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Florida Tech Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. at Community Event Thursday

University Will Bestow Bridge Builder, Pioneer Awards  

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Institute of Technology will celebrate the life and achievements of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, in the Hartley Room of the Denius Student Center on the university’s Melbourne campus.

Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay will join other university and community leaders at the free public event, hosted by the Florida Tech Alumni Association.

The agenda includes a presentation of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech by orator Leonard Ross, a keynote address by Bishop Merton L. Clark, senior pastor, Truth Revealed Ministries, and the presentation of the university’s Julius Montgomery Pioneer Award and Dr. Harvey L. Riley Bridge Builder Award.

Carl Finerson will be the recipient of the Pioneer Award, named for Florida Tech’s first African-American student. A St. Louis, Missouri, native now living in West Melbourne, Finerson served for 22 years in the U.S. Air Force before retiring in 1981 as a master sergeant.

A graduate of Brevard Community College and Rolling College, Finerson worked for 28 years at Computer Sciences Raytheon at Patrick Air Force Base, where he served as the manager of CSR logistics.

His impact may have been even greater in the community. For 14 years, Finerson served as president of the South Brevard Branch of the NAACP, where he helped spark key initiatives such as quarterly meetings with the superintendent of Brevard Public Schools, regular meetings with the Melbourne City Manager and Chief of Police, and comprehensive crime reduction efforts.

Finerson co-founded Melbourne Against Drugs, or MAD, and was one of the creators of the Melbourne Police Community Relations Council.

Married to Shirley T. Finerson with whom he has seven children, Finerson is also a member of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, where he has served on the Board of Trustees and as a member of the Financial Committee.

Kendall Moore will be presented the Rev. Harvey L. Riley Bridge Builder Award, which recognizes success in community activism and improvement. A Brevard County native and former Rockledge City Council member, Moore has crafted a distinguished legal career.

After graduating from Morehouse College and earning his law degree at University of Florida, Moore served in several capacities for Lockheed Martin Corp. in Washington, D.C., and Miami. He then returned to Brevard County, where he is currently managing partner of The Moore Law Group PLLC and principal of Space Coast Strategy, a government relations and political consulting firm.

The recipient of several awards, including the United Way Bridge Builder and 4 Under 40, Moore has made an impact well beyond his legal accomplishments. He has served as chairman for several community organizations, including the Brevard County Charter Review Commission, LEAD Brevard and the Tourism Development Council.

Moore is married to Dr. Kelley Moore, with whom he has two children.

RSVPs to the event are requested as space is limited. Please RSVP to Stephanie Bacon at sbacon@fit.edu or by calling 321-674-7190.

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