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Competition for Memorial to African-Americans Enslaved by William & Mary

Provost Michael R. Halleran sent the following message to the campus community Aug. 28, 2018 - Ed.

Dear William & Mary Community,

Today, the university launches a competition soliciting conceptual ideas for a memorial to African-American people enslaved by William & Mary.  Submissions will be accepted through October 12.  From these submissions a jury of noted historians and museum and arts professionals – including alumni, staff and faculty, as well as an undergraduate student – will select three ideas from the submissions and forward them to President Rowe unranked.  The president will subsequently review the three concepts and determine if one is ready to be shared with the Board of Visitors in February.  The design process will begin after the Board of Visitors has had the opportunity to review the concept and to share its thoughts.

Though this process is at its formal starting point, it has been in progress for a number of years and is supported by the research conducted by The Lemon Project into the lives of people enslaved by William & Mary and is endorsed by the Task Force on Race and Race Relations.  In fact, former President Taylor Reveley selected the jury.  The memorial will be funded with private gifts, and a group of former Rectors (chair of the Board of Visitors) at W&M, led by Jeffrey B. Trammell ’73, are helping launch that fundraising process.  According to the competition proposal, the chosen concept will be a “physical memorial that establishes a new place of community and contemplation within or directly engaging with the setting of William & Mary's Historic Campus.”

This memorial will be a significant contribution to the William & Mary landscape and serve as a powerful reminder that we must remember and acknowledge our history – all parts of our history – if we are to learn from the mistakes of the past.

To learn more about this important project, please visit the memorial website.