Chancellor King and the SUNY Board of Trustees Statement on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 15, 2024

"In the decades that have passed since the tragic day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, the dream for America that he proclaimed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial has yet to be fully achieved. The non-violence he taught and preached and the equality for which he fought and suffered are messages we still must carry and standards we still must aspire to as we honor his legacy by striving to create a more inclusive, equitable nation where everyone has a seat at the table.

"Dr. King once said, 'Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.' Our diversity makes us stronger, not least because it prepares students for careers and lives in a diverse and complicated world. We are likewise steadfast in our commitment to ensuring SUNY is an engine of upward mobility, fulfilling Dr. King’s entwined visions of education and economic opportunity.

"On this national holiday celebrating Dr. King, SUNY recommits itself to living his legacy by making its communities places of peace, justice, equity, opportunity, acceptance and love, where all New Yorkers, and all people, can claim their place and thrive."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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Holly Liapis
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