• Created Date
  • 1964-06-14
  • Publisher
  • Springfield College
  • Description
  • We believe that this black and white photograph shows the honorary degree recipients at Springfield College’s 1964 Commencement Weekend. Based on individual portraits of the recipients published in the May 31, 1964 “Springfield Sunday Republican,” we believe the people shown are, left to right, [standing] Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Paul Tillich, Puthenpurayil Matthew Joseph, [seated] Dr. Carl D. Smith, Mary E. Switzer, and Joseph A.... more
    We believe that this black and white photograph shows the honorary degree recipients at Springfield College’s 1964 Commencement Weekend. Based on individual portraits of the recipients published in the May 31, 1964 “Springfield Sunday Republican,” we believe the people shown are, left to right, [standing] Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Paul Tillich, Puthenpurayil Matthew Joseph, [seated] Dr. Carl D. Smith, Mary E. Switzer, and Joseph A. Brunton, Jr. 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, college President Glenn A. Olds, a minister and conscientious objector during World War II, refused to waver from his decision to make Martin Luther King Commencement speaker for the 1964 Graduation ceremonies. 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. There is a slight tear along the right edge; Further research needs to be conducted on the other persons in the photograph; (On Back) Please return to the Office of Alumni Relations - Springfield College; Dr. Martin Luther King 1964. less
  • Format
  • Photographs
  • Rights
  • Text and images are owned, held, or licensed by Springfield College and are available for personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that ownership is properly cited. A credit line is required and should read: Courtesy of Springfield College, Babson Library, Archives and Special Collections. Any commercial use without written permission from Springfield College is strictly prohibited. Other individuals or entities other than, and in addition to, Springfield College may also own copyrights and other propriety rights. The publishing, exhibiting, or broadcasting party assumes all responsibility for clearing reproduction rights and for any infringement of United States copyright law. Contact host institution for more information.