published Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Bryan College service day marks Martin Luther King, Jr., Day observance

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    Bryan College senior Trevor Haught hammers a bracket into the pavement, at the Women's Care Center in downtown Dayton, Tenn., on Monday morning. He and fellow student Eathan Rethmeier, along with a crew from Toliver Construction, built a handicap ramp. About 700 faculty, staff and studentsfrom Bryan College participated in the eighth annual M.L. King work day in Rhea and nearby counties. Photo by Kimberly McMillian
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DAYTON, Tenn. -- For Bryan College senior Trevor Haught, helping build a handicap-access ramp at the Women's Care Center in downtown Dayton just came naturally.

Haught, from Belgium, said he grew up with a family who worked with missions so working on the ramp as part of the college's annual M.L. King work day is nothing new. He said he has helped every year with the annual work day "and it's been great."

The college began the community work day tradition in 2005 under President Stephen D. Livesay.

In an email, Livesay said having such an outlet to "give back to the community and support it" was the service mission that Martin Luther King Jr. valued and advocated to others.

Organizers said the 70 scheduled projects were focused on organizations, including churches, children's homes, nursing homes, senior centers and libraries and on elderly residents to help with yards or housework.

Participants spread throughout Rhea and neighboring counties, and projects included the handicap-ramp work at the Women's Care Center, cleaning classrooms and pews at First Baptist Church in Dayton and painting projects at area churches and Oxford Graduate School.

In Cleveland, Tenn., students and teachers discussed King's legacy Monday in programs across the Lee University campus. This is the seventh year such discussions have been held, officials said.

"The number of class offerings has continued to grow, as has the number of community guests attending our lectures," said Michael Laney, a faculty member who is one of the organizers.

Bryan history major Olivia Eanes, who helped to categorize Civil War memorabilia at the Scopes Museum inside the Rhea County Courthouse, said she plans to do an internship with the county's historical society this semester.

Haught said he would continue to work on other projects throughout the year with Bryan's Students in Service program.

Danielle Rebman, the college's director for faith and mission, said the Students in Service program allows students to follow up on or continue unfinished King Day projects so recipients don't have to wait a whole year for the work to be completed.

Staff writer Randall Higgins contributed to this story.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@ bellsouth.net.

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