As part of the sponsorship, the college has announced it will award $40,000 in academic talent scholarships to high school students who compete and win in the Lansing Juneteenth Essay Competition. Olivet College Talent Scholarships award students who enrich the campus community through their involvement in talent-based participation opportunities. This marks the first year a college or university has supported the Lansing Juneteenth Celebration with college scholarships at this amount.
In addition, representatives from the Olivet College Gospel Choir will be on hand all three days to meet with prospective students, join in the scholarship award ceremony, participate in the parade and host a joint performance with students from the East Lansing Gospel Choir.
“Olivet College is proud to join the Lansing community in celebrating this important milestone in American history,” said Olivet College President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D. “Since its founding in 1844, Olivet College has always believed an education should be available to anyone, regardless of race, gender, background or socioeconomic circumstances. Still today, the college defines itself by who it includes, not who it excludes. We are proud to support Juneteenth’s message of inclusion and education, and honored to join the city of Lansing in recognizing the freedom and accomplishments of African Americans throughout history.”
The college’s sponsorship of Lansing Juneteenth comes on the heels of Olivet’s partnership with the Lansing Promise, which provides eligible students the opportunity to have an immersive, residential educational experience below the cost of tuition, room and board at Michigan State University. As the capitol region’s private college, Olivet looks to extend opportunities to Lansing students even further by supporting events such as the Juneteenth Celebration.
“It’s wonderful that Olivet College is able to partner with the Juneteenth Committee to celebrate the emancipation of slavery and contribute to the education of our youth for the betterment of our communities,” said Linda Logan, Ph.D., vice president and dean for student life at Olivet College and Progressive Empowerment Education Resource Services (PEERS) board member. “Educating and supporting people of color is part of Olivet College’s history that lives on today. The Lansing Juneteenth and Olivet College partnership is a complementary match, and I am pleased the college has chosen to support the event with such a strong commitment.”
The Lansing Juneteenth Celebration is a project of PEERS 501(c)(3), headquartered at Mask Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. For complete details regarding the event, visit www.lansingjuneteenthcelebration.org.
For more information about Olivet College scholarships and to apply, visit www.OlivetCollege.edu or call the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19 as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.
Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings.
In June, 2005, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed legislation officially designating the third Saturday in June as Juneteenth National Freedom Day. Michigan was the 18th state to officially recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday.