Retirement Speech from MLK to Dr. Benjamin E. May


Dr. King honors Dr. Mays for serving as the President of Morehouse College as he enters into retirement.

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Retirement Speech from MLK to Dr. Benjamin E. May
Transcripts & Translations


As a counselor, teacher and spiritual father over. Whenever of think of the leadership and work of Dr. Benjamin Mays, I am reminded of two statements from the eloquent pen of Ralph Waldo Emerson. On one occasion Emerson said that an institution is but the lengthened shadow of a great personality. [Crossed out: MS: illegible] There can be no gain saying of the fact that Morehouse College is a great educational instution [institution]. This great instution [institution] is to a large extent, the lengthy shadow of this great man. Emerson also said, "see how the masses of men worry themselves into nameless graves, ... Dr. Mays has forgotten himself into immortality. Even since he began his brilliant [MS:illegible], Dr. Mays has moved through a uniquely meaningful orbit, importing light and heat to distant sattilites [satellites]. He has been a source of hope to the hop[e]less, a strong motivator of the unmotivated, and shining light of insp[i]ration to those who have walked thru the darkness of oppression. As a painstaking admini[s]trator, a brilliant scholar, [Inserted text: inserted above 'a theological': a keen social analyist [analyst] a theological giant, and a dedicated Christian. Dr. Mays has carved for himself an imperishable niche in the annals of modern history. It is therefore altogether fitting and proper that we pause to pay tribute to Dr. Mays [Crossed out: MS: illegible] he comes to retirement from a brilliant reign as president of Morehouse College. He has been and continues to be a mighty intellectu[a]l and spiritual giant against the backdrop of our times.
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