ST. PAUL – Ten years ago, the University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) cut a ribbon to mark the completion of the Billy Graham Community Life Commons. Thanks in part to a donation by Mr. Bill Fisher in honor of his late mother and wife, the building now features a new sculpture commemorating its namesake entitled “Pray.” UNW hosted an unveiling ceremony as part of its annual homecoming activities on Friday, October 1, with Fisher, his family members, and Northwestern president Dr. Alan Cureton in attendance.
The “Pray” sculpture depicts a three-dimensional, detailed bust of Rev. Billy Graham, Northwestern’s second president. The artwork features Graham, donned in his traditional suit, in a praying posture with hands clasped over the words of Acts 2:21 (KJV) in raised lettering: “And it shall come to pass, that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” The 25 x 28-inch sculpture stands on a 3.5-foot limestone base inside the building’s east entrance.
Artist Caroline Bolding sculpted the commissioned piece out of clay prior to applying its bronze finish. Bolding reflected on the inspiration behind her work: “Images of people connecting with (God) filled my heart; people reaching out to the Lord, in gratitude, in prayer, in thanksgiving, in God moments.”
“We’re grateful to Mr. Fisher for his generosity and ongoing support of UNW. Billy Graham has a special place in Northwestern’s history, and we’re excited to continue to celebrate his legacy, as well as that of Norma and Yvonne Fisher with this sculpture,” said Dr. April Moreton, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. She continued, “The commitment and support of donors like Mr. Fisher help advance Northwestern’s mission of equipping students to grow intellectually and spiritually, to serve effectively in their professions, and to give God-honoring leadership in the home, church, community, and world.”
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University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) is a nondenominational Christian university in St. Paul, Minn. With a biblical worldview integrated into all programs, UNW provides a unique educational experience for students who want to combine faith and education. Northwestern offers 75+ areas of undergraduate study, seven master's degrees, and online and early college programs. Northwestern Media, a ministry of the university, owns and operates 21 Christian radio stations throughout the Midwest with a total listenership of more than 1.35 million listeners. Visit unwsp.edu for more information.