Tuesday, October 9, 2007
The University of Texas unveiled a new statue Tuesday depicting civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.
The statue, which was unveiled in a celebration to honor Chavez' legacy for social justice, was placed on the university's West Mall between Battle Hall and the West Mall Office building.
It is the first statue of a Hispanic person on the UT campus.
Chavez, who died in 1993, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association and fought for the rights of farm laborers and minorities.
"What he did-- the fact that he didn't use large corporations to start a movement-- but invidvidual people-- getting at the initial person, using a person to move people," said Stacey Torres, Cesar Chavez statue committee.
Students voted for a statue depicting Chavez in 2003 with a referendum election and the proposal was approved by university regents. The Texas Legislature had to pass a bill allowing the university to collect student fees to fund the statue.
"We are proud of the students of The University of Texas at Austin for conceiving and bringing this concept to fruition on the campus," said Dr. Juan Gonzalez, vice president for student affairs, in a news release. "We also want to recognize the significant achievement of the committee in the realization of this long-time dream of the students."
Workers were preparing the site and foundation for the statue over the summer.
Student fees paid for the statue. Leftover money was to be put into a scholarship fund.