On Saturday, Nov. 12 the United States Navy shall christen the USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE-13) – a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo/ammunition ship, named in honor of the College’s namesake -World War II veteran and civil rights icon – Medgar Wiley Evers (1925-1963) at the General Dynamics shipyard in San Diego, California. Dr. Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of Medgar Evers and the ship’s sponsor, will ceremonially name the vessel by breaking the tradional bottle of champagne against its hull.
“Medgar Wiley Evers defended the freedoms and liberties of all Americans while serving as an army officer abroad and as a dedicated civil rights leader at home,” said Medgar Evers College President William L. Pollard, who will be attending the august occasion. “The College is proud that the United States Navy has chosen to recognize the legacy of this great man. I am proud that the College I serve bears his name.”
The USNS Medgar Evers continues in the Lewis and Clark-class tradition of honoring renowned pioneers and explorers. Medgar Wiley Evers was a tireless advocate for racial quality, leading efforts to secure the right to vote for all African-Americans and to integrate public facilities, schools, and restaurants. On June 12, 1963, the “Man from Mississippi” was assassinated in the driveway of his home yet his legacy shines on.
About the USNS Medgar Evers
The USNS Medgar Evers will be a combat logistics force ship that will help the Navy maintain a worldwide forward presence by delivering ammunition, food, fuel, and other dry cargo to U.S. and allied ships at sea. As part of Military Sealift Command’s Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force, Medgar Evers will be designated as a United States Naval Ship (USNS) and will be crewed by 124 civil service mariners and 11 Navy sailors. The ship is designed to operate independently for extended periods at sea, can carry a helicopter, is 689 feet in length, has an overall beam of 106 feet, has a navigational draft of 30 feet, displaces approximately 42,000 tons, and is capable of reaching a speed of 20 knots using a single-shaft, diesel-electric propulsion system.
Medgar Evers College was founded in 1970 through the efforts from educators and community leaders in central Brooklyn. The College is named after Medgar Wiley Evers, a Mississippi-born black civil rights activist who was assassinated on June 12, 1963. The College is divided into four schools: The School of Business; The School of Professional and Community Development; The School of Liberal Arts and Education; and The School of Science, Health, and Technology. Through these Schools, the College offers 29 associate and baccalaureate degree programs, as well as certificate programs in fields such as English, Nursing, and Accounting. Medgar Evers College also operates several co-curricular and external programs and associated centers such as the Male Development and Empowerment Center, the Center for Women’s Development, the Center for Black Literature, and The DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy.