Samuel Proctor, Paul Edward Gray, and Clarence G. Williams, 1981
Rev. Samuel D. Proctor was the first person selected to deliver the newly created Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture at MIT in 1981, "King: What Progress Since the Dream?" At the time, he was a professor in the Graduate School at Rutgers University and Senior Minister at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City. His well-received keynote led to an invitation as opening keynote for the First National Conference on Issues Facing Black Administrators at Predominately White Colleges and Universities, held at MIT in 1982. In 1987, he was once again invited to MIT to deliver the keynote for the 13th Annual MLK Celebration.
Rev. Proctor met Martin Luther King Jr. while giving a lecture at the Crozer Theological Seminary in 1950; they later became colleagues and close friends.