Johns Hopkins University Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This holiday weekend celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday started Friday with the annual ceremony at Johns Hopkins.

For 35 years, Johns Hopkins has honored the legacy of Dr. King. Since 1982, Johns Hopkins has commemorated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, bringing messengers of equality and service to encourage students, faculty, and staff at the university and hospital, to focus on the needs of others. Friday was no exception.

“You don’t have to have a lot of honorary doctorates or Nobel prize to be of service. Service is in our DNA,” newly retired, former Senator Barbara Mikulski.

“When the opportunity came to come to Johns Hopkins to become part of this faculty, I said you betcha. I’ve got my Hopkins blue on and I’m ready to go,” she says.

Mikulski’s remarks come the weekend before she takes a faculty position at Johns Hopkins University. And it’s one of the hospital’s own who joined the ranks of keynote speakers today.

“Can you believe it? I’m actually here. Even my own kids were surprised. When I told them I was selected to lead the department of surgery they said really? You got the job? I said, yeah, I got the job,” says Surgeon-in-Chief and Department of Surgery Director, Dr. Robert Higgins is the first African-American department head in the history of the hospital.

Dr. Higgins takes pride in honoring Dr. King.

“It’s clear that he was the moral compass for all the things we want to do in our country in terms of raising the bar, serving all those who are underserved, making a place for everybody to have an opportunity to grown and develop,” says Dr. Higgins

Dr. King’s legacy is one to hold on to during challenging times.

The rendition of “Happy Birthday” song performed at the event was written by Stevie Wonder, who has also been a keynote speaker at the Hopkins Commemoration.

Six recipients received Martin Luther King community service awards.

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