The University of Mary Washington will dedicate a lecture hall in honor of civil rights leader James L. Farmer, Jr. during a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 15. The ceremony, which will begin at 4 p.m. in Monroe Hall, Room 116, is open to the public.
Farmer, founder of the Congress of Racial Equality and one of the “Big Four,” worked closely with Martin Luther King, Jr. on nonviolent protests to eliminate racial inequality. Farmer taught the history of the civil rights movement to Mary Washington students for about a dozen years before his retirement in 1998. That year, President Bill Clinton awarded Farmer the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Several UMW entities bear Farmer’s name, including the James Farmer Multicultural Center and the James Farmer Scholars Program.
“Our dedication of the lecture hall is to honor a man who changed our nation, our way of life, and in his later years our understanding of the civil rights movement,” said Leah Cox, special assistant for diversity and inclusion.
Georgia State Sen. Nan Orrock ’65 will deliver a keynote address for the occasion. Orrock has served in the Georgia state legislature since 1987, including as House Majority Whip and committee chair. Her engagement with public policy dates back to her participation in the 1963 March on Washington, an experience that has led to a lifetime of activism.
President Richard V. Hurley and the Board of Visitors also will be on-hand for the commemoration.