‘Let us be like Dr. King:’ Centre community embraces call to service

by Matt Overing

Centre College News
MLK convo 2024. Two ladies standing by podium. One lady sitting on stage in Newlin Hall. Photo by Lucy Swenson '24

Judge Melissa Moore Murphy spoke on calling — and answering the call — during her address as the keynote speaker at Centre College’s annual MLK Convocation. 

The College’s “Day of Service” culminated with a convocation recognizing Dr. King’s legacy and spirit of service to help grow a community. Judge Murphy, a fourth division district court judge in Fayette County, shared the stage with Centre students who performed poetry and song during the convocation.  

“It’s an important moment when we can pause and recognize a great figure in world history,” Centre College President Milton Moreland said. “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy inspired all the people around the world to fight for justice, equity and inclusion — which is so important to our campus, our commonwealth and the future of our world together.” 

Campus and community members were able to see opportunities for service before and after the convocation with a volunteer fair, hosted by Centre's Office of Civic and Community Engagement.

"We’re so thankful for the commitment to and opportunity for service at Centre College,” Weathers said. “A Day of Service is a great way to acknowledge those ways to get involved — and how we can continue to live Dr. King’s vision of a community brought together through service. 

“Judge Murphy is a change agent in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond. Her service embodies what Dr. King called for — I think the Centre community can greatly benefit from her words of wisdom to live with conviction, embrace community (how we show up for each other) and to confront and challenge systems of exclusion.”

Judge Murphy met with students before the event and echoed Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, noting the importance of the “now” in engaging in protests for justice.  

“A convocation is what we are here for today — to share in a common calling,” Murphy said. “As Dr. King said, we want to make real the promises of democracy … to make justice a reality for all. But a calling has no impact if the person on the other side does not pick up. As we leave here tonight, let us be like Dr. King. Let us recognize that now is the time for us all to pick up the call.”   

Students who performed in the convocation: Lara Nowell, class of 2026; Caleb Tarbush, class of 2027; Jaleel Worrell, class of 2027; Lily Zehnder, class of 2025. Photo at top by Lucy Swenson, class of 2024. 

WATCH | The full Martin Luther King, Jr. convocation on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Facebook page

ENGAGE | Members of the campus community interested in #CentreService opportunities throughout the community are invited to visit CentreEngage to learn more.