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Hillsdale College is in the process of com­mis­sioning a statue of famed 19th-century orator Fred­erick Dou­glass.

Chief Staff Officer to the Pres­ident Mike Harner said the college has not set a time for when the statue might be ded­i­cated, but typ­i­cally, a ded­i­cation cer­emony comes 12 – 15 months after a statue is com­mis­sioned.

The statue will be placed in Kresge Plaza, next to Lane Hall, where it will join the statue of Abraham Lincoln and the Alpha Kappa Phi Civil War mon­ument.

“Dou­glass has been thought of since the Liberty Walk was thought of,” Harner said. “His ideas regarding human nature and rights are important to us.”

Harner said the plans are cur­rently being developed in com­mittee.

“When you take a com­mission, there is usually a patron, which we have,” he said.

Dou­glass was first announced at the Rebirth of Liberty and Learning Gala, where schol­ar­ships in his name were announced.

The Dou­glass statue joins five other statues on the Liberty Walk, which began with George Wash­ington in 2003.

“The Liberty Walk is a tribute to those who came before us who have par­ticular ideas about human nature and freedom,” Harner said. It’s a reminder to us and honors their memory and points a way forward.”

Provost David Whalen said the Walk not only honors those important to the American exper­iment of self-gov­ernment and the prin­ciples of human liberty, but also those indi­viduals who are important in the history of the college.

“Not only did Dou­glass speak here, but it was in Hillsdale that one of the most famous photos of Douglas was taken,” Whalen said in an email. “The power of his intel­li­gence, the vigor of his moral com­mit­ments, and the grace of his verbal expression make him, I believe, a fitting figure for honor not only at a liberal arts insti­tution, but at this one in par­ticular.”

  • Susanna Pyron

    Dear Dr. Whalen,
    I enjoyed your lec­tures very much at the Barney Clas­sical School Sem­inars.
    Please thank all those people for having the Fred­erick Dou­glass statue on campus. His con­tri­bution to the elim­i­nation of slavery is mon­u­mental. His auto­bi­og­raphy should be read by everyone.
    May God bless you and the Hillsdale College.
    Susanna Pyron