On Saturday, West Virginia State University (WVSU) unveiled a statue and scholarship, honoring NASA mathematician and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Katherine Johnson.
“It is my hope that my daughters and all of my students at West Virginia State University see this monument as an example of what they can accomplish when they dedicate themselves, work towards a greater cause and remain cognizant of their own strength and always seek to do better, be better and want better,” said WVSU president Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins.
The life-sized bronzed statue of Johnson was created by WVSU alumnus and West Virginia sculptor Frederick Hightower. During the ceremony, six of Johnson’s grandchildren pulled back the veil to reveal the statue, which now stands between Cole Complex and Dawson Hall on the university’s campus.
WVSU also unveiled an endowed scholarship in Johnson’s name prior to the statue reveal. The scholarship, which was awarded to this year’s recipients freshman and biology major Jasiaha Davis and freshman and computer science major Alexis Scudero, will benefit WVSU students majoring in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Johnson was depicted in the 2016 film “Hidden Figures.”