Andrew Young, the former Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations, Georgia congressman and mayor of Atlanta, and Dr. Robert Green, the author of the Civil Rights era retrospective, “At the Crossroads of Fear and Freedom,” will be on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. David Arlington Talbot, the first African-American professor to serve at Texas A&M University-Commerce (then East Texas State University).
Young and Green are veterans of the Civil Rights movement of the late 1960s and served as close aides to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during this critical period in American history. Young is the former executive director of King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Green is the organization’s former education director.
The schedule of events planned for April 18 begins at 11 a.m. in Ferguson Hall. This will be the final Sam Rayburn Speaker Series event of this academic year. Dr. Robert Green, will open the event with an introduction of ambassador Andrew Young who will then deliver the keynote address. A&M-Commerce President Ray Keck pointed out the immense impact this generation of civil rights champions made on both the national and local levels, and stated, “Ambassador Young is one of the towering figures of American public life. His work, his associations, and his memory embrace the people and events central to the last sixty years of our nation’s story. We are grateful to have him join us as we honor the life and work of Dr. David Arlington Talbot. These two men were citizens first, putting service to others and to the nation above personal gain. On April 18th, 2017, our students will behold stellar examples of lives best lived and America best served. “
Following a break for lunch, Young and Green will join President Keck, friends and family of Dr. Talbot and special guests for a ceremony on the grounds of the university’s Hall of Languages Building at 2:30 p.m. The Hall of Languages is one of the campus’ oldest and most iconic buildings and originally served as the college library. The dedication ceremony will feature an address by ambassador Young and the personal reflections of Dr. Paul Zelhart, a close friend and colleague of Dr. Talbot, and James Talbot, the son of Dr. Talbot. The Hall of Languages will then be officially renamed the D. Arlington Talbot Building in an unveiling ceremony that will close the day’s events. Dr. Zelhart welcomed the opportunity to recognize the remarkable contributions of his friend, and stated, “Dr. David Arlington Talbot was the perfect person to be the first African-American faculty member at this university. A true humanitarian, Dr. Talbot’s devotion to the betterment of all through education and social justice, his lifelong commitment to civil rights, and his participation in the struggles in Little Rock, Arkansas prepared him well for his new role, the peaceful and successful integration of this institution.”
Dr. David Talbot joined the faculty of East Texas State University in 1968 as the institution’s first African-American professor. He also served as Special Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action, as a professor in the Department of Counseling and Guidance, and as the Director of the Counseling Center. He additionally planned, organized and directed both a Multi-Cultural Teacher Training Institute and an Inter-Cultural Living Experience.