Northwest Missouri State University students and faculty members filed out across Maryville during a peace march, to carry on the message left behind by the civil rights leader.
The crowd gathered around the Nodaway County Courthouse steps to soak up an inspirational speech by Northwest student, Carl Stafford.
Stafford, an active student leader and Northwest senior, seized his last opportunity to leave a legacy on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, highlighting Dr. King's achievements and the life he lived.
"He was great, he was the person who led this. We need great leaders. We need great minority leaders. We haven't had one since he's been gone. He's one of a kind," said Stafford.
The crowd of about 20 walked block by block to get to the courthouse steps from campus, holding signs which displayed Dr. King quotes.
"[It's a] unity peace march. They can see us marching together and see that we have a common goal," said Northwest student, Zach Ewing.
"Dr. King believed in love, and fighting for it with anything. He did that. He had a whole bunch of people following him and doing it. And it was together that they put the puzzle together," said Stafford.
Stafford's mission goes beyond honoring the life of a one-of-a-kind leader. He's delivering a call to action for others to step up as leaders.
"Out of all the organizations that I've been the President, and that I've helped student-advise, the one main thing that I really want to do is breed a leader in the room," said Stafford.
Stafford hopes to pass the leadership torch along.
"You need the corner pieces. You need the middle pieces too, but you need them all to come together to make the puzzle a success," added Stafford.
Completing the puzzle -- love and acceptance
"We're still trying to see his vision succeed," Ewing said.
"I really hope to see that we become an accepting nation of everyone around us," said Northwest student, Shay Hatfield.
Maryville's Mayor, Glenn Jonagan, made a proclamation after Monday's march, encouraging the people of Maryville to live like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.