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Alcorn State University commissions sculptor Ed Dwight for Medgar Wiley Evers statue project

Statue concept renderings unveiled

Alcorn State University has commissioned Ed Dwight, a nationally renowned sculptor from Denver, Colorado, to create a larger-than-life bronze statue of civil rights leader and alumnus Medgar Wiley Evers ’52 for the University’s Lorman Campus. Conceptual renderings of the statue were unveiled during the ASU National Alumni Association Mid-Winter Conference held in Vicksburg, Mississippi recently.

“I am honored and privileged to be chosen to work on Medgar’s statue. He is one of the heroes that were not properly honored and I am happy to see that Alcorn has stepped up to the plate by creating Medgar’s statue, naming its new student housing complex after him and bringing Medgar’s wife, Myrlie, on campus to work on her memoirs and teach Alcorn students,” said Mr. Dwight, who is known across the nation for his large-scale memorials and public art projects created to honor individuals, historic events and contributions of African-Americans in the stream of America's history.

Dwight who is also known as America’s first African-American astronaut candidate, added, “I was absolutely thrilled to visit Alcorn. I’ve visited many HBCUs but Alcorn has really impressed me - a modern university with rich history, beautiful and advanced campus, and great students.”

“Alcorn State University, as Medgar Wiley Evers’s alma mater where he began his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, is privileged to pay a tribute to its graduate and fellow Mississippian for his outstanding contributions and his life sacrificed for his country,” stated Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown II. “The statue will celebrate his courage, leadership and dedication, and will serve as a stellar example to our students, community and the world.”

As one of the most prolific and insightful sculptors in America, Dwight has created over 100 public art commissions in his 32-year career. His most important and well-known commissions include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monument, City Park, Denver, Colorado; The John Hope Franklin Tower of Reconciliation, Tulsa, Oklahoma; African American History Monument, State Capitol Grounds, Columbia, South Carolina; International Underground Railroad Memorial, Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Canada; bronze blues sculptures, Chicago Blues District, Chicago, Illinois; Mother of Africa Chapel, The National Shrine, Washington, D.C.; The Soldiers Memorial, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri; and Inaugural Sculpture Scene of President Barack Obama that was unveiled at the Colorado History Museum, Denver, Colorado, in 2010 and is anticipated to tour the country in the years to come. Dwight served as “sculptor of record” for the memorial foundation planning team that initially lead the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial project in Washington, D.C.

Sharing about his current project, Dwight said, “It is a project of a great magnitude, considering Medgar Wiley Evers’ contributions to society, and one of great responsibility.”

Dwight added, “In the process of working on the statue’s concept I was listening and reading materials by Medgar and Myrlie to get inspired and create a statue that is a righteous replica of Medgar the way he was, reflecting his futuristic vision for his country. And when the statue is ready, a commemorative plaque will be placed at the memorial highlighting achievements of Medgar that will encourage students to follow his sterling example.”

Alcorn State University has established a fundraising campaign to construct a larger-than-life bronze statue of Medgar Wiley Evers to honor his legacy. The statue will feature an account of Evers' most notable achievements and contributions to civil rights and equality, and will be unveiled in early spring 2013 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Evers's assassination. The statue will serve as a testament to furthering civil rights education, equality and citizenship, the arts, and serve as a highlight on the Mississippi Civil Rights Trail and the Mississippi Historical Marker Trail.

Alcorn State University invites the public to join in honoring a national hero, Mississippian and Alcorn graduate Medgar Wiley Evers by making a gift to this campaign today. To become part of Honoring the Legacy, visit www.alcorn.edu/donate_medgar.html or contact the ASU Foundation at 601.877.6693.