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MLK Breakfast Celebrates Vision of Diverse, Cohesive and Integrated Society

January 28, 2004

Immediately after he was introduced, keynote speaker Edward Dugger III had a confession to make.

"Most of what you just heard is not true," he joked. "I made up a few things, given the high-profiled speakers you've had here in the past."

Mr. Dugger, president of UNC Partners in Boston, needed no career embellishment as he spoke to a capacity crowd in the Executive Dining Room during the 18th Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Breakfast. An urban planner, Mr. Dugger credits Dr. King for his particular career path to economic justice, rather than following in the footsteps of his father in the engineering field.

He recalled April 4, 1968- the day Dr. King was assassinated- as a young freshman at Harvard. He had no idea his life would "fundamentally change that day."

"I don't remember exactly where I was, but I do remember I was stunned. I was physically and mentally paralyzed. My breath had left my body," he said. "My purpose in life changed. I could no longer be. I had to do."

Raised in Dayton, Ohio, Mr. Dugger spoke about attending all-black schools from grades K-12, the Watts riots before his junior year of high school, and how U.S. Army reserves patrolled his neighborhood streets. Awarded a full football scholarship to attend Ohio State University, he decided instead to utilize a National Achievement Scholarship to attend Harvard. Outside the classroom, Mr. Dugger pursued the sport of track and field in which his father, Edward Dugger, Jr. of Tufts University, had set an American record (120 yard high hurdles). He soon became one of the Ivy League's top 440-yard hurdlers.

And while he didn't become an engineer, Mr. Dugger credited his father (who passed away in 1975) for giving him both strength and the "runner's spirit" he carries with him today.

"I ask him for guidance and help quite a bit. I ask him, 'May I run with you?'" he said. "This is a special day for me and for my father."

Bentley President Joe Morone cited the 50th anniversary of the historic Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, and pondered what Dr. King's vision would be for this campus.

"When we think of Dr. Martin Luther King's vision, it was for a diverse, cohesive and integrated society," he said. "We've made enormous progress on this campus, across all facets towards his vision, but we haven't achieved that yet."

Bentley Award Winners

In addition, two members of the Bentley community were recognized for "their contributions to the Bentley community consistent with the ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr.":

Bashemai Canty '03 - now an Assistant Product Manager of Specialty Products at The Gillette Company. She was the 2001 recipient of the Bentley-National Black MBA Association Graduate Merit Scholarship, and a member of both the L'Oreal Inc. 'E-Strategy Challenge' and National Black MBA Association competition teams. She has completed both the Information Age MBA and the Master of Science in Information Age Marketing While at Bentley, "she has embraced countless relationships with peers, faculty, career services, and many others."

John A. Sims Jr. - Director, Miller Graduate Center for Career Services. "A true pioneer for civil rights, diversity, higher education and the establishment of corporate-academic relationships. He does his best work behind the scenes, which only demonstrates his endless commitment to creating opportunities for students and professionals. He is the type of individual that pushes people to the best of their ability, and helps them in strategizing in the fore-front of new ideas. He may be the quiet man behind the scenes, but he is certainly a person that makes a loud impact in our lives everyday."

"They have been a key factor responsible for the enhancement and expansion of greater opportunities for students of color while providing equal opportunity for all members of our community," said presenter Harold Mateo '04. "They have been willing to break down barriers to help others achieve and enhance their academic and professional dreams, regardless of personal risk or sacrifice. They have been responsible for opening doors of access to the larger community by providing support and building self-confidence."

Also recognized were the members of the National Black MBA competition team, which took home a national third-place trophy last September.

The Bentley College Gospel Choir, led by Beverly Mosby, sang two musical selections during the breakfast. Sara Ting of World Unity, Inc. read two poetry selections. The Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast was sponsored by the President's Office, Multicultural Center, Office of Student Life and The Spiritual Life Center.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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