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Freeman Hrabowski III, Ph.D., to speak at 31st annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Convocation

| By Marcus Dean
2024 Loyola MLK Convocation

Loyola University Maryland will hold the 31st annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Convocation with Freeman Hrabowski III, Ph.D., president emeritus of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. in McGuire Hall East. The Convocation is free and open to the public and will also be livestreamed.

The Convocation, “Looking Back to Look Forward 1964-2024,” will be moderated by Karsonya Wise Whitehead, Ph.D., founding executive director of the Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice and professor of communication and African and African American studies at Loyola.

“We’re honored to welcome Dr. Hrabowski, who has been a revered leader in Maryland higher education—and an esteemed thought leader nationally—for more than two decades,” said Rodney L. Parker, Ph.D., chief equity and inclusion officer at Loyola. “His leadership of UMBC took that university in new strategic directions, and his commitment to equity and justice set an example for higher education more broadly.”

Hrabowski is a consultant on science and math education to national agencies, universities, and school systems. His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Hrabowski served as a child leader in the Civil Rights era and marched alongside the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He graduated from Hampton Institute with the highest honors in mathematics. He received his master’s degree in mathematics before earning a doctoral degree in higher education administration and statistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hrabowski served as president of UMBC from 1992 to 2022, and in 2012, was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. In 2022, Hrabowski was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for the “development of a national educational model for students from diverse backgrounds to excel in engineering and science."

In April 2023, the National Academy of Sciences awarded him the Public Welfare Medal, the academy’s most prestigious award, and inducted him as a member of the academy for his extraordinary use of science for the public good.

His most recent book, The Empowered University, examines how university communities support academic success by cultivating an empowering institutional culture. In addition, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute also launched the Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program to help build a scientific workforce that more fully reflects our increasingly diverse country.

To learn more and register, visit www.loyola.edu/mlk.

About the Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation
The Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, celebrating its 31st year, is an occasion for Loyola and the Baltimore communities to launch the spring semester and the new year by coming together for shared inquiry into the issues of social justice, politics, spirituality, and the legacies of race and racial justice in America. The convocation, which is sponsored by Loyola University Maryland’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, is a signature event for the University. Past speakers have included Michelle Alexander, Ibram X. Kendi, Octavia Butler, Spike Lee, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Roxane Gay.

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