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MVNU alumni honored at MLK Celebration Breakfast

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — The 17th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration Breakfast examined the direction of society as we continue to overcome racism, end global suffering and eradicate poverty and answer King’s own question: “Where do we go from here: Chaos or community?”

Sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Committee, and presented by Kenyon College and Mount Vernon Nazarene University, the event included responses from Dr. Henry W. Spaulding II, MVNU president; Dr. Shawn Decatur, Kenyon College president; Matthew Starr, City of Mount Vernon mayor; Leeman Kester, Village of Gambier mayor; and Keynote Speaker Jonathan Tazewell, Thomas S. Turgeon Professor of Drama at Kenyon College.

“MLK Day calls us to remember, but more importantly to act. That is to creatively and graciously engage the structure of violence and hate with King’s prophetic imagination,” said Spaulding.

Tazewell, a Kenyon College graduate, is proud to call Knox County home for the better part of 40 years, however, he noted at times he feels like an outsider, but realizes he is often surrounded by supporters.

“It is unfortunately, an irony many American people of color face not only in their local communities but throughout our nation,” Tazewell said. “Though, most of us have known no other country to call our home, the recognition of our full citizenship in this nation both legal and emotional has been a continual battle waged by the proud and the righteous. I count you, my friends, among those warriors. And I thank you for being here.”

Beulah Apostolic Awards of Excellence were presented to Rev. Josephus and Clara Foster and Joyce Hogan.

The Fosters were recognized for their work in service to Jesus Christ and the young people of Columbus through the Fountain of Hope Ministry. Josephus earned a master of divinity from MVNU in 2002 and served as an MVNU trustee providing significant leadership in diversity, employment and wisdom. He passed away on Oct. 31, 2019. Clara, B.A. ’03, worked alongside her husband in their ministry as well as her personal pursuits in childcare and afterschool programs.

Hogan, a longtime member of the Dr. King Legacy Committee, was acknowledged for her dedication to the annual breakfast as well as her devotion to caring for others over a long career in nursing. She is a member of the Apostolic Christian Church in Mount Vernon, a licensed evangelist and member of the Ohio District Council.

Junior High and High School Essay contest winners were: Ethan Teet, third place; Alexandra Yost, second place; and Jacey Hartman, first place.

First-Knox National Bank Book Scholarship recipients for MVNU were: Aline Butoto, Darryl M. Daniels, Taylor M. Jobe, Carson L. Weghorst, Paige E. Gutai, JJ Allison, Joseph Joe, Lauren F. Klopfenstein and Genesis Victoria Mena-Cruz.

 Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 29 states and 14 countries/U.S. territories.