Collection Facts

Extent: 
3 items
Dates of Original: 
1970
NYH Topic Area(s):

Historical Context

Seven years after Keuka College bestowed an honorary degree on Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it likewise honored another leader of the movement.

Coretta Scott King was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the College’s 1970 Commencement. Citing the 1963 visit by the Kings at which her husband received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree, College President Dr. G. Wayne Glick hailed Coretta Scott King’s return as a “visit again by goodness and greatness.” Her visit came just two years after the assassination of her husband.

Referencing the challenges of the day, which remain all too familiar, Mrs. King spoke of “the insidious evils of repression, poverty, war, racism, pollution, and social injustice,” and called for “a new concept of womanhood.” “The salvation of mankind,” she told the all-female class of graduates, “rests with capable women.”

Scope of Collection

The Coretta Scott King Collection consists of photographs, letters, documents, and a transcript of the speech she gave at the Keuka College Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, June 14, 1970. The letters are primarily between president G. Wayne Glick, Mrs. King, and other special guests attending Commencement proceedings that year. Documents contain biographical information about speakers, guests, and planning information needed to coordinate commencement events.