You have to read the poignant piece UD's new president just wrote

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. 

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In a piece for the Huffington Post,  Eric F. Spina writes about the bronze and granite memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated in February of 2016.

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.

A closer look at University of Dayton memorial for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Photo: Photo: Amelia Robinson, Staff

>> PHOTOS: A closer look at the Martin Luther King memorial at University of Dayton

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.

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From the Dayton Daily News archives. Pickets at the University of Dayton fieldhouse were undaunted by the cold weather and snow last night as they protested the appearance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Nobel Peace Prize winner. The pickets were carrying signs condemning the civil rights act and charging King with association with the Communist party.
Photo: Ed Johnsey

>> 50 years later, remembering MLK's visit to UD

The three chairs included in the memorial symbolize King and community members, according to the university. 

The bench is meant to spark reflection.

A closer look at University of Dayton memorial for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Photo: Photo: Amelia Robinson, Staff
A closer look at University of Dayton memorial for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Photo: Photo: Amelia Robinson, Staff
A closer look at University of Dayton memorial for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Photo: Photo: Amelia Robinson, Staff
A closer look at University of Dayton memorial for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Photo: Photo: Amelia Robinson, Staff
The installation of Eric F. Spina, as the 19th president of the University of Dayton, was held at UD Arena Tuesday. Spina, who became UD's president July 1, 2016, succeeds Daniel J. Curran. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Lisa Powell

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