by Matthew White
City of Hampton Mayor George Wallace and other City of Hampton leaders visited the Hampton University Department of Architecture on Dec. 18 to view student designs for potential monument in memoriam of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The designs are for a MLK monument that is slated to be built at the entrance of the Hampton Roads Convention Center.
The MLK Monument Design "Black and Blue" project showcase was held in the lobby of Bemis Laboratories. The exhibit featured 11 different design options created by HU students Angie Darriah, Davon Finley, Vaughn James and Maressa Pinnock as potential monuments honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King.
"The connection that our exceptional architectural students made with the history of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the racial challenges and divisiveness we still entertain today were astonishing," said Bill Thomas, HU Associate Vice President for Governmental Relations. "The significance of placing such a monument in the city of Hampton represents, in my judgment, a great contrast with the reality of MLK's dream and the continuous struggle that still remains for people of color in the United States of America today."
Through the efforts of HU President Dr. William R. Harvey, Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology Dr. Eric Sheppard, Bill Thomas, department of Architecture chair Robert Easter and the department faculty and staff, the City of Hampton asked HU to become involved in the development of a memorial to MLK.
"We are very impressed and thankful for the wonderful designs made by the students at Hampton University," said Wallace. "The hard part from here is to narrow down our choice to just one design and then present that design to the city council."