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Loyola University Maryland announced that Freeman Hrabowski III, former president of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) will be leading the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation on January 24th. The Convocation is open to the public and will also be live-streamed.

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The convocation, sponsored by Loyola University Maryland’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, is a significant event for the university, with past speakers including Michelle Alexander, Ibram X. Kendi, Octavia Butler, Spike Lee, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Roxane Gay.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation is celebrating its 31st year and is an occasion for Loyola University and the Baltimore communities to come together for shared inquiry into issues of social justice, politics, spirituality, and the legacies of race and racial justice in America.

The Convocation has a themed discussion, “Looking Back to Look Forward 1964-2024,” which 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.

Freeman Hrabowski III was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and 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 in mathematics before earning a doctoral degree in higher education administration and statistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hrabowski served as UMBC’s president from 1992 to 2022 and was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans in 2012.

In 2022, Hrabowski was elected to the National Academy of Engineering to “develop 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 most prestigious award, and inducted him as an academy member 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.

Additionally, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute launched the Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program to help build a scientific workforce that more fully reflects our increasingly diverse country.

“We’re honored to welcome Dr. Hrabowski, who has been a revered leader in Maryland higher education for over 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 science and math education consultant to national agencies, universities, and school systems. His research and publications focus on science and math education, emphasizing minority participation and performance. To learn more and register, visit www.loyola.edu/mlk

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