Marché Fleming-Randle honored with Drum Major Award

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Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement Marché Fleming-Randle was honored Tuesday with the Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major Innovation Service Award, according to a university news release. The award “recognizes volunteers who perform extraordinary everyday acts of service focusing on innovative approaches to serving our students.”

The U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, in collaboration with the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for African-Americans, presented the award to Fleming-Randle in Washington, D.C. Tuesday.

The name for the award comes from a speech King gave in 1968 called the “Drum Major Instinct.” King told churchgoers what he would like said at his funeral: “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major. Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”

Fleming-Randle and other leaders in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement were not available Wednesday to provide details of the work and service Fleming-Randle had done to receive the award.

Service may include “outreach, mission-driven service, volunteerism, ministry, etc., focused on innovative educational experiences for students,” the news release said.

“Fleming-Randle was nominated for upholding the legacy of MLK Jr. and the impact that she has made on students and individuals in our community,” according to the statement.

Fleming-Randle, who came to Wichita State in 2007, was appointed as WSU’s first vice president for diversity and community engagement last August.

The position “broadly defines diversity to respond to the needs of federally defined minorities, older students, veterans, students with disability, and other variations reflective of the broad society,” President John Bardo said in a July news release.

In addition to her leadership roles, Fleming-Randle teaches ethnic and women studies and is a frequent keynote speaker on diversity and education at community and national events.

The Sunflower will provide an updated story when Fleming-Randle is able to be contacted about the award.