WINTER PARK, Fla. — A larger-than-life statue of Mister Rogers now sits on the campus of the television icon’s alma mater.
Rollins College unveiled the new sculpture of Fred Rogers during a private ceremony on the Winter Park, Florida, campus last Thursday.
The college says it commissioned the sculpture to honor Rogers’ legacy.
“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,” said Rollins President Grant Cornwell. “This tribute will reinforce the quest for empathy, acceptance and kindness so needed in our society today.”
The sculpture was designed by Paul Day, a British artist who the college says is renowned for his public monuments.
The statue is located in the Chapel Garden courtyard next to the Annie Russell Theatre, behind the Virginia S. Nelson Rose Garden.
The piece is made out of bronze, stands over 7 feet tall, and weighs more than 3,000 pounds, according to the college.
It depicts Rogers in his iconic sweater and sneakers, surrounded by children, hand puppets from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” lyrics from the series’ theme song, and the show’s Neighborhood Trolley.
Rogers wrote and appeared in 912 episodes of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” across four decades.
Rogers came to Rollins in 1948 as a transfer student from Dartmouth. The college says he was a recognized student leader on campus and he excelled academically, graduating with distinction in 1951.