An advisory task force convened by UGA President Jere W. Morehead has made significant progress this summer evaluating options for the design and location of a memorial at Baldwin Hall in tribute to those who were previously buried there.
The 18-member group, which includes representatives from both the campus and local community, has been chaired by Michelle Cook, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and strategic university initiatives.
“It has been an honor to work with the task force,” said Cook. “I cannot imagine a more committed and thoughtful group of people to provide guidance on this project. Throughout the process, their focus has been to design a memorial that honors and respects the lives of the individuals originally buried at the Baldwin Hall site.”
Cook said the memorial is planned to be located on the south end of the front lawn of Baldwin Hall. It will be created from materials that have permanence, will reflect the aesthetic of the university grounds and will serve as a place of remembrance for these individuals, most of whom likely were slaves or former slaves.
The University Architects Office will spend the next several weeks developing a timeline for completion of the project.
The remains of the individuals were discovered during construction of the Baldwin Hall addition and were reinterred at Oconee Hill Cemetery in March 2017, in accordance with guidance from the State Archaeologist’s Office.
The university held a memorial service to commemorate their lives, and a granite marker, detailing what transpired, was placed at the gravesite.
Acknowledgment in the form of a plaque also was placed inside the new entrance of the Baldwin Hall addition.