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Dr. John Bakke Will Receive MLK Award April 4 at U of M
For release: March 28, 2006
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The University of Memphis will present Dr. John Bakke with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award at a ceremony April 4 at 1 p.m. in the University Center Faulkner Lounge. The award recognizes an individual whose activities exemplify non-violent leadership in the pursuit of social justice and human rights.

Bakke is a professor emeritus of the U of M's Department of Communication, where he served from 1967 to 1999, including nine years as chair. He developed and taught courses related to political communication, rhetoric, and media criticism, and African-American studies, as well as honors seminars in popular culture. He also was the principal architect for the University-wide oral communication requirement and the communication Ph.D. program, for which the Tennessee State Communication Association named him Communication Educator of the Year.

Bakke's varied research interests ranged from Edmund Burke to Elvis Presley, and he has lectured and published on Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike. He has contracted with Lexington Books to publish a series of essays that will include the Memphis strike and the historically significant political campaigns in which he has played a part.

Bakke has served as a communication consultant in more than 100 campaigns, many for minority candidates. Local candidates he has advised include Mike Osborn, Harold Ford Sr., Pat Halloran, Bill Morris, Don Sundquist, Jim Rout, Harold Ford Jr., A C Wharton, Mark Luttrell, Mike Kernell, and Carol Chumney. He also served as political analyst for WREG-TV from 1979-1994.

Bakke received his B.A. from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and advanced degrees from the University of Iowa. The College of Communication and Fine Arts has established a scholarship fund in Bakke's honor, and his department sponsors an annual lectureship in his name.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship also will be presented at the ceremony. The 2006 recipient is junior Bridgett Stigger.

The event is sponsored by African and African-American Studies and the Office of Diversity.

For more information, call 901-678-3550.

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