Springfield: Benedictine University at Springfield will host its first annual MLK, Jr. Unity Walk

January 17, 2014

Springfield, Illinois ~ Benedictine University at Springfield will host its first annual Unity Walk on campus on Wednesday, January 22 from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Classes will be suspended and offices will be closed during this time so that the entire campus community may participate. The event is scheduled to begin in Ginkgo Square and conclude in Angela Hall on the campus of Benedictine University at Springfield.

Alumni from Springfield Junior College, Springfield College in Illinois and Benedictine University at Springfield, along with their families and friends, are invited to join the campus community in the Unity Walk.

Benedictine’s Interdisciplinary and Diversity Taskforce was charged by President Michael Bromberg to create a plan for the Benedictine campus’ recognition of the national day honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a goal to develop an observation that went beyond the traditional breakfast or lecture. In an effort to truly honor Dr. King, the taskforce wanted to create an opportunity for the campus to exemplify his teachings.

“We believe that as a community our campus could intentionally take a moment, stop everything, and join together in the spirit of his teachings, and our Benedictine hallmarks and values,” stated Julia Leischner, Assistant Professor of Biology, who serves as chair of the Interdisciplinary and Diversity Taskforce. “Thus, the Taskforce agreed to plan a Unity Walk with the coming together of the entire Benedictine Springfield family, to reflect upon what it means to be a community, and to revisit individual responsibility towards making Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream a lived reality.”

The campus-wide Unity Walk serves as a concrete demonstration of Benedictine’s commitment to the teachings of Dr. King, as well as those of Jesus, Muhammad, Mandela, Gandhi and many other heroic, radical thinkers, all of whom believed and lived a life of love, courage, justice and community contribution.

Benedictine University at Springfield will also bestow its first campus Radice award to a student, staff or faculty member who, in the spirit of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., unifies a community around the root truth that all creation bears the imprint of God and embodies the essence of Benedictine values on this national day of recognition.

For more information about Benedictine University at Springfield’s MLK, Jr. Unity Walk, please contact Julia Leischner at (217) 525-1420, ext. 3309 or jleischner@ben.edu .


Benedictine University at Springfield is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in the Illinois state capital. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 17 undergraduate majors, four graduate and one doctorate program in Springfield, in addition to a wide range of athletic opportunities for students through membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2000-2010 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the third consecutive year in 2013.