Published on 25/01/2023
MLK 50 anniversary
Students' Union President, Lord Mayor, Vice-Chancellor Aleks Subic and Bishop Anne
  • Martin Luther King Multi-Faith Centre celebrates 50th anniversary
  • Vice-Chancellor Professor Aleks Subic hosts faith and cultural leaders from around the city
  • Aston University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion reaffirmed.

Aston University welcomed senior figures from across the city to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the University’s Martin Luther King Multi-Faith Centre (MLK Centre) on campus Monday 23 January 2023  

The event celebrated the rich diversity of Aston University’s community, which has been supported for the last five decades by the MLK Centre.  Aston University has the highest percentage of BAME students in the country, reflecting the multicultural and ethnically rich city of Birmingham in which it is based.  

Leaders from across the city joined the event, including Lord Mayor Maureen Cornish, Bishop Anne Hollinghurst (Bishop of Aston), Bhai Sahib (Mukhi-Sweader, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha), Mohammad Asad (Lead Imam, Birmingham Central Mosque) and the Most Revered Bernard Longley (Archbishop of Birmingham).  

The Martin Luther King Chaplaincy Team is made up of chaplains drawn from different religions and denominations who work together in an atmosphere of inter-religious understanding and cooperation. Working alongside other support services in the University, their purpose is to assist all staff and students whether they profess a religious belief or not.  

The MLK Centre strives to strengthen the bonds of understanding and fellowship that already exist between believers, those who hold no creed, and those who are seeking answers to the great questions of life. In a spirit of openness and dialogue, it aims to foster both religious and cultural identity and diversity whilst maintaining the highest regard for the lives of all those involved with Aston University.

Speaking at the event, Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, said:

“Celebrating diversity and making our society an inclusive, equal and tolerant community is something I feel very passionate about.  

“From its creation, the MLK Centre had a focus on a number of key pillars: support for people of all faiths and none, support for international students, support for considered political discussion, support for the community and support of reasoned and varied debate. This reflected both the life and ministry of Martin Luther King himself, but also the forward-thinking and inclusive university that Aston had already become, back in the early 70s. 

“This ethos continues today and I am proud that we have this centre, which represents so much, set in the heart of our campus.”  

The event, which was preceded by fireworks organised by Aston Students’ Union to celebrate the Lunar New Year, included contributions from two of the groups which have regularly used or been supported by the MLK Centre.  Members of the University’s award-winning Bhangra Society created a celebratory atmosphere with an energetic dance routine at the start of the evening, followed by an equally upbeat performance by members of the First Love Society, a Christian fellowship group of Aston University students.   

Notes to editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

In 2022 Aston University was ranked in the top 25 of the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7557 745416 or email: 


Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
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Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5159

Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager
  •  07825 342091

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