Oregon State University is marking its 41st annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration this month with a series of events. On Monday, Jan. 16, the annual peace breakfast took  place, which includes the presentation of a number of awards to OSU-affiliated individuals who have made a significant difference to their community in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The following is a list of this year’s award recipients:

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alumni Legacy Award: Established in partnership with the OSU Alumni Association, this award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, and who exemplify and enrich OSU’s values of community, diversity, respect and social responsibility in their broader community and/or organization.

This year’s recipient was Keith Dempsey, '93, M.S. '96, Ph.D. '10. Dempsey is a licensed professional counselor and owner of Dr. Keith Dempsey Counseling and Consulting. He is the past President of the Western Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, and the former Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Counseling at George Fox University, where he was the first African American to receive tenure at the university. 

Oscar Humberto Montemayor Award: Over a three-decade career at Oregon State, the late Oscar Humberto Montemayor served the OSU community with diligence and grace. He was limitlessly dedicated to the success of students. The Oscar Humberto Montemayor Award honors an Oregon State student who embodies Oscar’s ethos of selfless service; steady, strong, considerate leadership; and a trailblazing spirit and heart.

This year’s recipient was Nya Buckner, masters student studying Adult and Higher Education. She graduatedd  with a Bachelors of Science from OSU last June

Frances Dancy Hooks Award: The Frances Dancy Hooks Award was first awarded in 1994 when Frances Dancy Hooks, a longtime civil rights activist, and her husband Reverend Benjamin Hooks, former executive director of the NAACP, spoke at the peace breakfast. The award recognizes Oregon State students, staff or faculty who exemplify Frances Dancy Hooks’ work of building bridges across cultures, showing courage in promoting diversity and proudly “walking the talk.”

This year’s recipients were Janet Nishihara, Executive Director of  the Educational Opportunities Program and Dana Sanchez, associate professor and Oregon State University Extension Wildlife Specialist.

Phyllis S. Lee Award: To honor Phyllis S. Lee, former director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, then-President Edward J. Ray created this award in 2004. It honors an Oregon State community member who exemplifies Phyllis S. Lee’s commitment to social justice and the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.

This year’s recipient was Dorian Smith, director, Dr. Lawrence Griggs Office of Black & Indigenous Student Success.