This February, we look back on the individuals, initiatives and dreams that formed a path for the Muhlenberg we love today—and the Muhlenberg we hope and strive for in years to come. Our four-part Black History Month series honors the past, celebrates the present and dreams for the future of Muhlenberg's diverse community.

A Commitment to Social Justice

As the academic year opened in September 1963, the editorial page of the Muhlenberg Weekly declared the responsibility of the College to acknowledge and promote the importance of the civil rights movement sweeping the country.

As Muhlenberg students, our primary concern should be to determine what part we can play in this social revolution and then to become actively engaged in the struggle….[O]ur de facto isolation...does not give us license to ignore the basic problem; instead we must strive all the more to decide upon and play our role. We, the students of America, must be the leaders, not the followers in this crucial area of civil rights.

This prescient editorial, which goes on to acknowledge the national ethos of protests and activism while encouraging personal education, local volunteerism, and the bringing of civil rights speakers to campus, reflects almost exactly what Muhlenberg’s archival and oral record tells us. In spite of the College’s regional and ethnic isolation, in spite of academic rigor and social involvements, many students hungered to broaden their awareness of events and problems outside the boundaries of campus. Then, as now, Muhlenberg was a place where conversations could be had—sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes messy, but always formative. The very essence of a liberal arts education.

A Commitment to Social Justice

Welcoming off-campus perspectives

Campus advocates for social justice

Effecting change in our local community

Challenging perspectives and exploring ethics