Fairmont State focuses on the community during MLK Celebration
Fairmont State University students, faculty and staff honored the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with their annual Day of Service on Thursday, January 25. The University partnered with Tygart Valley United Way and coordinated a day of volunteer projects to honor the legacy and values of Dr. King.
“Fairmont State is a public institution. We are a part of the community of Fairmont, the community of Marion County and the State of West Virginia,” said Fairmont State President Mike Davis as he welcomed those in attendance. “We find new ways—not just today but every day we find new ways to serve and new ways to connect. Hopefully, that’s a sign for other folks doing important things to reach out to us and be their go-to place for connections. Today is just one of those instances of engagement and we will continue to find new ways to engage our community.”
Before being bussed to their respective volunteer projects across Fairmont, volunteers enjoyed lunch and heard a speech from keynote speaker and Fairmont State alumnus Marvin Stewart.
“I am delighted and truly honored to be invited back here to my alma mater for such a wonderful occasion. We are here today on the shoulders of one of America’s greatest leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Stewart. “We pause today to not only recognize Dr. King by taking a walk down memory lane, but to stop to remember the legacy that ended on April 4, 1968.”
Stewart is a proud West Virginian. He grew up in Grant Town and is one of seven children born to Charles and Edna Stewart. He graduated from Fairview High School and was the first in his family to graduate college.
He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Fairmont State University in 1975. Stewart continued his education at West Virginia University, earning his Master of Science in Business and Economics.
In 2012, Stewart served as the University’s commencement speaker and recalls it being one of his most memorable moments.
Stewart has dedicated 38 years of service to the United Parcel Service as Human Resource and Employee Relations Manager. Presently, he is President and CEO of Lewis & Louis Professional Cleaning Service which he established in 2021.
After hearing Stewart’s moving speech, participants of Day of Service were bussed to their volunteer projects. This year volunteers helped disassemble displays from the Celebration of Lights at Morris Park, paint at Scott Place Shelter, put together fundraising mailers for the Historic Woodlawn Cemetary and assist with various tasks at the Marion County Humane Society.
“We hope that those who participated in the Day of Service projects continue to explore ways they can serve their community,” said Tygart Valley United Way Community Impact Director Casey Gilbert. “Days of Service like this provide a low-stakes introduction to volunteerism, making it as easy as possible to get involved. The Tygart Valley United Way is always happy to make those introductions for anyone wanting to get out and volunteer.”
While much work was done during this year’s MLK Day of Service projects, Tygart Valley United Way is always looking for helping hands to volunteer at any of their non-profit agencies.