Mary Washington College Unveils Memorial to Civil Rights Pioneer
Apermanent memorial to civil rights pioneer Dr. James Farmer, who served as distinguished visiting professor of history at Mary Washington College from 1985 to 1998, was unveiled at the college late last month.
The bronze bust was formally presented to the public during an afternoon ceremony, which featured a keynote address by the Honorable Andrew Young, the first James Farmer Visiting Professor in Human Rights.
The sculpture was unveiled by Farmer’s daughters, Tami Farmer Gonzalez and Abbey Farmer, and granddaughter, Abigale Elizabeth Gonzalez.
The larger-than-life bust of Farmer was designed by sculptor Richard Stravitz of Richmond and was cast in bronze by Wegner Metals Arts Inc. of Fredericksburg. The bust will sit on a marble pedestal, cut by Tony Grappone of A.P. Grappone and Sons, of Richmond.
Farmer was the founder and former national director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which challenged America to live up to the ideals that it proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. In 1998, President Clinton presented Farmer with America’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Farmer died in 1999.
Funding for the James Farmer Memorial was provided by gifts from the Fredericksburg City Council, the Board of Supervisors of
Spotsylvania County, the Board of Visitors of Mary Washington College and Friends of James Farmer.
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