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Community holds vigil at Rice University to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

HOUSTON – A small and intimate crowd gathered at Rice University’s Memorial Chapel to hold a vigil in honor of the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“These things, these matters, these people, they really did forge the way for us. For us to even be able to attend schools like Rice University,” said student Drew Carter.

King was remembered for what he was able to accomplish, what he stood for and his vision for life in America.

A vision he outlined in his famous 1963 speech “I Have a Dream.”

“We just gave our respects to Dr. King,” said student David King. "We try to do things in his memory and sort of reflect on what he did with his life.”

King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. He was just 39 years old but his legacy lives on.

Reginald DesRoches said it is because of leaders like King that he was able to become the first black Dean at Rice University’s George R. Brown School of Engineering.

DesRoches is also set to become the university’s first black Provost starting in July.

“It’s meaningful if you think about the legacy or the history of the university and the fact that only less than 50 years ago when I was born there were no black students at Rice or no black graduates at Rice.”

The nation will celebrate MLK Day Monday. Click here to see the Houston parades scheduled.