Rutland sculpture honoring 1st Black college president, native son put on hold

RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) The unveiling of a sculpture honoring a Rutland man who went on to become the first Black president of an American college has been postponed due to COVID-19.

Rutland Sculpture Trail

Officials say the sculpture honoring Martin Henry Freeman was nearly a year in the making. Freeman was born in Rutland in 1826, attended Middlebury College, and went on to become president of the Allegheny Institute, a Pennsylvania college founded to educate free Blacks.

The sculpture was designed by Massachusetts artist Mark Burnett and is being carved by West Rutland's Don Ramey. Due to the pandemic, the two had to communicate their ideas over the phone.

The sculpture will be the latest installment to the Rutland Sculpture Trail. Organizers say they will wait to put it up until there can be an in-person ceremony that everyone can attend.