Faculty and Students react to the death of Martin Luther King

Thu., Apr. 4, 1968

Both faculty and students reacted strongly to the news of Reverend Martin Luther King's assassination on April fourth, 1968, expressing sorrow, dismay, shame and fear.

Dickinson College President Howard Lane Rubendall expressed sympathy for King's family said April fourth would remain a "fateful day in American history." In a further statement following the announcement of King's death, he said "The finest tribute we can pay to this truly great man is a personal commitment to work for the high goals to which he gave his life, and to work in his spirit of non-violence."

Students expressed fear and concern for the civil rights movement following King's death, with some worried that the assassination would expand the rift between black and white communities and incite violence from more militant groups. Others, such as Student Senate President Tom Martin, hoped the tragedy would be seen as "a signal to students that violence of any kind is not the answer... the answer is for students and everyone around the country to start treating other human beings as human beings."


Dickinsonian, Apr. 8, 1968, pg. 1