In 1986, the Association of Black Faculty and Administrators at New York University proposed that a scholars program be named in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and support his vision of a world free of racism, poverty, violence, and war. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars would not only be among the "best and brightest," but they would also be asked to "give back" in the form of service to others.
In 1987, the first group of 16 Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars began their studies in the College of Arts and Science, the School of Education, the Tisch School of the Arts, the Stern School of Business and the Gallatin School. They were from California, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Today, more than 100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars are enrolled in all eight undergraduate divisions of the University.
King Spirits. In 1997, the first group of King Spirits were named.They are NYU sophomores selected on the basis of a distinguished record of academic achievement, leadership and service, reflecting a dedication to furthering the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King Spirits are appointed for one year, and participate along with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars in the Scholars Program, including the scholars seminar, travel colloquia and community service.