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Higginbotham to address MLK 'contract'

MIT's 21st annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb 10 and 11, with events in Lobby 7 and Kresge.

The noted federal jurist and law professor, A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., chief judge emeritus of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, will deliver the main address Friday in Kresge. His theme will be "Trumpet of Conscience: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Contract With America."

The speaking program will begin shortly after the traditional silent march from Lobby 7 to the auditorium, which will start at noon.

Judge Higginbotham, Public Service Professor of Jurisprudence at Harvard University, will be introduced by President Charles M. Vest, who will lead the march across Massachusetts Avenue with the main speaker. Marchers will walk four abreast, in the manner of Dr. King.

Events in Lobby 7 will begin shortly after 9am and continue until just before the march begins.

Judge Higginbotham will have breakfast with leaders of the administration and several members of the faculty, then meet privately with Dr. Vest before the march.

At the breakfast, MIT will announce the initial recipients of a new award which will recognize alumni and members of the community for exemplary accomplishments that exemplify the ideals of Dr. King.

Following the Kresge program, there will be a reception for Judge Higginbotham in Kresge Lobby. To allow participation in these events by all who wish to attend, Vice President for Human Resources Joan F. Rice has asked that supervisors allow flexible work scheduling where possible.

Also part of MIT's MLK weekend is the 6th Annual Youth Conference organized by the Community Fellows Program, directed by Professor Mel King. The theme will be "Youthworkers Coming Together-Realizing the Dream." Activities will be held February 10, 11 and 12 in the Student Center.

Another traditional MLK weekend event will be held at 8pm Saturday in Kresge Auditorium when jazz vocalist Semenya McCord and her associates present "Journey Into a Dream: A Musical Tribute to Martin Luther King." The event is free and open to the public.

It was in federal court in Philadelphia that the US Justice Department brought an antitrust action against MIT and Ivy League schools, alleging collusion in the awarding of financial aid-the "overlap case." Professor Higgin-botham, who retired from the court in March 1993 before the action reached the appeals level, spoke in support of MIT as the lawyer for the school district of Philadelphia, one of several groups which filed briefs in the case that was eventually settled to MIT's satisfaction.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 8, 1995.

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