Dr. King at Springfield College (June 14, 1964)
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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
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Brunton, Joseph A
Smith, Carl D
Switzer, Mary E
Joseph, Puthenpurayil M
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- Chicago citation style
- Dr. King at Springfield College (June 14, 1964). 1964-06-14. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/2581. (Accessed June 24, 2018.)
- APA citation style
- (1964-06-14) Dr. King at Springfield College (June 14, 1964). Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/2581
- MLA citation style
- Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/2581>.