It’s fitting that a pastor opens Dartmouth’s annual celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the Baptist minister who delivered a historic civil rights lecture at the College in 1962.
A pastor of House of the Lord Church in Washington, D.C., Leah Daughtry ’84 will give the talk sponsored by the Rockefeller Center, “Words & Their Consequences: Civil Discourse in 21st Century” today at 4 p.m. The lecture will stress the importance of “elegant civil discourse” and “how people should think about the impact of their words, their behaviors, and their actions.”
Dartmouth’s two-week MLK celebration features a range of talks, performances, and spirited gatherings, including a multi-faith celebration on Sunday at Rollins Chapel, which Daughtry will also attend.
Daughtry is a highly accomplished political strategist. After her successful organization of the 2008 Democratic National Convention (DNC) as CEO, she was tapped to lead the 2016 DNC event in Philadelphia. “You’re really kind of building a small city,” Daughtry told NPR in December.
In a visit to the College in 2010, the former government and African American studies major reflected on her liberal arts education at Dartmouth. “I learned the value of educational proficiency and technical excellence along with practical experience and human compassion,” she said. “The best leaders bring all these qualities with an equal measure of joy, wonder, and passion to their lives and their work."
Daughtry remains a loyal, engaged alumna. She has served on the Rockefeller Center's Board of Visitors since 2004; she is a prominent member of the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association; and she will chair her 35th Dartmouth Reunion in 2018.