To emphasize the message of Martin Luther King Jr.s dream, ESPN analyst and former NFL coach Herm Edwards will speak tonight as the main event during the Center for Student Involvements Martin Luther King Jr. week.
Edwards lecture, set to take place in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom at 8 p.m., is sponsored by the University Lecture Series (ULS) and is the first ULS event of the semester.
Edwards is best known for his long career coaching in the NFL, which has spanned more than 20 years and has included serving as assistant head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and head coach for the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Since 2008, Edwards has worked as a media personality for ESPN.
ULS Director Romel Boiser said Edwards coaching experience, along with his other work, will tie in with MLK week, which is sponsored by Student Affairs.
His message would tie in the visions and dreams he has from being a player to being a coach to being an analyst to being a person of the community, and tying it in with the vision and dream MLK had (and) how the experiences of both men can positively affect the individual in the community, he said.
Edwards philanthropy, which includes being named Big Brother of the Year by the Catholic Big Brothers for Boys and Girls in New York, will demonstrate the potential students can achieve in the community, Boiser said.
No matter what demographic you may be, African-American, white or whatever ethnicity, you can do whatever you want because you have all the opportunities in front of you, Boiser said. Its just up to you to take advantage of it.
Jenna Kelly, graduate adviser for Student Life and ULS, said the lecture as a main event of MLK week, will also advertise other MLK week events.
We will also use the lecture to promote the rest of the MLK week events as well,Kelly said.
Edwards will be paid $33,000.
Boiser said ULS chose Edwards because the ULS board felt he had the best ability to get the message of community and service across to students.
Our goal this year was name recognition and substance, he said. We chose him because he is a progressive mind. Hes not going to give the historical MLK lecture What he is going to talk about is the big picture how it can encompass MLKs vision and dream, how it will encompass your life and what you want to do as an individual. Hes finding a way to bridge that gap and make it more relatable.
Boiser said he hopes the lecture will get students more involved in the community.
MLK week is not just a university thing, its a community thing, Boiser said. What Edwards can do is show that connection. No matter who you are, or what you are doing with your life, there is a way to improve the
community. Hopefully students will get that from the lecture.