OXFORD, Miss. — A statue of a Confederate soldier that stood on the University of Mississippi campus since 1906 was taken down Tuesday and moved to a new location.
Students and faculty had pushed for the statue to be removed from its highly visible spot near the Lyceum.
“It was just wonderful. It was a monumental experience for me,” said Cassandra Adedipe, who was on the Ole Miss campus Tuesday morning in time to watch history in the making.
“Removal of that monument meant that we’re more included and we’re more aware of those students that are here, that are putting Ole Miss on the map,” she said.
Workers finished dismantling the 40-ton granite monument and transported it to a Confederate cemetery located behind the Tad Smith Coliseum.
“I’m just glad that this day has come. I’m happy it is going to be moved, said Patricia Brassel, who enrolled at Ole Miss in 1969 and was a member of the “Trailblazers” — a group of African American students fighting for change on the campus.
One of their demands was the removal of the Confederate statue, but Brassel said she never wanted to see the statue demolished.
“I wanted it to be moved to a place that it could be, if there’s such a word as memorialized, instead of glorified in the center of the campus where, you know, it was dividing students,” she said.
While there is still some division on whether the statue should remain on the university’s grounds, the handful of people who were on hand this morning agreed it was time for the statue to be taken down.
“In this day and age it should not be in this primary spot on campus, right in front of the Lyceum, which is the dominant building on campus and the most historical building on campus,” Jordan Hankins said.
Late Tuesday, Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce released this statement:
“This has been an important issue for our university, and today’s relocation is a meaningful change for our community. I’m inspired by our ongoing commitment to strengthen our campus as a positive, productive and welcoming educational environment for all.”
The total cost of the project is estimated to be between $900,000 to $1.2 million. It will be covered by private funds.
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