Compassion the Central Topic at MLK Luncheon

Jackman-award-resize.JPGA cold and snowy morning couldn’t keep Central Methodist University and Fayette from celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as the annual MLK Luncheon highlighted the legacy of compassion left behind by the civil rights leader.

The gathering on January 20 began with lunch, catered by Fresh Ideas, before Brad Dixon, Dean of Students, recognized members of the African American Student Union. Co-sponsoring the event along with the Office of Student Development, AASU chose to honor CMU alumnus Tim Jackman, ’81, with this year’s Lea Tindall Memorial Award.

AASU President Precious Kamudzandu and Vice President Marchya Jackson both spoke to those in attendance about Jackman’s commitment to serving others and willingness to assist their organization in any way possible. His passion for helping others, in the spirit of Dr. King, made him a worthy recipient of the award which honors the legacy of Lealure Tindall, a CMU staff member from 2003 to 2017 and original staff sponsor of AASU.

In accepting the award, Jackman reflected on how special it was to be honored and to receive an award bearing Tindall’s name. Throughout his youth, he and his brothers were often looked after by Tindall and her family, and when he was older, he had the opportunity to work with her in the community.

Jackman also took the time to encourage those in attendance to “think about how much better this world would be if we centered ourselves around people who are different from us and think in different ways than we do,” as he believed Dr. King would. He then closed with a quote from a song he remembered singing at St. Paul United Methodist Church:

“If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show someone he his traveling wrong,
Then my living will not be in vain.”

M-Jackman-speech-resize.JPGFollowing his brother’s recognition, Rev. Mike Jackman, ’79, addressed the crowd as the guest speaker for the event, which he called “a family reunion” because so many of his relatives and Central Methodist family were in attendance.

Jackman quoted from the book of Colossians, Chapter 13, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you have a grievance against one another.”

“I do believe Dr. Martin Luther King had nothing but compassion for his fellow men,” he continued. Jackman took the audience through Dr. King’s life, emphasizing how he had been driven by compassion through everything. “Dr. King had compassion even when he was put to death in Memphis, Tenn. In 1968.”

Jackman also took time to address the impact that Tindall had on his life, both as a young boy and even when he became a pastor. And he related the song previously quoted by his brother to her commitment to CMU.

“’I can help somebody. I can change somebody. I can show somebody how to get along the way a little easier.’ That was the Lea Tindall I knew,” he said.

Mike wrapped up his speech by praising Tim, who he said is “nothing but a gift,” and by sending the audience away with one final lesson from the luncheon’s namesake.

“If there’s anything you can take from the Dr. King meeting today, remember that you, too, need to have compassion. Not only for the person that lives next door, but for the man around the corner. For the man on the east side of town, or the west side of town,” he said. “You see, it doesn’t matter what side of town we’re on, as long as we’re all on God’s side.”

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