Rick Wells, News On 6
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -- President's Day is coming up next Monday, February 21, 2011. It's a national holiday intended to honor all our presidents and we honor them in all sorts of ways.
There are cities, streets and schools named for them, and statues of presidents are everywhere.
Rick Wells found huge statues of three of our most famous presidents at Rogers State University in Claremore: Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln
There is nothing like them anywhere else in Oklahoma.
"It's the most visible, its located here at the main entrance to the campus and it's the first one visitors would see," said Dr Larry Rice.
University President Dr Larry Rice said the statue of Jefferson is his favorite, mostly because he was the founder of American higher education. It was commissioned and installed on campus in 1982 to commemorate Oklahoma's diamond jubilee. Jefferson's stony gaze looks back toward his home in Virginia.
Up the sidewalk is George Washington on his horse, dedicated in 1987 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Constitution. It also honors Rogers State's own history as the Oklahoma Military Academy.
Farther into campus is the third and perhaps most eccentric of the statues, titled "Emancipation." Lincoln is delivering the Gettysburg Address amid the ruins of the Civil War.
Many other images from Lincoln's presidency are in there too. The address was delivered on November 19, 1863. Student and faculty research produced the math necessary to position to statue so the rising sun falls directly on Lincoln's face each November 19th.
The artist was a Korean immigrant named Yun Sim Pak, who was artist in residence at RSU from the early 1980's until 1992.