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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Education

January 15, 2024


To the Campus Community:


As we reflect on the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, we find prescient his thoughts on the purpose of education.


In 1947, Rev. King authored an article for the student newspaper at Morehouse College in which he asserted that education should seek to inculcate, among other goals, two broad purposes: critical thinking and moral development. He wrote:


Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for oneself is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half-truths, prejudices, and propaganda...


To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.


Dr. King concludes:


We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.


At UC Merced we strive to educate students not just for personal and professional success, but for fulfilling lives that serve a higher purpose through advancing civil society and contributing to social good.


We hope, not just today but every day, to hold to the path that Dr. King laid out for us to follow.


Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.


Remarks and Addresses