I invite everyone in the Northeastern community to join me at our annual convocation in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sponsored by the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute.

Through spoken and sung word, we will recall and re-commit ourselves to the life and legacy of a man who courageously advanced civil rights in the United States and championed human rights here and around the world. I believe that universities have an opportunity, even an obligation, to reflect what the world can be, not what it is. Northeastern’s diversity is a source of strength and a model for society.

At this year’s convocation, we will hear from a distinguished Northeastern graduate, Dr. Winslow Sargeant, who has been nominated by President Obama to be Chief Counsel for Advocacy in the Small Business Administration. Dr. Sargeant’s accomplishments are impressive. Since 2006 he has served as Managing Director in the technology practice at Venture Investors. He is a proven entrepreneur. With seed money from Cisco Systems, he co-founded Aanetcom, a semiconductor company acquired by PMC-Sierra. Having held senior engineering positions at Lucent, AT&T Bell Labs and IBM, Dr. Sargeant is a corporate leader. In addition to serving on corporate and academic boards, he is an advisor at the National Science Foundation. In 2003, Northeastern awarded him the Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award.

Please join me on Wednesday, January 13th at 11:45 in Blackman Auditorium. Following the program, there will be a reception and question and answer session with Dr. Sargeant at the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute.

Joseph E. Aoun