the finalized design concept for the Memorial to the African Americans Enslaved by William & Mary
This image provided by William & Mary shows the finalized design concept for the Memorial to the African Americans Enslaved by William & Mary that was presented to the university’s Board of Visitors on Tuesday Aug. 25, 2020 in Williamsburg, Va. (William & Mary via AP)

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — A finalized design concept has been unveiled for the Memorial to the African Americans Enslaved by William & Mary.

The university said in a news release that the memorial was presented to the Board of Visitors on Tuesday.

Fundraising targets for the project have been met. And construction is slated to begin next year on the school’s campus in Williamsburg, Virginia.

University president Katherine A. Rowe said that the memorial’s final concept design “has the gravitas we sought.”

“It gives dignity and presence to those who were enslaved by William & Mary and whose labor built the university – without romanticizing that painful history,” Rowe said.

The school said that the memorial and surrounding area will re-imagine an entrance to the university’s historic campus and will be positioned across the street from the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Titled “Hearth,” the monument will resemble a brick fireplace and include the names of people known to have been enslaved by the school. It will be 16 feet wide, 45 feet long and 20 feet high.

“The women, children and men who toiled here without remuneration for 172 years will not be forgotten again,” said Jody Allen, an assistant professor of history and director of the school’s Lemon Project.

The Lemon Project is an attempt to rectify wrongs perpetrated against African Americans by William & Mary.

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Design Unveiled for Memorial to Enslaved at William & Mary