Since 1986, America has celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through observances that teach, excite, and inspire the next generation of leaders.
From 1999-2005, Southeast Missouri State University held a memorial breakfast to honor Dr. King. In 2006, King's eldest son, Martin Luther King III, was invited to be the keynote speaker for the first campus celebration dinner. The 2006 dinner initiated a new tradition that continues to garner growing involvement by students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and community members from the southeast Missouri region and beyond.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
Each year, Southeast honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a celebratory dinner featuring a guest speaker to share their story and diversity and acceptance.
CommUNITY: Justice. Equity. Love.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Show Me Center
Doors open at 5 p.m. and the program begins at 6 p.m.
About the Speaker
The Honorable Brian S. Miller
Brian S. Miller was sworn in as a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern
District of Arkansas on April 18, 2008, and served as chief judge from 2012 to 2019. Before
joining the federal bench, Judge Miller served as an associate judge on the Arkansas Court
Judge Miller was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and raised in Helena, Arkansas. He
entered the United States Navy seventeen days after graduating from Helena-West Helena
Central High School and served as a boatswains mate on the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey
from 1985 to 1989. Upon being honorably discharged, Judge Miller enrolled at Phillips
College where he received an Associate of Arts Degree in 1991. He graduated with honors
from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1992. He
received his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School in 1995.
After law school, Judge Miller was associated with Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston,
P.C. in Memphis, Tennessee. While practicing part-time with Martin Tate, he served as city
judge for Holly Grove, Arkansas; city attorney for the cities of Helena, Lakeview and
Edmondson, Arkansas; deputy prosecuting attorney for Phillips County, Arkansas; legal
counsel for the Helena-West Helena School District; and legal counsel for the East Arkansas
Family Health Center in West Memphis, Arkansas.
Judge Miller chairs the Judicial Conference of the United States Committee on
Judicial Resources. He has also chaired the Subcommittee on Judicial Statistics and has
served on the Eighth Circuit Judicial Council. He is president of the Centennial Church
Foundation and is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Helena. He is married to
Monique and has four children, Adrianne, Alexandria, Brian David, and Eliza.
MLK Celebration Past Speakers
Since 2006, celebrated guest speakers have come to Southeast Missouri State University to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the first being King's eldest son, Martin Luther King III. Check out some of our other previous speakers.
Each year, the Martin Luther King, Jr (MLK) Celebration Planning Committee plans, organizes, and executes the annual dinner as well as other campus and community-wide activities on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
MLK Planning Committee members include faculty and staff from various colleges and departments across campus. The committee also includes Graduate Assistants from the Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity and the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, students involved in the TRIO/Student Support Services Program, the MLK Scholars, and a representative from the Student Government Association (SGA).
The MLK Co-Chairs are appointed by the Provost and serve two years appointments.
|MLK Planning Committee Members||Title|
|Dr. Melissa Odegard-Koester, chair
||Interim Dean, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
|Michelle Irby||Director, Campus Life & Event Services|
|Dr. Joseph Jefferson||Assistant Professor, of Trombone/Euphonium and Director of Jazz Studies|
|Trae Mitten||Associate Dean of Students for Student Advocacy & Support|
||Creative Strategy Project Manager, Marketing and Communications|
|Dr. Shonta Smith||Chair/Associate Professor Elementary, Early & Special Education|
|Tammy Underwood||Executive Assistant, VP, Equity, Access, & Behavioral Health/Dean of Students|
|Tonya Wells||Director, Marketing and Communications|
|Dr. Victor Wilburn||Chair, Child & Family Studies|
|Valdis Zalite||Director, TRIO Programs|
|Student Committee Members|
|Sumaiya Mahmud||Chris Griffen|
|Neosha Smith||Tatianna Hanna|
|Kenise Marie Hoard||Sheanique Syms|
|Layla Bouzihay||Joshua Nelson|
|Nur-E-Afra Anika||Ahmed Salehin|
|Ms. Taylor Johnson||Events Supervisor, Show Me Center|
|Mr. Ken Gullett||Lieutenant, DPS|
|Ms. Chistie McIntosh||Catering Director, Chartwells|
|Mr. Kevin Yarbrough||Senior Campus Executive Chef, Chartwells|
The Will to Do
Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
Thank you for your interest in attending this celebratory dinner! If you would like to purchase a ticket, table or sponsorship, please select one of the following options.