Iowa State University events will honor Martin Luther King Jr. beginning Jan. 12

AMES, Iowa -- A carillon concert, community and campus programs, and two notable speakers are among Iowa State University's activities to honor the life of Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.

The 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Series begins with the carillon concert on Jan. 12 and concludes with a lecture by by PBS' "Washington Week" moderator Gwen Ifill on March 31. All events are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, carilloneur Tin-Shi Tam's daily campanile concert will be a tribute to King. "Let Freedom Ring" will begin at 11:50 a.m. and feature hymns, spirituals and inspirational arrangements. The 20-minute concert will be webcast live at

A community celebration is planned for the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, at the Ames Middle School, 3915 Mortensen Road. The festivities kick off with birthday cake followed at 6:30 by a program that will feature community groups presenting songs, skits and speeches that honor King's life.

Iowa State's Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Musical performances and speakers will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King. Speakers include Religious Studies Professor Mary Sawyer, Government of the Student Body President Luke Roling and Black Student Alliance President Monae Lane. Associate Provost Dawn Bratsch-Prince will present the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Advancing One Community Awards. Members of the group Shy of a Dozen will perform, along with the violin duo of Claire Wandro and Jordan Trachtenberg. Birthday cake will be served.

Gloria Gibson, University of Northern Iowa's executive vice president and provost, will speak about leadership at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Gibson was formerly the dean of humanities and social sciences and a professor in the English, folklore and ethnomusicology department at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro. She earned her doctorate in folklore, with a concentration in ethnomusicology from Indiana University. Gibson also has Ph.D. minors in Afro-American studies and African studies. Her talk, "On Leadership," is part of Iowa State's Women's Leadership Series.

Gwen Ifill, best known as moderator and managing editor of the PBS news program, "Washington Week," will speak on "Politics, Policy and the Reality of Leadership," as Iowa State's Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics. Her talk will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Ifill also is the author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama." And, as senior correspondent on "The PBS Newshour," she reports on a wide range of issues from foreign affairs to American politics and policies and interviews national and international newsmakers. Ifill has covered six presidential campaigns and moderated two vice presidential debates, including the 2008 debate between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Sarah Palin.