HIGH POINT, N.C., May 6, 2020 – High Point University welcomes a new face on campus with its newest historical sculpture, honoring Maya Angelou, legendary writer, poet and activist.
Angelou joins 28 sculptures who line the promenades of HPU’s campus, surrounding students with the world’s most accomplished leaders. From Sir Isaac Newton, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and George Washington, to Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart and Mother Teresa, the historic sculptures reflect HPU’s values and remind students that they, too, can accomplish great things.
“To be great, you must walk hand in hand and side by side with great people,” says HPU President Nido Qubein. “The sculptures are a reminder of life’s possibilities.”
Positioned near the entrance of the new Caine Conservatory, where the Butterfly Café is housed, the sculpture depicts Angelou admiring a butterfly, reminiscent of her famous quote, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
“Maya Angelou is a perfect addition to our campus,” said Allison Walker, English instructor at HPU. “As a long-time resident of North Carolina and someone who touched my life personally, Angelou held many of the same values we teach here at HPU, namely, courage, compassion, creativity and community. I encourage my students to apply these principles to their own writing and in their everyday lives.”
Angelou was an American author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist best known for her 1969 memoir, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which made literary history as the first nonfiction bestseller by an African American woman. Among her numerous honors was the invitation to compose and deliver several poems, including “On the Pulse of Morning,” for the inauguration of United States President Bill Clinton; “A Brave and Startling Truth,” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations; and “His Day Is Done,” which was commissioned by the United States State Department to elegize Nelson Mandela’s death.