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On MLK Jr. Day, Heidelberg University to focus on service, King’s message

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Heidelberg alumnus and basketball standout Claudie Johnson, ’85, who is the university’s newest member of the Board of Trustees. (Photo Submitted)

Tiffin, Ohio — Instead of a day off, the Heidelberg University community will gather together on Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, for a “Day ON!”

Students, faculty and staff will participate in a hybrid model of events including a keynote address, service projects, workshops, a town hall presentation and a theatre presentation.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day ON! activities are being organized by Heidelberg’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Many of the activities will be presented dually in person and virtually.

This is the third year that Heidelberg has observed the MLK holiday with a day on instead of a holiday.

Providing the keynote address, titled Economic Justice, this year will be Heidelberg alumnus and basketball standout Claudie Johnson, ’85, who is the university’s newest member of the Board of Trustees.

A resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, Johnson has been working in the financial services industry for more than 30 years, primarily in the area of wealth management. He is currently the Charlotte City Executive for Self-Help Credit Union and serves as the managing director of JareMarc Advisors, LLC, a financial planning firm which he founded in 2011. He is a Certified Financial Planner. In his community, Johnson has volunteered with the Board of Visitors at Johnson C. Smith University. He is a member of the Charlotte Rescue Mission Endowment Board of Directors.

Johnson excelled on the basketball court during one of the greatest eras of ’Berg basketball and remains one of the program’s most recognizable stars. A sharp-shooting guard, he helped lead the Student Princes to the NCAA Sweet 16 at the conclusion of the 1983-84 dream season. In 2017, he was inducted into the Heidelberg Athletics Hall of Fame.

Following the keynote, the campus community has the opportunity to participate in several service projects, including making hats and scarves for a local shelter through the Yarn Project; packaging meals through the Rise Against Hunger project; writing letters of appreciation to retired faculty and staff members; and assisting with a campus “deep clean” project.

In the afternoon, Heidelberg will offer educational sessions, presented by faculty and staff around the theme of diversity, equity and inclusion. Following the educational sessions will be a town hall-style forum.

To conclude the day, theatre students will be reading from Obama-ology by playwright, screenwriter and reporter Aurin Squire. Obama-ology reveals the compelling journey of eager African-American college graduate Warren, who takes a job with the 2008 Obama campaign and quickly realizes that changing society isn’t as easy as he imagined.

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