Polk State’s MLK Luncheon is Jan. 14; Free and Open to the Public

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State College’s 11th annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will take place Jan. 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the Polk State Winter Haven Student Center, 999 Ave. H N.E.

The theme of this year’s luncheon will be “Dreams Begin Here.”

“I love the theme of this year’s event because it honors Dr. King’s dreams of equality, brotherhood, freedom and justice, which he expressed so eloquently in his ‘I Have a Dream Speech,’” said Polk State Director of Equity and Diversity Valparisa Baker.

“The theme also honors the dreams that Polk State College helps make come true every single day. Students come to us with dreams of higher degrees or professional opportunities, and we help them make those dreams reality.”

The luncheon’s guest speaker will complement the theme nicely, Baker said.

Anthony R. James is a Polk State Distinguished Alumnus. Prior to his retirement in 2008, James was executive vice president of Atlanta-based Southern Company, an energy company with operations in six southeastern states. James was also president of the Shared Services Group, which provided services to Southern Company’s four electric utilities.

James also served as president and CEO of Savannah Electric and Power Company from 2001-2005. During that time, he was selected as a Black Engineer of the Year by U.S. Black Engineer magazine and Career Communications Group.

“Mr. James started here at Polk State and went on to achieve his educational and professional goals. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of South Florida and rose to high-ranking positions within his field. He is proof that Polk State can be the first step to your dreams, and we are thrilled to have him join us for this event,” Baker said.

The event is free and open to the public, but attendees should RSVP to Nixsa Cruz DelValle at ndelvalle@polk.edu.