On Friday, Mercer University marked 50 years since its campus opened to students of all races, and as a new generation joined to commemorate that legacy, civil rights leader Andrew Young delivered the keynote speech.
Young said in order to make a difference in the community, you must start with one thing. "I think Michael Jackson said it best. 'Start with the man in the mirror.' And what I've found is that when I get serious about something, when I start trying to understand it a little more deeply and I start changing, people and things around me start changing," he said.
"It just happened that in the '60s, a number of us went through these kinds of changes," added Young.
Mercer Sophomore Jaleel Menifee was enamored with Young's speech.
"I liked that he didn't stress too much about what we came from, but more so where we have to go to. And he brought a lot of key factors like forgiveness, a lot of key factors about mercy, and helping one another and being each others brothers," said Menifee.
The former U.S. Congressman and Mayor of Atlanta said 21st century leadership is being developed in small liberal arts colleges.
"And if you want to have an impact on the future, you've got to go where there are serious student leaders. When you look at the civil rights movement it was not the big universities that produce the civil rights movement, it was Fisk and Clark Atlanta University, Spelman, Morehouse," said Young.
Young recalled life in 1963.
"We had been through the movement in Birmingham for, well, from almost January of 1963 right on through 'til we left to organize for the March on Washington. And then three weeks after the March on Washington, we were called back to the bombings of the church. And there was still things going on in Savannah, in St. Augustine, Danville, Virginia. So the movement never stopped. And the next highlight was in the next year when the civil rights bill was being passed," said Young.