The president of Mississippi Valley State University will be keynote speaker Monday for Mississippi State’s 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity Breakfast.
The address by William B. Bynum Jr. begins at 8 a.m. in the Bill Foster Ballroom of the university’s Colvard Student Union.
The free, public celebration of King’s life and legacy as a Baptist minister, humanitarian and civil rights activist gets underway with a 7 a.m. meal. The annual event is sponsored by the Office of the President.
In addition to other remarks by MSU President Mark E. Keenum, the program will include announcement of statewide high school MLK essay contest winners and a performance by the MSU State Singers.
About the speaker
A native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Bynum received a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in education from Davidson College, where he later served as the Covington Distinguished Professor of Sociology. He also holds a master’s and doctorate from Duke University.
Previous to his 2013 MVSU appointment, the veteran higher education professional had served since 2009 as vice president for enrollment management and student services at Morehouse College in Georgia, where he also was an adjunct professor in the Leadership Studies program and sociology department. Prior to that, he spent nine years in Pennsylvania as vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at Lincoln University.
During the 1990s as associate vice president and dean of students at Clark Atlanta University, Bynum earned the nickname “Bye-Bye Bynum” for his no-nonsense approach to judicial affairs and enhancement of the campus culture and environment.
His other professional experience includes research and teaching positions at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Duke, as well as Durham and Edgecombe community colleges.
Trained as a quantitative sociologist, Bynum remains active with professional interests in black church studies, race, gender and ethnicity, among other areas. He is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Chi Alpha Epsilon national honor societies and Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
As a writer, his publications include a short story titled “For the Love of J-Ski,” a co-authored sociology journal article on race and formal volunteering and a chapter titled “The Black Church in America: Demography and Current Trends.” He and wife Deborah Elaine are the parents of six children.
At the conclusion of Monday morning’s program, the university’s Maroon Volunteer Center will begin the annual MLK Jr. Day of Service.
Interested individuals are encouraged to volunteer from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for various community service projects to benefit West Oktibbeha Elementary School in Sturgis and Oktoc Animal Rescue Inc. Participants also are needed from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday to assist with the Starkville Church of God’s food pantry distribution.
For details on volunteer projects, visit mvc.msstate.edu/blog/mlk-day-2015 or contact the MVC at 662-325-2208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information about MSU’s 2015 MLK Jr. Day is available from Katherine Campbell at 662-325-2493 or email@example.com.
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