MLK Day: A Day of Service
To the University community:
As in Decembers past at Penn, many of us are scrambling to cram months'
worth of studying, eating, planning, eating, shopping, eating, reveling,
and eating into the days leading to family reunions, holiday celebrations--and
New Year's resolutions.
Some will resolve to shed some of the more visible signs of the holiday
fun. Others will resolve generally to make better use of their time and
take better care of themselves.
But 2001 can be special. It can mark the year in which more of us resolve
to give more of ourselves to others, starting with our neighbors in West
Why wait? Why not get into the swing of community service on January
15 as Penn observes Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as an official University
holiday for the first time?
On that day, you can begin training to tutor children in reading (and
receive an additional 10 percent discount on purchases from the Penn Bookstore).
You can help beautify a neighborhood school. Or, beginning December 18,
you can contribute to a book drive that will benefit children in West Philadelphia
Following our holiday observance, Penn will host a commemorative 12-day
symposium of events and workshops devoted to the theme, Keeping The Dream
Alive in the New Millennium.
(For details on the symposium, and on all planned service activities
and opportunities at Penn and throughout Philadelphia, visit www.upenn.edu/aarc/calendar.html,
or call (215) 898-0104.)
Since becoming a national holiday in 1986, Martin Luther King Day has
focused the University's energies and attention on community service while
inspiring all of us to explore ways to realize Dr. King's vision of a "beloved
Observing Dr. King's birthday as an official holiday should inspire all
of us to renew and re-energize Penn's mission to serve humanity.
We encourage the University community to join us in supporting Dr. King's
enduring ministry of service by making his birthday both a day on, not a
day off. Let's make 2001 not only a year for keeping our New Year's resolutions,
but a year for making Dr. King's dream come true.
--Judith Rodin, President
--Robert Barchi, Provost