Omar Tyree
Omar Tyree
Image: Penn State

King lecture series begins with best-selling author

Penn State Harrisburg’s 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Lecture Series, “A Legacy of Persistence and Hope,” kicks off Thursday, Feb. 16 with Omar Tyree, New York Times best-selling author, lecturer and literacy advocate. The series, free and open to the public, culminates this fall with an appearance by Maya Angelou.

Tyree will speak at 7:00 p.m. in the Olmsted Building Special Events Room. His works have been published in anthology books, newspapers, and magazines, and featured on national blogs. He has lectured at more than 50 institutions and universities.

Future series presenters include:

  • Michael Ramsdell, speaker and filmmaker
    • Film screening – An Anatomy of Hate: A Dialogue for Hope
    • Thursday, March 15
    • Founder of Under the Hood Productions, an independent film production company, Ramsdell has won awards including Best Screenplay at the Universal Studios Cinema City Film Festival; and has been featured on, NPR, and FOX News. He has screened films and spoken at more than 100 campuses.
  • Eboni Strings, musical group
    • Wednesday, April 11
    • Having performed with such notable artists as Patti Labelle, Diana Ross, and Smokey Robinson, Eboni Strings has performed extensively in Philadelphia and the tri-state area since 1981. The group educates and mentors children in music and provides opportunities in local communities for them to play musical instruments.
  • Craig Welsh, Penn State Harrisburg associate professor of communications and humanities
    • Tuesday, April 17
    • Principal of Go Welsh, a design studio in Lancaster, Welsh’s work has been published in more than 50 publications and has received international awards in advertising and creative design competitions. Welsh founded Society of Design, a non-profit dedicated to education and community service.
  • Maya Angelou
    • Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012
    • A celebrated poet, educator, and civil rights activist, Angelou has published more than 30 best-selling titles, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. A Pulitzer Prize nominee, she received the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, and has received three Grammy Awards. A prominent civil rights activist, she has collaborated with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. and has served on two presidential committees. She has received more than 30 honorary degrees and serves as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.

Presented by the Penn State Harrisburg Diversity and Educational Equity Committee and the Office of Student Affairs, the Commemoration Lecture Series is held annually in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

For information, contact 717-948-6180, visit the series webpage, or email