Our Story

In 1986, the Association of Black Faculty and Administrators at NYU proposed to the then Chancellor, L. Jay Oliva, that an all-University honors program be named in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This program would support his vision of the "beloved community", a world free of racism, poverty, violence, and war. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars would be among the best and the brightest and would be asked to give back in the form of service to others, making a difference in their lives. 

In 1987, the first group of 16 Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars began their studies in the College of Arts and Science, the Steinhardt School of Education, the Tisch School of the Arts, the Stern School of Business, and the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. These scholars were from California, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Today, Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars are enrolled in all undergraduate divisions of the University, hail from coast to coast, and in May 2020, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars Program graduated its 29th class of students passionate about putting their footprints on all sectors of society and our world.