Southeast Planning 20th Annual King Celebration


Tickets for King breakfast now on sale at Southeast Bookstore

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Dec. 3, 2004ᾰRev. Earl Nance, Jr., pastor of the Greater Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, will be featured as the keynote speaker at Southeast Missouri State University’s 20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast Jan. 17 in the Show Me Center.

20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast

The theme for the 2005 breakfast is “Embracing the Future/Fulfilling the Dream.”

Doors open for the event at 7:30 a.m.  The program begins at 8 a.m.  Admission is $7 for the public, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and under. University students without a meal plan may obtain a pre-paid sponsor ticket at Southeast Bookstore on a first-come, first-served basis. Students with meal plans can contact the Southeast Bookstore for details on using their meal plan options at the breakfast.  Prepaid sponsored tickets also will be available for low-income individuals and area students.  Tickets will not be sold at the door, but will be available in advance now through noon on Jan. 11 at the Southeast Bookstore.  Group tickets can be purchased by contacting Dr. Sophia Scott at (573) 986-7383 or online at

Nance, the guest speaker, is the pastor of the Greater Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church after serving 15 years as co-pastor under his father, Rev. Earl E. Nance, Sr., who pastored for 43 years.  Rev. Earl Nance Jr. currently serves on the board of several community organizations, including the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Mathews-Dickey Boys Club, Monsanto YMCA, Urban League of Metro St. Louis, St. Louis Sport Commission and the St. Louis Science Center. 

Nance was elected city-wide and served with distinction as a member of the St. Louis Board of Education from 1987 to 1997.  He served three terms as board president.  He has been president of the Missouri Progressive Baptist Convention and president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Midwest Region Congress of Christian Education, serving as dean of the Congress

In 1980, Nance was appointed for a six-year term by former Gov. Joseph Teasdale to the 22nd Judicial Commission as its first African-American member. 

Former Gov. John Ashcroft named him to the Missouri Bicentennial Celebration Commission in 1986, and former Gov. Mel Carnahan named Nance to the School Performance Commission in 1993 and the Goals 2000 Fine Arts Grant Commission in 1995.  Before his current position as Education Liaison for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Nance served as president of the St. Louis Clergy Coalition

15th Annual Community Celebration-Gospel Extravaganza

The evening of Jan. 17, the celebration continues with the 15th Annual Community Celebration-Gospel Extravaganza, “Lift Every Voice,” planned for 7 p.m. at Cape First Church, 254 S. Silver Springs Road in Cape Girardeau.  The event, which is sponsored by the Cape Ministerial Alliance, NAACP and the Downtown Council of Churches, will feature guest performer Dr. Fairest Hill.

Hill is a nationally known motivational speaker for youth groups across the nation.  Hill reaches out to a million youth each year with his motivating seminars and personal story of overcoming defeat through perseverance.  Hill has developed two curricula “Project 2000: Building Leaders for the 21st Century” and “Project Advance:  Empowerment, Entrepreneurship and Excellence.”

Hill also has collaborated and performed with various artists such as the Winan’s, God’s Property, The Gap Band, New Edition and InSync.  He is the founder/chief executive officer of Youth on the Move, USA, Inc. and Vision Production and Publishing Company. 

Hill has published the book “Yes, You Can Win – The ABC’s of Success,” and has released his fourth project, “This is Your Moment,” along with the song “It’s a New Season,” which was featured on the Bobby Jones Top 20 Gospel Radio Countdown Nationally Syndicated Radio Broadcast

The community celebration also will include performances by various area groups and the presentation of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Award.  The event is open to the public.  For additional information, contact Rev. David Allen, Sr., at (573) 651-3698 or Debra Mitchell-Braxton at (573) 651-5186.

‘Passing the Torch of Unity’ Program

A program entitled “Passing the Torch of Unity” will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27 in the University Center Ballroom.  The program will include a keynote address by Brenda Newberry, president and chief executive officer of the Newberry Group Inc. of St. Louis, and musical tributes, with a reception immediately following.

Newberry founded the Newberry group, Inc. in August 1996 following a career spanning more than 20 years in network and systems software. The Newberry Group has expanded to more than 130 employees and has become one of the leading technology services firms. The business has received the St. Louis Minority Business Council Minority Business Enterprise of the Year in 2000 and 2002 and was named the Missouri Small Business of the Year in 2002. Newberry received the 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2004 from the St. Louis American and the Regional Commerce and Growth Association. The company also was listed on INC’s 500 America’s Fastest Growing Private Businesses in 2004. Newberry has been honored with a Professional Organization of Women Top Ten African American Women of Distinction Award in 2003.

Newberry serves as an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis, conducting undergraduate and graduate level courses in operating systems and network communications. She also is a member of the Washington University National Council for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The “Passing the Torch of Unity” program is sponsored by various University student organizations and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee.  Contact Michelle Irby at (573) 651-2280 for more information.

‘Artistic Expressions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream’

A symbolic event of King’s dream, “Artistic Expressions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream,” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3 in the University Center Ballroom.  Participants will vary from dance to spoken word, and all ages are welcome to participate.  Refreshments will be served, and prizes will be awarded.  A live auction will be held to support the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship.  Contact Mercedes Jackson or Cori McGee at (573) 651-5186 to enter this program.

Black History Month Events Planned for February

Numerous other events are scheduled for February, when the University will celebrate Black History Month.  Activities will include a Quiz Bowl of African-American history and culture, an open house of the new Minority Student Program office, a Minority Career Exploration Dinner, the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Banquet, the Eighth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read-A-Thon, and a variety of presentations and discussions covering African-American related topics. 

For more information on the 20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast and Southeast’s Black History Month activities, visit