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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943

Tickets Available for 2011 MLK Freedom Scholarship Dinner

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Jan. 12, 2011) – Tickets now are available for the University of Central Missouri’s 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Scholarship Dinner, planned for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, in UCM’s Elliott Union ballroom.

Featured keynote speaker for the annual dinner will be Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi and the founder of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, located at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. Larry Seward, reporter for KSHB-TV Channel 41 NBC Action News, Kansas City, will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening.

Arun Gandhi
Arun Gandhi

Proceeds from tickets sales and table sponsorships for the dinner support UCM’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Scholarships, which are awarded each spring to high school students from the metropolitan Kansas City area and Johnson County, Mo. Since the inception of the Freedom Scholarship program in 1998, scholarships totaling more than $100,000 have been funded through dinner ticket sales and corporate and private sponsorships and presented to high school and UCM students. The 2010 class of recipients who received scholarships last spring, all of whom currently are enrolled at UCM, will be recognized at the dinner.

Individual tickets may be purchased at the gold level for $100, the silver level for $75, or the bronze level for $50 by contacting the UCM Office of Community Engagement, Elliott Union 224, at 660-543-4156. Tables of eight for the dinner are also available for purchase at the gold, silver and bronze. A portion of the ticket price is tax deductible. Corporate sponsorship opportunities available also are available.

Born and raised in apartheid-era South Africa, Arun Gandhi was sent to India at the age of 12 to live with his grandfather. There he observed firsthand the profound national campaign for liberation through nonviolent means. Arun Gandhi went on to lead successful economic and social reforms in India before coming to the United States, where he and his late wife, Sunanda, founded the institute.

Through the institute, Arun Gandhi seeks to further the study and practice of nonviolence while also providing a unique source of information about his grandfather. By continuing his grandfather’s work, he has been able to provide insight into one of history’s most influential leaders and has continued to stress the importance of nonviolence around the globe.

During his presentation at UCM, Gandhi will draw parallels between the teachings and beliefs of M. K. Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., reinforcing King’s belief in bringing about significant social change through civil disobedience.

The Freedom Scholarship Dinner is the highlight of UCM’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. Additional events include the presentation of the Community Service Awards in conjunction with the Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, planned for Jan. 12; the Ecumenical Worship Service on Jan. 16; the “A Day On, not a Day Off” community service day and the MLK Gospel Concert on Jan. 17; the Issues Forum on Jan. 20; and the community blood drive on Jan. 25-26.