MLK Jr. statue to be unveiled at UNF

Life-size King statue to be first on college campus in Florida

Published On: Feb 10 2012 07:17:23 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 10 2012 12:08:37 PM EST

The University of North Florida will soon be the home of the first life-sized statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on a college campus in Florida.

The 8-foot-tall statue was constructed in India and shipped to Jacksonville, where it will be installed on the UNF campus in the coming days.

The bronze statue will stand next to an image of Mahatma Gandhi in the school's Peace Plaza.

Both were created by the same artist.

The statue of King takes on added importance because February is Black History Month, but a spokesman for the school said King's image has meaning every day for students.

"Martin Luther King embodies the values of the University of North Florida: respect, honor, civility," said Mauricio Gonzelez. "We hope the statue serves as an inspiration to our students."

The costs of creating the statue, shipping it halfway around the world and installing it were all met with private donations.

Among those who gave were Noble Laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu.