1996: Coretta Scott King speaks at Western

King spoke to a packed house in Carver Gym
Window magazine staff

When Coretta Scott King, widow of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., came to speak at Western on Nov. 11, 1996, so many people wanted to attend that her speech was moved from the Performing Arts Center to Carver Gymnasium.

“During a speech that was interrupted many times by fervent applause, King shared her thoughts on the November elections, education, affirmative action and the building of a more egalitarian society,” wrote Gene Metrick, ’98, B.A., journalism, for the Western Front.

“ ‘We have to insist on a militant optimism about the future,’ she said. ‘God didn’t put us here to dream small dreams and to settle for mediocrity.’ ”

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Above: Coretta Scott King sits with WWU President Karen Morse and chats with an attendee of a reception after King’s 1996 speech in Carver Gym.


Photo by Jon Brunk, courtesy of WWU Libraries Campus History Collection