Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s spirit was alive and well as alumni from his alma mater came together to celebrate his legacy. Local graduates from the all-male, historically Black Morehouse College held their annual King Day memorial breakfast and fundraiser this past Saturday.

Dozens of members of the Morehouse Manhattan Alumni Association (MMAA) and supporters of the college packed Ginny’s Supper Club in the cellar of Harlem’s Red Rooster restaurant for the annual event, now in its 23rd year. Among those who spoke at the event were Harlem Councilwoman Inez Dickens and Rep. Charles Rangel, whose son is a graduate of Morehouse.

The Rev. Steven Eugene Carter, who serves as senior pastor of Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Brooklyn, was the keynote speaker at the breakfast. Carter is a 1998 graduate of Morehouse and discussed leaving a legacy in life similar to King’s. Attendees were also treated to performances from Morehouse alums violinist Matthew Morrison and vocalist James Davis Jr.

“The turnout was excellent and the speakers were great,” said MMAA President Devon Snipes. “We usually have this event on the King holiday, but we know the inauguration is going on and out of respect for that event, we wanted to make sure people had the opportunity to celebrate that any way they wanted, so we moved this event up a week.”

This year, the alumni awarded their first Dreamers Award, given to the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, which was accepted by fellow Morehouse alum the Rev. Nicholas Richards. The breakfast serves as a fundraiser for current students from New York City who are attending the college located in Atlanta.

King graduated from Morehouse College in 1948, earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He entered the school at the age of 15 as an early admission student. Students at Morehouse College are celebrating the King holiday with a series of events, including a candlelight vigil and musical performances on campus.