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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Unsung Founders, Bond and Free

Do-Ho Suh, Unsung Founders, Bond and Free, McCorkle Place, 2005 Unsung Founders, Bound and Free

On November 5, 2005, the university dedicated this memorial to honor the countless enslaved and free African Americans who contributed their labor and service to the campus. A gift of the Class of 2002 and created by artist Do-Ho Suh, the piece features bronze figures holding a stone table surrounded by five stone seats. Suh created the work after visiting the campus and talking to students. The simple stones that mark the graves of unknown African Americans in the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery inspired him. He sought to draw people to the art with the design, saying that, “When you touch it and sit on it and use it, you become part of it symbolically and metaphorically.”

 The University chose to locate this artwork in McCorkle Place because of its importance to the history of the campus and the community. The inscription reads, "The Class of 2002 honors the University's unsung founders, the people of color bond and free, who helped build the Carolina that we cherish today."