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Martin Luther King, Jr. at Villanova University, January 20, 1965

  • Posted by: Alice Bampton
  • Posted Date: January 17, 2016
  • Filed Under: Library News

Martin Luther King, Jr., at Villanova

In commemoration of Martin Luther King Day (January 18, 2016), the Rev. Dennis Gallagher, OSA, PhD, University archivist, collaborated with Joanne Quinn, graphic designer and Communication and Service Promotion team leader, to create this exhibit, “Martin Luther King, Jr., at Villanova University, January 20, 1965.” The exhibit fills two cases and features materials from the University Archives which are located in Falvey Memorial Library. All materials were selected by Father Gallagher; he also wrote the captions that accompany the objects. Quinn created the graphics and arranged the exhibit.

The first case displays two large black and white photographs from Martin Luther King’s visit to Villanova on January 20, 1965, and a typewritten copy of the speech he delivered that day. Father Gallagher describes the first photograph thus, “Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader and Nobel Prize winner gives an address at Villanova on January 20, 1965.” The second photograph shows the Reverend John A. Klekotka, OSA, University president, Dr. King and Thomas J. Furst, student body president. In the center is the manuscript of King’s talk, “Challenges of the New Age.” This copy of the speech was donated to the Villanova University Archives by Thomas Bruderle in 2015. Dr. King’s speech was part of the Villanova Forum Series.

Three objects fill the second case: a 1965 Belle Air yearbook, a Villanova pennant containing an image of the Wildcat, and a January 8, 1965 issue of the Villanovan newspaper. The yearbook is opened to display four photographs of Dr. King as he gave his speech. The bound volume of the Villanovan (vol. 40, no. 11, p. 1, Jan. 8, 1965) shows the feature story, “Forum Features Dr. Martin Luther King,” and his photograph.

Dig Deeper

If this small exhibit whets your curiosity, Falvey has a multitude of books for you. The sources listed below represent just a small part of the library’s holdings.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Making of a Mind (1982) John J. Ansbro.

Martin Luther King  (2010) Godfrey Hodgson.

The Speeches of Martin Luther King  (Video) (1988) Martin Luther King.

My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. (1994) Coretta Scott King (Martin Luther King’s wife).

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998) Martin Luther King.

King:  A Biography (2012) David L. Lewis.




  1. Comment by Peter Bruderle — June 18, 2017 @ 8:38 AM

    Wonderful to read of this exhibit. Is there a text of the speech? I would like to reference it in a short speech I am making tomorrow as part of a local Juneteenth celebration.

    I’ll keep looking. Thank you!

    Peter B

  2. Comment by Donald E. Pellecchia — June 23, 2020 @ 1:50 AM

    I was present during the speech and remember being deeply moved by it. Dr. King mesmerized the crowd with the words he spoke. He knew his audience he was-neither bombastic nor preaching his message. It was one of the best speeches I had heard him give.

    I would like to obtain a transcript or a written copy of his speech.

    Donald E. Pellecchia, Class of 1965.

  3. Comment by Beaudry Allen — June 23, 2020 @ 4:17 PM

    Hi Donald,

    That is amazing you had an opportunity to see Dr. King speak here. The University Archives does have a transcript of the speech and you can email us at for more information.

    Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist

  4. Comment by Bill Baldwin — August 29, 2021 @ 6:46 PM

    I remembered seeing Dr. King at Villanova and some time with Google brought me here. Thanks very much for this.

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Last Modified: January 17, 2016

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