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Best-selling education author Eddie R. Cole to speak at MLK Breakfast

January 13, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am

Celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Furman University will host best-selling author and UCLA professor Eddie R. Cole, who will speak at the MLK Community Breakfast on Friday, Jan. 13, at 8 a.m. in the Melvin and Dollie Younts Conference Center on campus.

The public is invited to attend. Tickets are $50 per person or $400 for a table of eight. Proceeds from the event fund a scholarship honoring Joseph A. Vaughn, the first African American to enroll at Furman.

Cole is associate professor of higher education and organizational change at UCLA. His talk draws from his book about college presidents’ historic role in shaping racial policies and practices both inside and outside of the educational sphere.

“The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom,” (Princeton University Press, 2020) is described as “groundbreaking,” “essential” and “required reading” by reviewers including The New York Times’ Ibram X. Kendi, who dubbed the book “a stunning and ambitious origins story… embedded with breathtaking narratives recovered from meticulous research.”

Cole’s work has been featured in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He has appeared as a commentator on BBC World News and C-Span’s “Book TV.”

In 2021 and 2022, Cole was named by Education Week as one of “the top university-based scholars in the U.S. who did the most to shape educational practice and policy.” He received the 2018 Early Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and in 2017, he was recognized by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation as a professor poised “to play a significant role in shaping American higher education.”

Cole is a recipient of the 2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards for scholars working in critical areas of education research.

A full schedule of the program follows:

2023 MLK Community Breakfast
Melvin and Dollie Younts Conference Center
Jan. 13, 2023
8 a.m. Breakfast/8:30 a.m. Program

Welcome, Elizabeth Davis, Furman president
Invocation, Stacey Mills, pastor, Mountain View Baptist Church, executive director, REEM
Musical selection, Furman University Gospel Ensemble
Occasion, Jada Walker ’24, president, Furman News Channel, vice president, First Gen, treasurer, Furman Chapter NAACP
Introduction of speaker, Cynthia King, associate dean, Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence, professor, communication studies
Keynote speaker, Eddie Cole, associate professor, higher education and organizational change, UCLA
Acknowledgements, Chandra Dillard, director, community relations
Sending forth, Melanie C. Gordon, assistant university chaplain
Musical selection, Furman Singers

For more information or to register, visit: https://alumni.furman.edu/MLK2023. Furman faculty, staff and students may contact the Furman Alumni office to register at 864-294-3464, and [email protected]. For media inquiries, please contact Clinton Colmenares in the News and Media Strategy office at 919-548-6493, and [email protected].


January 13, 2023
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Event Category:


Melvin and Dollie Younts Conference Center
3300 Poinsett Hwy
Greenville, SC 29613


Amy Joye