Martin Luther King Jr. at Springfield College in 1964

“The Time is Always Right to do Right.”

By Marty Dobrow

In 1964, Springfield College shared a moment in history with honorary degree recipient and commencement speaker Martin Luther King Jr. It was a shining moment, a visible example of what is best about Springfield College. Read the Triangle article here.

One of the shining moments in Springfield College's history occurred in June 1964, when Springfield College worked to have Martin Luther King Jr. released from jail in St. Augustine, Fla. King, who had been arrested for requesting service at an all-white restaurant, was scheduled to give the commencement address and receive an honorary doctoral degree on the Springfield College campus. College President Glenn A. Olds was under pressure from the F.B.I. and others to cancel the invitation to King. One benefactor, who had floated the idea that a $1 million donation might be announced at graduation, summoned Olds to his home and, shaking with rage, tore up the check in Olds’ presence. Olds held fast, and King delivered his stirring remarks.

Listen to the address here:

Download a .pdf of the address.

Martin Luther King Jr. at Springfield College in 1964The audio of the commencement address opens with an introduction
by Springfield College President Glenn A. Olds.