For Immediate Release
For additional information contact,
Clare Reed, Director of Public Affairs
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (May 21, 2009) – Tuskegee University President, Dr. Benjamin F. Payton, will deliver the principal address from the steps of The Lincoln Memorial to rededicate it in honor of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.
Payton, a nationally recognized higher education leader, orator, scholar, ethicist, and public intellectual will present the principal address at The Lincoln Memorial on May 30, 2009 at approximately 2:00 p.m. The Memorial, which millions of tourists visit each year, was built to honor the 16th President of the United States. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“We believe this tribute will serve both to honor President Abraham Lincoln and to offer a time to reflect on his legacy,” said Ken Salazar, U.S. Secretary of the Interior.
The rededication event will serve as the culmination of a three-part series of events held at the Memorial in the bicentennial year. The inaugural dedication of the Lincoln Memorial was held on May 30, 1922 and the principal address was given by Dr. Robert Russa Moton, the second President of Tuskegee University.
Invited guests include the nation’s leadership, among other distinguished individuals.
“This historic invitation and recognition underscores the continuing vitality of Abraham Lincoln in the life of the nation,” says Dr. Benjamin F. Payton. He indicated that he “is privileged to have been invited to offer the main speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln's words and deeds have always struck me as on of the most authentic, powerful and compelling calls for freedom, justice and respect for all enslaved and oppressed people in our nation's history. His vision remains just as vital for the creation of a truly civil and fair society in 2009 as it was when he lived, or was celebrated on this spot in 1922.”
“This occasion also provides the opportunity to highlight the continuing vitality and significant role Tuskegee University plays today,” Payton said. “A contemporary discussion of liberty and democracy is in keeping with the University’s leadership and core values.”
No tickets are required for the event.
About Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University is an independent and state-related institution of higher education located in the state of Alabama, 40 miles east of Montgomery, Ala. Its programs serve a student body of approximately 3,000 that is coeducational as well as racially, ethnically and religiously diverse. With a strong orientation toward disciplines which highlight the relationship between education and work force preparation in the sciences, professions and technical areas, Tuskegee University also emphasizes the importance of the liberal arts as a foundation for self-understanding, service to others and successful careers in all areas. Accordingly, all academic majors stress the mastery of a required core of liberal arts courses. For more information about Tuskegee University, visit www.tuskegee.edu.