Winter intersession classes and business operations at the San Bernardino and Palm Desert campuses will close on Monday, Jan. 17, when the university observes the state holiday commemorating the late civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr.

Intersession classes and university business operations will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 18, with final exams scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 19. The spring semester, which will begin remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will begin on Monday, Jan. 24 (Saturday classes begin on Jan. 22). Students are expected to return to in-person classes on Feb. 18.

King, who was killed by an assassin on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., was a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights movement. He was elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization responsible for the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott from 1955 to 1956.

He was arrested 30 times for his participation in civil rights activities. Founder and president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1957 to 1968, King was also vice president of the national Sunday School and Baptist Teaching Union Congress of the National Baptist Convention.

In addition to his civil rights work, King is most noted for his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington in 1963; his acceptance speech of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964; his last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church; and his final speech in Memphis (“I’ve been to the mountaintop …”).

His “Letter from Birmingham Jail” ranks among the most important documents of the American Civil Rights movement.