The note was written in 1963 to a donor, thanking them for their contribution to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Dr. King founded the civil rights organization.
The student immediately recognized both the header and signature on the letter.
"At first we're like 'Yeah Right.' He's like 'No really, I think I found it,'" said USI Archive Librarian Jennifer Greene. "So, I rushed over there and looked at it, and I was like 'Yeah, I think you did.'"
Jennifer Greene teaches the archiving course. She says among the thousands of documents they come across, gems like this are one in a million.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.