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Dr. Robert Quarles ’12 announced as keynote speaker for WVWC Martin Luther King Jr. Day Dinner

BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – West Virginia Wesleyan College alum and former director of multicultural affairs Dr. Robert ‘Robby’ Quarles ‘12, will be the keynote speaker at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Dinner to be held Monday, Jan. 15.

Quarles is a dedicated higher education administrator with over a decade of experience in crafting transformative experiences for students. Over the past six years, he has delivered impactful presentations and led retreats at universities and organizations nationwide. Recently, Quarles served as the keynote speaker for the ‘Stronger Chapters, Stronger Councils’ multicultural student organization conference at the University of Pittsburgh & Carnegie Mellon and the Student Leadership Conference at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

An alum and former staff member at WV Wesleyan College, Quarles excelled as the Director of Multicultural Programs and Services. During his five-year tenure, he implemented sustainable programming for multicultural students, resulting in increased engagement, enrollment and retention. Notably, he played a pivotal role in establishing the Bridges to Belmont program at Belmont University, serving as the Student Support Specialist.

As a first-generation college student himself, Dr. Quarles is deeply committed to facilitating the college experience, not only for students but also for their families. Currently, he serves as the Dean of Student Affairs for South University, overseeing the Richmond and High Point Campuses.

Laurie Goux, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, said, “The King Holiday is significant to many people around the globe paying close attention to liberation, justice and beginning with nonviolence which equals love.”

Aligning with the King Center, the 2024 theme is The Beloved Community “It is Up to Me.”

The dinner, held to honor the life, legacy and impact of King, is being organized by West Virginia Wesleyan’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and will be in the side dining room of the French See Dining Hall beginning at 5 p.m. The menu catered by Aladdin Food Service will include slow-roasted roast beef, roasted turkey, gravy, buttery mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, country-style green beans, California veggie bow-tie pasta, rolls and salads. Dessert will be a South African malva cake and vanilla ice cream. Guests will pay at the door: $12.65 per community member and $9.33 for staff or faculty.

There will also be a community luncheon on Sunday, Jan. 14 in Chambers Lounge, located in Martin Religious Center behind Wesley Chapel, at 2:30 p.m. hosted by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and facilitated by the Rev. Jeremiah Jasper (Pastor of Woodford Memorial United Methodist Church, Elkins, West Virginia). The luncheon will consist of a discussion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s sermon “The Drum Major Instinct”. The luncheon is open to clergy and laity who seek to engage in conversation as it relates to the Church being called to serve. To RSVP by January 10, call 304-473-8163.

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