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Call for Submissions

Memorial to African Americans Enslaved by William & Mary


The Lemon Project Committee on Memorialization (LPCOM), acting on behalf of William & Mary and its Board of Visitors, invites submissions for a design concept for a memorial to the men, women and children whose labor and lives William & Mary held in bondage from its founding until the Civil War. We seek a conceptual design for 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. By virtue of its scale, location, materials and narrative content, the conceptual design will create a noble and lasting tribute to the memory of the people who built and served the university.


This search for a design concept is open to designers, artists, architects, engineers, landscape architects, as well as people from outside the design field: anyone who is inspired to respond to this call. Student entries are encouraged.

  • Participants may enter as individuals or as a part of a team.
  • Faculty and staff members of LPCOM are not eligible to enter.
Submissions will be accepted until October 12, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. All participants are required to submit the following:
  • A site plan showing the suggested location of the conceptual design within or directly engaging with the Historic Campus. Download the Historic Campus site plans (pdf), Historic Campus site plan (ai) and Wren Building drawings (pdf).
  • A larger scale plan of the design showing important details and orientation to adjacent buildings; scale to be determined by the participant.
  • An elevation drawing of the design at an appropriate scale showing its height in relation to adjacent buildings.
  • Any supporting drawings, sketches, model photographs and digital renderings that show the three-dimensional character of the design and its relative scale to the Historic Campus environment.
  • A brief written narrative not to exceed 500 words describing the design concept and inspiration for the design.
  • Designs must include a place for the names of the enslaved (and any other text) with the ability to add more names in the future.
  • Participants will submit two pdf files, one to be titled PROJECT, and the other to be titled CONCEALED ID (pdf).
  • PROJECT file to include all visual documentation and the written narrative in a single pdf. There must be no identifying marks on this file. Submissions will be judged anonymously and any identifying marks may disqualify a submission. All submissions to be sized to an 11 x 17 horizontal format.
  • CONCEALED ID file to include the designer's name, address, phone number and email address. If submitted by a team, use the name and information of one person to represent the team. The CONCEALED ID file consists of the completed CONCEALED ID (pdf) form. Please complete, sign, and scan this form and submit as a PDF file.
  • Both pdf files are to be submitted to [[slaverymemorial]] in one email. Please ensure one file is labeled PROJECT and the other CONCEALED ID. All submissions must be received by the official deadline: October 12, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. Submissions may not exceed 15 MB.

The jurors for this competition have deep connections to William & Mary and includes alumni, students and community members:

  • Rex Ellis '89 Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs, National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Artisia Green, '00, Director of Africana Studies, William & Mary
  • Zena Howard FAIA, Managing Director, North Carolina Practice of Perkins+Will
  • Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander, Ph.D. '92, Professor of History; Dean, College of Liberal Arts; Director, Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies, Norfolk State University
  • Ivie S. Orobaton '19, student representative, history and anthropology major
  • Justin Reid '09, Director of Virginia Humanities' African-American programs
  • Hon. John Charles Thomas, former William & Mary Board of Visitor
  • Sibel Zandi-Sayek, Associate Professor of Art and Art History, William & Mary
  • Luiza Newlin-Lukowicz, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, William & Mary

All jurors are bound by the rules of this search.

The jurors will recommend three conceptual designs to William & Mary's president, who will review each and determine if one is ready to be shared with the William & Mary Board of Visitors.

All designs will be evaluated anonymously.

Competition Advisor

Dr. Phyllis Slade Martin, Slade & Associates, LLC, is the independent competition advisor. The competition advisor is responsible for organizing and overseeing the management of the search for ideas through its completion. The competition advisor, acting on behalf of LPCOM, is bound to uphold the rules and requirements of this search.

Questions and Answers

Participants may direct questions regarding any aspect of this contest to Dr. Phyllis Slade Martin at [[slaverymemorial]] or (757) 221-1200. Questions must include the author's name and address.

All questions must be received by September 14. Responses to questions will be posted on the competition website by September 17. Participants are encouraged to check the website for updated answers to questions. (Authors of questions will not be identified.)

Schedule and Deadline

Timeline Update: The overwhelming number of entries we received has necessitated a change in the committee's timeline. Please look for further updates soon.

August 28-October 12 Open for submission of design entries
September 14 Final questions due
Late-September Jury evaluation process begins
November Three designs submitted to president
April 2019 President shares one design to BOV for review and comment
Spring 2019 Design Development Phase Begins

William & Mary shall have the exclusive right to issue all public announcements regarding the results of the contest.

William & Mary shall have the right to publish, display, reproduce or otherwise publicize all conceptual design submissions. The authors of all designs will be fully identified in such publications or displays.

Final decisions about scale, location and cost will be determined in a second phase of design development.


There will be a first place prize of $1,000, a second place prize of $750, and a third place prize of $500. The Jurors may identify additional participants whose conceptual designs are recognized as "honorable mention" with no cash award.