associate chaplain at the university when Dr. King visited Penn State in 1965.
Borough Mayor Elizabeth Goreham will then lead a cutting of an authentic kente cloth to open the plaza. Kente cloths are a type of silk and cotton fabric native to South Ghana.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza project began in 2012 following a motion from former Borough Council member Peter Morris to rename Fraser Plaza. An advisory committee was created in 2016 for the plaza, and the plaza was finished in early July of 2017.
The ribbon cutting ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, August 28.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly put August 29 instead of August 28 as the date for this event. The Underground regrets this error.