Nice day for a neighbor: Mister Rogers sculpture unveiled in Florida

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In this photo provided by Rollins College, school officials unveil a sculpture honoring beloved former student and children’s television host Mister Rogers on Thursday, October 28, 2021, on the Winter campus Park, Florida (Scott Cook / Rollins College via AP)

WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) – A little rain didn’t stop a beautiful day at Rollins College in Florida as school officials unveiled a sculpture in honor of a former student and the Beloved children’s television host Mister Rogers.

Rollins President Grant Cornwell and others held umbrellas in Thursday’s private ceremony as they pulled a drape over the bronze rendering of Rogers in his iconic sweater and tennis shoes, a work titled “A beautiful day for a neighbor “.

In this undated photo provided by Rollins College, British artist Paul Day, known for his public monuments, is working on a sculpture by Fred McFeely Rogers, better known as Mister Rogers, at a foundry in the Czech Republic. (Tomas Hruza / Rollins College via AP)

“This inspiring sculpture will be a permanent reminder of the ideals and values ​​molded by Mister Rogers as he strived 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. .

Years before the world knew him as Mr. Rogers, Fred McFeely Rogers transferred to Rollins College in 1948 and graduated in 1951, according to the school. He specialized in musical composition and served as chairman of his fraternity and chairman of the Interfaith and Race Relations Committee. He also met his future wife at school. He received an honorary degree from the school in 1974.

Rogers was best known for writing and starring in 912 episodes of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”, which aired on public television from 1968 to 2001. He died in 2003. In recent years, it has been the subject of a popular documentary, as well as a feature film starring Tom Hanks.

This undated photo provided by Rollins College shows a bronze sculpture of Fred McFeely Rogers, better known as Mister Rogers, at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Rogers graduated from Central Florida School in 1951. Now he’s best known for his writing and appearing. in 912 episodes of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”. The sculpture shows Rogers in his iconic sweater and tennis shoes, surrounded by children. (Scott Cook / Rollins College via AP)

The 360 ​​degree sculpture was designed by Paul’s Day, a British artist known for his public monuments. The bronze cast is over 7 feet (2 meters) high and weighs over 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms). It features Rogers surrounded by children, hand puppets from his show, lyrics from the show’s theme song, and the show’s Neighborhood Trolley.

The sculpture will be part of the school Mister Rogers walking tour.

“I hope this piece will bring joy and inspiration to many people just like the Mister Rogers neighborhood has done for generations,” Day said.


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