University of Dayton’s new president has found inspiration in some of the most unusual places: a wall, a walkway, a lectern, chairs and a bench.
The memorial, located near the Immaculate Conception Chapel and the Frericks Center (formerly the University of Dayton Fieldhouse), features a wall, a walkway, a lectern, chairs and a bench.
From Spina’s piece, published on May 24, 2017:
In the 10 months I have been president, I’ve continually been struck by the artistic simplicity and the poignancy of meaning produced by these five elements that make up our University’s memorial to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The sculptural monument speaks to me about the importance of higher education’s daily work of educating for a highly diverse society, for justice and the dignity of each person, and for absolute inclusivity on our campuses, in our nation, and in our world. Indeed, it is with intentionality that the campus tours I personally give begin at this spot and with a chance for viewing of the memorial and reflection: it signals an essential core value of the University and the direction we are charting.
UD art history professor Roger Crum initiated the project and worked with Marianist brother and associate professor of art M. Gary Marcinowski and John Clarke, associate professor of art and design.
More than 6,200 people attended King’s 1964 speech in UD’s Fieldhouse.
The civil rights icon talked about unconditional love, race relations, housing and his commitment to nonviolence.
The memorial is inscribed with the following quote from King:
Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability.
It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. And so we must help time, and realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
The three chairs included in the memorial symbolize King and community members, according to the university.
The bench is meant to spark reflection.
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