Erie resident Luther R. Manus, Jr., will be honored for his lifetime of service to others on Thursday, Feb. 27, during Edinboro University’s 24th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Luncheon.
President Guiyou Huang will present Edinboro University’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Award to Manus in recognition of his selfless contributions to the Erie region, distinguished military career and steadfast commitment to education and social equality.
The ceremony and luncheon are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. in Van Houten Dining Hall – North, 345 Scotland Road, on Edinboro’s main campus.
Edinboro University hosts the Martin Luther King, Jr., Awards Luncheon annually during Black History Month to help carry on King’s legacy by honoring individuals such as Manus for keeping the civil rights leader’s dream alive.
Reservations for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Awards Luncheon can be made by visiting www.edinboro.edu/mlk.
Since 1997, more than 50 community leaders have been honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Award to celebrate King’s legacy and to honor northwestern Pennsylvania citizens who embody King’s spirit, philosophy and teachings.
“This annual ceremony serves as a wonderful opportunity to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to recognize a community member who is living by the principles he championed,” said Dr. Terrence Mitchell, Edinboro University’s chief officer of diversity and inclusion. “Mr. Manus has devoted his entire life to service – to his country, his community and to supporting the aspirations of high school students in Erie.”
Born and raised in Erie, Manus withdrew from high school at the age of 15. He worked a series of jobs before being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1946 — two years before President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order to abolish racial discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Despite the prejudices he faced, Manus served proudly and honorably during his 24-year military career, which included deployments to Hawaii, Philippine Islands, Japan, Iran, Italy and Vietnam. His final assignment brought him back to Erie as the first native Erie African-American ROTC educator at Gannon University.
Manus, who holds two degrees from Gannon, went on to work for 18 years as a school counselor in the Erie School District. Throughout his tenure, he offered career guidance and mentorship to countless students and their families, emphasizing the importance of education and advocating for those in need.
Now 92 years old, he continues to emanate the character and teachings of Dr. King through his community service efforts within the Erie region. Manus and his wife, Constance, a retired teacher, reside in Erie. Together they advise high school graduates about financial aid information and scholarships. Their children are Carlton R., Denice A., Cynthia D. and Stephanie J. Manus of Erie, Dr. Sandi L. and Lamont Fields of Summerfield, N.C., and Alicia L. and Herman Jean-Noel of Brooklyn, N.Y.