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KNOXVILLE — “Great Minds Don’t Think Alike, Great Minds Think for Themselves” is this year’s theme for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Anton Reece, director of student activities at UT, will be the keynote speaker at 3 p.m., Monday, Jan. 21, in the University Center Auditorium. The program, presented by the Black Cultural Programming Committee, also will include interpretive dancers.

Reece, who has spoken to more than 600 audiences over the past 17 years, will discuss the theme “Unveiling the Cloak of Ignorance” and challenge students and young people to carry on the legacy of King by being leaders and pushing for positive change.

A native of Barbados, Reece earned his bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and master’s degree in counseling at Eastern Kentucky University. As a broadcaster, he worked for the Voice of Barbados Radio and Caribbean Broadcasting Television news.

In his second career in college administration, Reece became the first minority affairs coordinator and counselor in the University of Kentucky Community College System in 1990. He was named the first African-American dean of student affairs in Paducah Community College history in 1999.

Reece joined the UT staff four years ago and is working on his doctoral degree in education psychology with a concentration in collaborative learning.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information and for disability accommodations, contact the Black Cultural Center (865) 974-4738, or visit

UT students are invited to participate in TeamVOLS’ annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19. Students will be bused to service projects throughout Knoxville, including the Knoxville Botanical Gardens, Northhaven Healthcare Center, South Knoxville Beautification, SOAR Youth Ministries, Thackston School, Ronald McDonald House, Catholic Charities and the Vestal Boys & Girls Club.

The students will return to campus for lunch and a presentation about King’s legacy of service by Stan Bowie, associate professor of social work. Students who want to participate should sign up in the TeamVOLS office in Room 315A University Center or e-mail

No classes will be held and university offices will be closed Jan. 21 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,

Chutney Walton, Black Cultural Programming Committee, (865) 974-9945,