College campuses across New York will observe the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tonight by ringing bells and taking to social media. The King family has called on college campuses, places of worship and other institutions across the country to toll their bells 39 times at 6:01 p.m. CST (7:01 p.m. EST) to honor Dr. King and commemorate the number of years he lived.

“The City University of New York is proud to participate in the tolling of the bells across our college campuses in observance of the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr., who fought courageously for fairness, social justice, and educational opportunity for students of all races, religions and national backgrounds, regardless of means,” said Chancellor James B. Milliken.

“On the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, we are especially reminded of his legacy, his influence on civil rights, and unwavering stance on championing diversity,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “By tolling their campus bells, participating SUNY campuses come together to honor the influence Dr. King has left on institutions of higher education. Through his legacy, SUNY campuses and campuses across the nation have forever transformed how we discuss and educate our students on diversity, inclusion, and equity. I applaud Governor Cuomo’s office in leading the charge on this statewide initiative so we can all pay homage to Dr. King.”

Perhaps nowhere will the memorial be more poignant than at Queens College, where the bells will peal at the Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner Clock Tower, which honors three young civil rights workers who were murdered while registering voters during Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964. At the time of their death, Andrew Goodman was a Queens College student. Michael Schwerner was a student at Cornell University and James Chaney volunteered with the Congress of Racial Equality.

City and State University of New York campuses that will toll bells include:

  • Binghamton University
  • Brooklyn College
  • City College
  • The College at Brockport
  • Empire State College
  • Farmingdale State College
  • Lehman College
  • Maritime College
  • Medgar Evers College
  • Monroe Community College
  • Morrisville State College
  • Nassau Community College
  • Queens College
  • SUNY Albany
  • SUNY Delhi
  • SUNY Fredonia
  • SUNY Maritime
  • SUNY Morrisville
  • SUNY New Paltz
  • SUNY Oneonta
  • SUNY Oswego
  • SUNY Potsdam

Other campuses without bells are commemorating the occasion by broadcasting bells over their intercom, including:

  • Hunter College

About CUNY

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 272,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies. For more information, visit

About SUNY

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit