A conversation with artist and sculptor Mike Tabor at his studio near Glen Rose, TX in the weeks prior to the dedication of Rudder Way on the Tarleton campus, and the unveiling of the magnificent statue of former Tarleton president and WWII hero, General James Earl Rudder. Music performed by the Tarleton Wind Ensemble, “A Soldier’s Farewell.”
John Tarleton’s dream to create a higher education institution for students of modest means is reality. Tarleton State University offers an affordable, quality education and boasts graduates whose accomplishments would make its founder proud.
This monthly column, by an anonymous university author, looks at the school’s progress, achievements and challenges through the eyes of John Tarleton – a dreamer’s point of view.
2017 has been a year of historic firsts and groundbreaking successes. A year to remember–our Centennial in The Texas A&M University System.
We opened the doors to a new Agricultural Field Machinery and Fabrication Laboratory in January, broke ground for a state-of-the-art engineering building in spring, started renovation of Memorial Stadium this summer, and finalized plans for the first building on our Fort Worth campus this fall.
We also opened a portrait gallery of Tarleton’s past presidents and unveiled a life-size bronze of Maj. Gen. James Earl Rudder—American hero and Distinguished Alumnus, who later became Texas A&M University president and system chancellor.
The yearlong slate of activities celebrating our 100th anniversary as founding System member honored the people and programs responsible for creating one of the fastest growing universities in Texas.
Our $3.8 agricultural laboratory—part of the Agricultural Center on land purchased in 1917 by area residents to pave the way for Tarleton to join A&M —includes laboratories, classrooms, a computer lab, faculty offices and meeting spaces. With new funding approved by the legislature, Tarleton now plans to add a $10 million building at the Agricultural Center to replace those destroyed by tornado. The new facilities directly tie to our time-honored success in teaching agriculture.
Work on our $54.6 million engineering building, scheduled for completion next fall, will help us meet the need for highly skilled engineering professionals. The 97,800-square-foot building will provide space for programs now housed in several facilities and enable innovative teaching capabilities for engineering, computer science and engineering technology.
The $26.4 million renovation and expansion of Memorial Stadium will bring reoriented home stands, 2,000 added seats and improved amenities. Important to the university and the Stephenville community, the stadium honors the 179 Tarleton faculty, staff and students who died in World War II.
We witnessed a watershed moment in October when the Regents approved final construction plans for the first phase of Tarleton’s Fort Worth campus. Groundbreaking is set for February, with classes expected to begin in fall 2019. The future campus will stimulate job growth and improved quality of life in the region.
Thanks to Stephenville artist Mary Waters, pen-and-ink portraits of all 14 past Tarleton presidents are on permanent display on the second floor of the Administration Building. Each of them played a vital role in shaping Tarleton into the top-notch university it is today.
2017 wrapped up when James Earl Rudder returned to his beloved Tarleton this fall. A fitting end to a successful year. The life-size statue, created by Tarleton Distinguished Alumnus Mike Tabor and funded by System Regent Tony Buzbee, is the focal point of Rudder Way—formerly Vanderbilt Street on the university campus—and forever reminds us that those who enter our gates as students leave as leaders prepared to change our world for the better.
The Rudder event was part of the university’s overall utilities and infrastructure project that has reinvented Lillian and Vanderbilt streets on campus, while removing unsightly electric poles and solving drainage issues. While improving basic functions, the project enhances campus beauty.
Looking back over 2017, I can’t wait to see what’s around the bend.
A new year to remember awaits us.
Family, friends, community members, students, faculty and staff gathered for a beautiful ceremony at Tarleton State University to honor Major General James Earl Rudder with a bronze statue unveiling and walkway, street dedication. Rudder was a student at Tarleton from 1927-1930 followed by teaching and coaching football in 1938 before entering active military duty in 1941. He led a group of Army Rangers advancing onto the beaches of Normandy on D-Day returning to Texas as a war hero. Rudder was appointed the Commissioner of the State General Land Office by Governor Allan Shivers before coming back to Tarleton. “Rudder became the university’s vice president in 1958, ascending to the presidency a year later and chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, including Tarleton, in 1965,” states Rudder’s bio. “During his tenure, Texas A&M became co-ed and integrated. He set the direction for it to become a major research university.” Speaking at the ceremony were Tarleton President Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio; Dr. Kyle McGregor, vice president for institutional advencement; Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp; Board of Regents Chairman Charles W. Schwartz; Col. Felix Perez of the 75th Ranger Regiment; and statue donor Regent Anthony G. Buzbee. Artist Mike Tabor was recognized for creating the Rudder bronze statue. “Today we have an opportunity to recognize a Tarleton man, and Aggie leader and an American war hero,” Dottavio said at the ceremony. “General Rudder has been memorialized across this country and in fact, across the world with monuments and statues and buildings and even ships are named after him. As a Tarleton man, Earl Rudder was a student leader, football coach and our athletic director.” Dottavio said in the next few weeks plaques will be inserted into the walkway where Rudder’s statue stands highlighting Tarleton’s Core Values. “Each of those panels is going to have a quote from General Rudder that describes the Rudder way of doing things so that both his life and words inspire every student, faculty, staff and visitor that walks this way,” Dottavio said. By Autumn Owens / email@example.com http://www.yourstephenvilletx.com/news/20171019/tarleton-unveils-rudder-statue
Family, friends, community members, students, faculty and staff gathered for a beautiful ceremony at Tarleton State University to honor Major General James Earl Rudder with a bronze statue unveiling and walkway, street dedication.
Rudder was a student at Tarleton from 1927-1930 followed by teaching and coaching football in 1938 before entering active military duty in 1941. He led a group of Army Rangers advancing onto the beaches of Normandy on D-Day returning to Texas as a war hero.
Rudder was appointed the Commissioner of the State General Land Office by Governor Allan Shivers before coming back to Tarleton.
“Rudder became the university’s vice president in 1958, ascending to the presidency a year later and chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, including Tarleton, in 1965,” states Rudder’s bio. “During his tenure, Texas A&M became co-ed and integrated. He set the direction for it to become a major research university.”
Speaking at the ceremony were Tarleton President Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio; Dr. Kyle McGregor, vice president for institutional advencement; Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp; Board of Regents Chairman Charles W. Schwartz; Col. Felix Perez of the 75th Ranger Regiment; and statue donor Regent Anthony G. Buzbee.
Artist Mike Tabor was recognized for creating the Rudder bronze statue.
“Today we have an opportunity to recognize a Tarleton man, and Aggie leader and an American war hero,” Dottavio said at the ceremony. “General Rudder has been memorialized across this country and in fact, across the world with monuments and statues and buildings and even ships are named after him. As a Tarleton man, Earl Rudder was a student leader, football coach and our athletic director.”
Dottavio said in the next few weeks plaques will be inserted into the walkway where Rudder’s statue stands highlighting Tarleton’s Core Values.
“Each of those panels is going to have a quote from General Rudder that describes the Rudder way of doing things so that both his life and words inspire every student, faculty, staff and visitor that walks this way,” Dottavio said.
By Autumn Owens / firstname.lastname@example.org
STEPHENVILLE (October 9, 2017) — James Earl Rudder returns to his beloved Tarleton on Thursday, Oct. 19, when the university unveils a life-size bronze of the Army major general and American hero who later became president of Texas A&M University and chancellor of The Texas A&M University System.
Rudder started college at Tarleton in 1927 and graduated from Texas A&M. He returned in 1938 as a teacher and head football coach, serving as the university’s athletic director for one season before being called into active military duty in 1941.
The public unveiling of Rudder’s statue—part of Tarleton’s centennial celebration as founding member of the A&M System—begins at 4 p.m., following the fall meeting of the Board of Regents on the Stephenville campus. The event takes place between Wisdom Gym and the Nursing Building, near the intersection of North Rome Avenue and West Vanderbilt Street, at the end of a new pedestrian walkway.
In concert with the ceremony, Vanderbilt Street on the university campus officially becomes Rudder Way.
Rudder rose to fame during World War II as commander of the historic assault up the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc—part of the Normandy Invasion—and is remembered as Texas A&M’s innovative president who transformed a regional all-male military school into the renowned university of today. He oversaw the admission of women and African Americans to A&M, and championed its research function. Rudder died in 1970 as chancellor of the A&M System, having spent his final day on the Tarleton campus.
“Maj. Gen. Rudder loved Tarleton,” said President F. Dominic Dottavio. “It is where he discovered who he was, and what he wanted to be. A monument to honor this distinguished alumnus, heroic soldier and visionary leader is truly fitting as we celebrate our centennial. He will long be remembered for the Rudder Way of doing things and as a true example of Tarleton’s core values.”
In addition to A&M System Chancellor John Sharp and Regents, more than a dozen members of the Rudder family plan to attend the unveiling of the statue, created by Tarleton Distinguished Alumnus Mike Tabor and funded by Regent Anthony “Tony” Buzbee.
As a member of the A&M Board of Regents, Buzbee had passed Rudder’s statue on the campus of Texas A&M in College Station hundreds of times and thought it made perfect sense for Tarleton to have one, too. Like Rudder, Buzbee is a Texas Aggie. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M and a law degree summa cum laude from the University of Houston Law School.
Tabor graduated from Tarleton in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in art. One of America’s most respected Western Expressionist painters and an accomplished sculptor, his multiple-media portfolio includes the national renowned life-size bronze of Team Hoyt, the father-son duo best known for their 32-year participation in the Boston Marathon.
Tabor started work on the Rudder bronze at year’s end 2015, taking eight months to create a statue that portrays the military hero as a true American soldier and leader.
“My goal was to honor a fellow Tarleton alumnus with something meaningful for others to look at,” he said, “and to inspire them to live the Rudder Way.”
Tabor was awarded the Howard Clemmons Distinguished Service Award along with Steve and Darlene Mitcham, local business owners and community volunteers. The honors were presented during a 1970’s-themed banquet featuring several awards for local businesses and chamber volunteers.
The Clemmons award goes to persons that most closely represent a former chamber chairman’s unselfish dedication to the chamber and the people of Granbury and Hood County.
STEPHENVILLE, Texas—The Tarleton Alumni Association and Tarleton State University honored several distinguished alumni, former faculty and staff members, and a friend of the institution Saturday evening during The Gala of Tarleton State University, an annual dinner and awards banquet on campus.
Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio and Tarleton Alumni Association (TAA) President Mike Kornegay (‘66) welcomed nearly 300 former students, friends of the university and their families to The Gala where three Distinguished Alumni were presented bronze medallions and crystal awards
“Through your success and achievements, you showed the world Tarleton State University,” said President Dottavio to the award winners during his remarks. “You have left a legacy for students of Tarleton, and you serve as an inspiration to not only our current students but to our alumni and to all of us this evening.”
Leta Andrews – Distinguished Alumni
Andrews has had an extraordinary high school coaching career, spanning 52 years and 1,416 victoriesmaking her the winningest high school basketball coach in the United States.
Andrews coached Corpus Christi Calallen High School’s women’s team to the 1990 Class 4A State Championship and took 14 teams to the Texas UIL state tournament. She coached and taught at Tolar, Gustine, Comanche, Corpus Christi Calallen and Granbury. Her hard work and long career have placed her in six halls of fame, including the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. She was selected by the Walt Disney Company in 1993 as the Most Outstanding American Teacher-Coach of the Year.
Following the record 2010 victory by her Granbury Lady Pirates on the court named in her honor, Andrews was recognized by the Texas Legislature and the University Interscholastic League in 2011 for her achievement as the winningest high school basketball coach.
This year, during National Basketball Association All-Star Festivities, Andrews was named a finalist for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. She is among six elite players, five outstanding coaches and one iconic referee selected for finalist consideration for the sport’s highest honor.
Marilynn Frances Timberlake Johanson – Distinguished Alumni
Johanson, a native of San Saba County, received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University and in 1980 earned her master’s degree from Tarleton.
Johanson’s professional career included positions as classroom teacher, education specialist with the Texas Education Agency, and high school and elementary principal. She retired in 1995 with 34 years of service to Texas public education.
Marilynn and her husband Dr. Lamar Johanson have been long-time supporters of Tarleton. In 2002, the Johansons established the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Scholarship to provide financial assistance to students at Tarleton’s Terrell School of Clinical Laboratory Sciences in Fort Worth. The Johansons are proud members of the Texan Club, supporting Tarleton Athletics. The couple have been honored by the university with the All-Purple Award and the Championship Club Purple Blazer as well as induction into the John Tarleton Society and the Scholarship Society.
In November 2012, the Johansons announced a life estate gift valued at more than $5 million to Tarleton. Their generous gift ultimately will allow a portion of their property to be used as an academic laboratory to support Tarleton research, outdoor classrooms and other mission-related functions, create an endowment for ongoing maintenance and provide scholarships for Tarleton students.
Mike Tabor – Distinguished Alumni
Tabor, one of the most respected western expressionistic artists in America, credits pop artists of the 1960s and the impressionist movement for his approach to breaking traditional representations of western themes.
A career that began with drawings of beef cattle for publications has expanded to paintings, sculptures and assemblages, with collectors and corporate affiliations from coast to coast and across Europe.
For the past 22 years Tabor has shared his passion for art by teaching high school students, many of whom have participated in the Fort Worth Stock Show Art Contest, winning their division 17 of the last 20 years. His leadership continues in other areas, with service on boards such as Texas Farm Bureau, the Glen Rose Rodeo Association and Somervell County Planning Committee. Tabor maintains the family ranch in Hood and Somervell counties.
Tabor’s career highlights include a life-size bronze of Dick and Rick Hoyt commissioned by John Hancock. Over the past three decades, the image of the father pushing his quadriplegic son has become synonymous with Patriots’ Day and their running the Boston Marathon. The sculpture sits on the lawn of Hopkinton (Mass.) School, just yards from the starting line of the annual race.
Britney Webb – Outstanding Young Alumnus
Webb, clinical site coordinator and senior lecturer of athletic training at Texas State University, received both her bachelor’s (1995) and master’s degrees (1997) from Tarleton. As an athletic trainer, her tenures include Abilene Christian University and Granbury, Baird, Buda-Hays and San Marcos high schools. She worked as an athletic trainer for Mesquite Professional Rodeo and the West Texas Fair and Rodeo.
Webb is active in the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association, National Athletic Trainers Association and Texas State Athletic Trainers Association. In 2007, she received the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association James Dodson New Horizon Athletic Training Award and in 2011 its Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award. She also was recognized in 2011 for her service, nominated by Texas State’s College of Education for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Service.
In 2013, Tarleton’s College of Education honored Webb at the annual Alumni Academic Forum, and she now serves on that college’s Dean’s Circle. Britney and her husband, Bryan, have three children: Gunner, Kannon and Kutter-Gage.
Mike Tate – Distinguished Staff
Tate joined Tarleton in 1990, rising quickly from staff accountant to director of accounting and assistant controller by 1992. Promoted to controller in 1996, he remained in that role until his promotion to assistant vice president and controller in 2005, where he served until his retirement in 2013.
Tate worked closely with College of Liberal and Fine Arts Dean Kelli C. Styron on the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools reaffirmation effort for three years, until Tarleton was reaffirmed in 2010. He worked closely with former Vice President and CFO Jerry Graham during the transition for the “separation” of Tarleton State University – Central Texas into what is today a successful stand-alone university in Killeen, Texas A&M University – Central Texas.
Tate’s allegiance to Tarleton generated loyalty from his colleagues, who appreciated his wit, leadership style and integrity. “Tarleton is a better place because of Mike Tate’s tenure,” said former Tarleton President Dennis McCabe. “His remarkable stewardship of Tarleton’s financial resources for nearly a quarter of a century is definitely noteworthy.”
Drs. Don and Pat Zelman – Distinguished Faculty
The Zelmans served the university for a combined 80 years, retiring from full-time teaching in Spring 2014.
Pat Zelman earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro and her master’s and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University. She wrote her dissertation on “Women in United States History,” and is an astute observer of the role of women in American history and politics.
She served on the board of the Texas Council of History Educators and is a member of the Southern Historical Association and the Southern Association of Women Historians. She was the 1992 recipient of Tarleton’s Jack & Louise Arthur Excellence in Teaching Award and the Texas A&M Chancellor’s Academy of Teachers Educators Award in 2012.
Don joined Tarleton’s Department of Social Sciences in 1969. He served as director of the Division of General Studies and was named the first dean of the College of Liberal & Fine Arts in 2000. He also served on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Committee to Establish Guidelines for Core Curriculum for State Universities and Community Colleges.
He received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California – Santa Barbara, his master’s from the University of Oregon and his doctorate from Ohio State. Don was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in Mexican-American Studies at the UC-Berkeley, was named a Danforth Associate and a Minnie Stevens Piper Professor.
Always politically aware and community-minded, the Zelmans have been active in Stephenville through volunteer work on civic committees, while Pat worked as Precinct Chair for the Democratic Party and Don served two separate terms on Stephenville City Council.
Dr. George Hendrick – Distinguished Friend
Hendrick’s Tarleton roots run deep. He grew up in the Santo and Patillo area, where his grandparents lived on a farm near university founder John Tarleton’s residence in Patillo, and knew Tarleton well. His uncle, K.O. Hendrick, owned John Tarleton’s home place, and also owns ranchland near Lipan once owned by Tarleton.
Hendrick received a bachelor of arts degree from Texas Christian University in 1948, and both his master of arts degree and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He retired as professor emeritus of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana, having served as department head for several years, and as first president of the James Jones Literary Society. He also served on the faculty of Southwest Texas State University, University of Colorado, J.W. Goethe University – Frankfurt, Germany, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In 2011, he established the Willene Lowery Hendrick Nursing Scholarship at Tarleton to honor his late wife, a nurse for 38 years, and to benefit full-time undergraduate students admitted into the nursing program. This scholarship has benefitted more than 35 students in a four-year period. Hendrick is a member of the John Tarleton Society and the Scholarship Society at Tarleton.
Recipients of the TAA Distinguished Alumni, Outstanding Young Alumnus, Distinguished Faculty and Staff, and Distinguished Friend awards are selected from nominations submitted to the Association. To nominate an individual for one of the TAA’s 2016 awards, visit www.tarleton.edu/ORG/alumniassociation.
Tarleton, a member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service, and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. With campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.
A large crowd gathered outside Center School Monday morning, just before the unveiling of the newest addition to Hopkinton – a life-size, bronze statue of Boston Marathon legends Rick and Dick Hoyt.
A large crowd gathered outside Center School Monday morning, just before the unveiling of the newest addition to Hopkinton – a life-size, bronze statue of Boston Marathon legends Rick and Dick Hoyt.
In a spirit of celebration, hundreds of people filled Ash Street between the common and the elementary school, that stretch of road having been closed for the event. Big band music blared over speakers, and 400 young Center School students lined the sidewalk and lawn. A high school senior sang the National Anthem, and state and U.S. dignitaries spoke to an eager audience.
“The marathon means so much to so many people, but there are two exceptional athletes who have captured the hearts of people around the world,” John Hancock spokeman Jim Gallagher said. John Hancock, the chief sponsor of the Boston Marathon, commissioned the statue and donated it to Hopkinton.
“Dick and Rick Hoyt are, quite simply, an inspiration,” Gallagher added. “We couldn’t think of a better place for this statue than Hopkinton.”
This is the 31st year the Hoyts will participate in the Boston Marathon, which begins Monday, April 15, a stone’s throw from the new statue. Dick Hoyt pushes his son – who has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound – through many athletic events per year, but the Hoyts’ story is more than racing. Early in his son’s life, Dick Hoyt realized his son’s physical paralysis did not affect his mind, and despite a lack of encouragement from doctors and others, worked to find ways to let Rick speak, obtain college degrees, and even author books.
“It’s a very special event for the town,” Hopkinton resident Michelle Hallenbeck said. “Just to honor (the Hoyts). I think it’s phenomenal.”
“It’s just a really humbling experience to be with two great Hopkinton legends,” said high school senior Joshua Perez, after he spoke at the unveiling.
The Hoyts have often voiced feeling a connection to Hopkinton, and have given many presentations to Hopkinton students, including one last week at the middle school.
“Today is a special because Hopkinton is a permanent reminder of everything Dad and I stand for,” Rick Hoyt told a hushed audience, through a computerized voice at Monday’s unveiling. Referring to the slogan printed on the plaque at the foot of the new statue, he continued, “Hopefully, we have demonstrated to the world, that, no matter what, ‘Yes, you can.'”
John Hancock officials will not disclose the price of the statue, sculpted by Texan artist Mike Tabor.
“People will ask me, ‘what was your inspiration?’ Well, the Hoyts,” chuckled Tabor Monday. “If you can’t be inspired by them, well …”
The statue wasn’t supposed to be placed until next year, Tabor added, but he pushed forward his own deadline to get the art ready sooner.
But on Monday morning, it was the father-son team from Holland, Mass., who were overflowing with emotion.
In a 30-minute ceremony, involving Hopkinton students, a life-size bronze statue — commissioned by John Hancock — was unveiled on the lawn of the Center School, just yards from the starting line of the Marathon.
“It was just unbelievable,” said Dick Hoyt.
Over the past three decades, the image of 73-year-old Dick, pushing his son, Rick, 51, who is a quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy, has become synonymous with Patriots’ Day.
“It was just unbelievable,” Dick said of the ceremony. “I had tears in my eyes. To see after all these years of us running and competing. Who ever thought we would have a bronze statue made of us?
“It [doesn’t] get any better than that. To us this is the Stanley Cup, this is the World Series.”
Rick was equally emotional. As the statue was uncovered, he threw his arms high into the air and opened his mouth wide as if to release a shriek of exhilaration. It’s a reaction many are accustomed to witnessing when the Hoyts cross the finish line on Boylston Street.
The visual of Dick Hoyt pushing Rick defines self-sacrifice, heroism, and the bond between a father and son. The pair, who have spawned a charity, ‘Team Hoyt,’ which strives to inspire physically disabled people to become active community members, annually elicits memorable Marathon moments and loud cheers.
Team Hoyt embodies love, determination, and a selflessness that Dick and Rick display in every Marathon they enter. It goes well-beyond a website slogan of “Yes You Can!”
“It’s about inspiration,” said James Gallagher, an executive vice president at John Hancock. “You take that inspiration and you use it to help people understand that they shouldn’t define limits in their life. They should push beyond what other people tell them are the limit.”
In years past, local Marathon greats such Bill Rodgers and Johnny Kelley were bronzed because they were great runners who excelled on the grueling course. Rodgers won the race four times, while Kelley competed 61 straight years, including a record seven second-place finishes. The Hoyts’ narrative, however, isn’t one about streaks or victories.
“It’s another chapter in the great Boston Marathon story,” said Gallagher.
“What’s really interesting about this chapter is that it speaks to a much broader audience of people who want to know, ‘Can I do something. Can I do this.’ And the message the Hoyts’ deliver is, ‘Yes you can.’ ”
The Hoyts’s story is not lost on anyone, including Texas-based sculptor Mike Tabor, who knew the Hoyts’s background even before he started the project.
“Literally, this is going to be a story remembered forever,” he said. “To be asked to sculpt it, I was totally blown away.”
John Mosher, a Hopkinton selectman, was there on behalf of the town to accept the gift.
“Everybody talks about their inspiration and their message, but it’s also about the constant reminder of the endurance that it takes to achieve things,’’ he said. “That no matter how difficult things are, they can be achieved.”
The Hoyts, who will be competing in the Marathon on Monday for the 31st straight year, understand just how important their message has become even as each year presents a new, more daunting, challenge.
“I’ll be 73 in June and Rick is 51,” said Dick. “Our times are slowing down, but people don’t worry about that now because all people want to do is see us out there competing. It’s a lot of people out there competing just because we’ve been doing it for so many years.”
BOSTON, MA, April 8, 2013 – Dick and Rick Hoyt, the famed father and son marathoning team, were honored today by federal, state and local officials at the unveiling of a life-size bronze statue in their likeness. The “Yes You Can!” statue, created by sculptor Mike Tabor, was commissioned by John Hancock Financial and donated to the Town of Hopkinton. Joining John Hancock Executive Vice President James D. Gallagher and the Hoyts at the ceremony were Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III, State Representative Carolyn Dykema, and John Mosher, Vice Chair, Hopkinton Board of Selectmen.
The statue was installed on the front lawn of the Center School, near the Boston Marathon starting line where Team Hoyt and other wheelchair athletes prepare before the Marathon. The Hopkinton Historical Commission, School Committee, and the Board of Selectman worked collaboratively to accept the gift from John Hancock.
“Dick and Rick Hoyt bring out the best in each other and encourage us to do the same, said Gallagher. “With this statue, John Hancock is proud to honor their remarkable legacy. It is our hope that by donating the statue to the Town of Hopkinton, it will serve as an inspiration for residents and visitors, including all Boston Marathon participants.”
“We are honored and humbled by this incredible gesture from John Hancock.,” said Dick Hoyt. “I’ve been saying this is like winning the Super Bowl for us, and we thank everyone who made it possible. This statue will symbolize the strength to overcome obstacles and adversity, and to persevere and pursue your dreams.”
“Dick and Rick Hoyt have spent over three decades proving there is little we cannot accomplish with teamwork, perseverance and compassion,” said Congressman Joe Kennedy. “Their athletic accomplishments, combined with their commitment to help those who are physically disabled, inspire each of us to challenge the accepted boundaries of our own experiences. I’d like to thank John Hancock and the Town of Hopkinton for making this fitting tribute possible.”
State Representative Carolyn Dykema added, “Dick and Rick Hoyt are a remarkable and inspiring team. I’m honored to join with John Hancock and the Town of Hopkinton to recognize their courage and their work to promote inclusion in both athletics and in all aspects of daily life.”
“All of us in Hopkinton have a special relationship with the Hoyts having seen them at the Marathon start for 30 years, and having had them visit our schools,” said Mr. Mosher. “We are grateful to John Hancock for making sure Team Hoyt’s inspiring message of “Yes You Can!” will forever be etched in our Town’s history.”
For over 30 years, Dick Hoyt has pushed or pulled Rick, who is a quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy, through the finish lines of more than 1,000 athletic events, including 30 Boston Marathons. 2013 will mark their 31st year. In addition to their athletic achievements, the Hoyts work tirelessly to help those who are physically disabled become active members of the community.