Marquette University campus


New Student Convocation details
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Al McGuire Center
770 North 12th Street

Join the Marquette community for a formal academic welcome to the Class of 2018. Congressman John Lewis, author of March: Book One, the First-year Reading Book, will provide keynote remarks. Student attendance is required, and family members are welcome to attend. Dress is business casual (no jeans, shorts or T-shirts). Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and space for family members will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration is required for this event.

For questions or special needs, please call (414) 288-1412.

Keynote Speaker

John Lewis photo by Ned Ahrens, 2010United States Representative John Lewis is a noted civil rights leader who has represented the state of Georgia in Congress for more than 25 years.

He is nationally recognized for his tireless efforts on the issues of race relations, poverty and the problems that plague cities. He first joined the civil rights movement as a seminary student in Nashville, organizing sit-ins and participating in the first freedom rides, which challenged illegal segregation at bus stations across the South. His leadership was quickly identified, and he became chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and one of the “Big Six” national leaders of the movement, alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and A. Philip Randolph.

Lewis was an organizer of and the youngest featured speaker at the historic March on Washington in August 1963. In 1964, he coordinated voter registration drives and community action programs during the Mississippi Freedom Summer. The following year, with Hosea Williams, Lewis led more than 600 peaceful protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. The marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers in a confrontation that became known as “Bloody Sunday” and helped hasten the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Despite physical attacks, serious injuries and more than 40 arrests, Lewis has remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. His subsequent career has included voter registration activism, service on the Atlanta City Council and a successful career in Congress.

Lewis has received numerous awards from imminent national and international institutions, including the highest civilian honor granted by President Barack Obama, the Medal of Freedom. Lewis also has received the Lincoln Medal from Ford’s Theatre; Golden Plate Award from the Academy of Excellence; Preservation Hero award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Capital Award of the National Council of La Raza; Martin Luther King, Jr., Non-Violent Peace Prize; President’s Medal of Georgetown University; NAACP Spingarn Medal; National Education Association Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award; and the only John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for Lifetime Achievement granted by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

In 2006, Marquette recognized him with its Les Aspin Democracy Award. In 2013, Marquette selected the book March: Book One, co-authored by Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and drawn by Nate Powell, for its First Year Reading book.

Because of his courageous leadership for civil rights and years of public service, which exemplify Marquette’s mission of leadership and service to others, Congressman John Lewis is recommended for the Marquette University degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.