• Creator
  • Olds, Glenn A. (Glenn Alvero), 1921-2006
  • Created Date
  • 1964-10-16
  • Description
  • Dr. Glenn A. Olds, Springfield College’s eighth president, wrote this letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on October 16, 1964. This is an unsigned copy of the letter kept by Springfield College. In the letter, Dr. Olds congratulates Dr. King on winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and says that his “stirring words at Commencement time still ring in our ears.” Dr. King's answer this letter can be seen here: http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cd... more
    Dr. Glenn A. Olds, Springfield College’s eighth president, wrote this letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on October 16, 1964. This is an unsigned copy of the letter kept by Springfield College. In the letter, Dr. Olds congratulates Dr. King on winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and says that his “stirring words at Commencement time still ring in our ears.” Dr. King's answer this letter can be seen here: http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/2579. In 1964, Springfield College shared a moment in history often overlooked by historians with honorary degree recipient and commencement speaker Martin Luther King Jr. Despite significant pressure from prominent shareholders and benefactors of the College to not invite Martin Luther King to speak at Commencement, college President Glenn A. Olds, a minister and conscientious objector during World War II, refused to waver. When King was arrested the day before, Olds contacted law enforcement officials, telling them that if they continued to hold King, school officials would fly down to tape the commencement address, leaving St. Augustine to deal with the attendant publicity. Whether or not his intervention played a role, King was released on a nine hundred dollar bond Saturday afternoon. Met at the airport by Springfield College Economics Professor Robert Randolph, later the first black president of the Massachusetts State College System at Westfield State, King toured the campus, gave a press conference, and shared a brief luncheon with faculty and administration. On the day of commencement, Black Muslim protestors who felt King was too conciliatory and bomb-sniffing dogs greeted the graduating class. less
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