You notice it immediately–a riveting bust of Harriet Tubman gracing the foyer of the Clover Lane campus. Oliver LaGrone gave a bronze casting of his sculpture to UCH in about 1976. Oliver was deeply drawn to create powerful dimensional works that honored the strength, skill and resilience of noted African-Americans.
Harriet Tubman, 1820-1913, escaped in 1849 from enslavement on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She hated the repression of slavery enough to make more than 13 dangerous trips back into slave-holding Maryland. She led 70 families, via the Underground Railroad, a secret network of anti-slavery activist and safe houses, to freedom in the North. Those rescued included her sister and brother and their families, and even her parents.
Tubman worked for the Union Army during the Civil War, eventually as an armed scout and spy, freeing 700 in the armed battle she led. She also actively participated with the post-war effort for women’s sufferage.
The Oliver LaGrone Scholarship Fund is managed by UCH. This year’s Scholar, Taryanna Peterson, enrolled in pre-med at Xavier University in Louisiana, is paired with UCH Mentor, Mary Lynn Fecile.
Cordell Affeldt, ed. Bart Carpenter, The Reporter, September 2016