WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) — A little rain didn’t stop it from being a beautiful day at Rollins College in Florida as school officials unveiled a sculpture honoring alumnus and beloved children’s TV host Mister Rogers.
Rollins President Grant Cornwell and others held umbrellas during Thursday’s private ceremony as they pulled back a drape on the bronze rendering of Rogers in his iconic sweater and tennis shoes, a work entitled “A Beautiful Day for a Neighbor.”
“This inspirational sculpture will be a permanent reminder of the ideals and values modeled by Mister Rogers as he set out to make the world a better place,” Cornwell said during the ceremony at the private liberal arts college in Winter Park, just northeast of Orlando.
Mister Rogers was known for his work many years ago. Fred McFeely RogersThe school says he transferred to Rollins College from New York in 1948. He graduated in 1951. He studied music composition and was president of his fraternity and chair of the Inter-Faith and Race Relations Committee. At the school, he also met his future bride. In 1974, he was awarded an honorary degree by the school.
Rogers was best known for writing and appearing in 912 episodes of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which ran on public television from 1968 to 2001. He was died in 2003.He has also been featured in a documentary about him that was popular, and a movie starring Tom Hanks.
The 360-degree sculpture was made by Paul DayBritish artist known best for his public monuments. It is more than 7ft (2m) high and weighs in at over 3,000 pounds (1.360 kg). It depicts Rogers surrounded by children, hand puppets from his show, lyrics from the series’ theme song and the show’s Neighborhood Trolley
“My hope is that this piece will bring joy and inspiration to many people, just as ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ did for generations,” Day said.
The sculpture will be part of the school’s Mister Rogers Walking Tour.