HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 17, 2016 – A sculpture of George Washington Carver will be the newest addition to a long line of inspirational figures featured at High Point University.
In honor of Black History Month, HPU has commissioned a sculpture of Carver to join 23 others displayed across campus to surround students with influential leaders who inspired the world and accomplished great things in their lives. These include Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Sir Isaac Newton and Amelia Earhart, to name a few.
Carver was born into slavery in Diamond, Missouri, in the early 1860’s. He went on to become one of the most prominent scientists and inventors of his time, as well as a teacher at the Tuskegee Institute. Carver devised more than 100 products using one major crop – the peanut – including dyes, plastics and gasoline. He wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops both as a source of their own food and as a source of other products to improve their quality of life. He received numerous honors for his work, including the Spingarn Medal of the NAACP.
Stephen H. Smith, who has been sculpting professionally for 34 years and is based in Marshville, N.C., will craft the sculpture of Carver. He has served as the sculptor and designer of The Wright Brothers First Flight Centennial National Memorial, the largest national memorial in the Southeast. He has worked with the National Park Service, former North Carolina Gov. Michael F. Easley, the Department of Cultural Resources, the Department of Transportation and the director of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Larry Wheeler.
The sculpture is expected to arrive to campus in late 2016.
“George Washington Carver’s scientific breakthroughs and efforts to serve people who were struggling with food and economic opportunities embody the values we instill at High Point University,” says Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president. “His presence will remind students that anything is possible for those who choose to work hard and smart enough.”