Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Dean Montrose Streeter was among those who traveled to Washington, D.C., for the unveiling and dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall. In an article in the Finger Lakes Times, Streeter discussed how the plans surrounding the dedication were amended with the arrival of Hurricane Irene and his experience at the events that did take place.
“Now the remembrance of Dr. King will not be confined to the 28 days of February,” Streeter is quoted. “Now, he will be a permanent fixture for generations to come, not just in African American history but in American and world history.”
Streeter joined the Colleges in 2007 as the associate dean of campus safety and student conduct for both Hobart and William Smith. He previously served as assistant dean at Keuka College, director of residence life at Barton College, the assistant dean of admissions at Mary Washington College and the director of multicultural programs at Carson-Newman College. Streeter is an ordained Baptist minister.
The full article follows.
Finger Lakes Times
Local resident helps celebrate MLK Memorial
Michaela Christensen • August 28, 2011
A local resident was one of the thousands of people who traveled to Washington, D.C., this weekend to see the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall today.
Hurricane Irene blew many of their plans away, canceling the formal dedication and cutting short their trip.
“The weather is unfortunate,” said Montrose A. Streeter. “But everything happens for a reason.”
Streeter was supposed to return home this evening, but his flight was moved up due to the incoming storm. He came home Saturday instead. Streeter traveled to the capital this weekend with members of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha.
The African-American fraternity that played a key role in the creation of the memorial.
About 4,000 fraternity members and their family members turned out this weekend to celebrate the memorial and remember Dr. King, even though the official memorial dedication has been postponed to September or October.
“Now the remembrance of Dr. King will not be confined to the 28 days of February,” Streeter said, referring to Black History Month. “Now, he will be a permanent fixture for generations to come, not just in African American history but in American and world history.”
Alpha Phi Alpha is the oldest black fraternity in the U.S. Dr. King joined the fraternity himself when he was a young man, and he later gave the keynote address at the its 50th anniversary banquet in 1956.
Like many other African American fraternities, participation is a life-long commitment.
Streeter, who is now assistant vice president of student affairs at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, joined the Alphas in 1983 when he was an undergraduate student at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Currently, he is an active member of Eta Rho Lambda alumni chapter in Rochester.
The 105-year-old fraternity has been instrumental in the creation of the monument. In 1984, four brothers presented a proposal at a board of directors meeting for the creation of a Martin Luther King Jr. national memorial. Two years later, after Dr. King’s birthday became a national holiday, the idea started gaining momentum.
The weeklong dedication event for the fraternity brothers was supposed to be held Thursday through Sunday afternoon. Saturday’s and Sunday’s events were canceled due to the incoming hurricane. Streeter said the weekend kicked off with a jazz mixer Thursday evening, and the fraternity was still able to have its private ceremony at the memorial Friday morning. Two of Martin Luther King’s children, Martin Luther King III and Bernice Albertine King, gave a speech to the Alphas.
Streeter said Bernice King told attendees that her father’s dream “has not yet been realized” and “there is still work to be done.”
Civil rights pioneer and former U.N. ambassador Andrew Jackson Young also spoke at the Alphas’ private ceremony. He referenced the earthquake earlier this week, which damaged the Washington Monument, as a sign.
“He had a wonderful metaphor for the earthquake,” said Streeter. “He said, ‘It means that we need to shake the moral fibers of this country from the top down and examine our moral principals.'”
Later Friday night, the Alphas attended a “White Tie Affair” at Constitution Hall. The fraternity brothers planned to wear white ties to mimic the attire Dr. King wore to his Nobel Peace Prize dinner in 1964.
Even though the official dedication was postponed, Streeter said it was a weekend to remember.
“We have so many advances in this country because of the work of Martin Luther King,” he said. “It’s incredible to see him join our country’s founders like Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.”
According to the memorial’s website, $114 million has been raised. The goal is to raise $120 million. To make a donation visit www.mlkmemorial.org.
In the photo above, Streeter is pictured with Jesse Allen, president of the Eta Rho Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.