The Dedication of the Rosa Parks Library and Museum
December 1, 2000, Montgomery, AL
Rosa Parks, the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement" was the guest of honor when Troy University dedicated its new library and museum.
The library will carry Mrs. Parks' name and commemorates her refusal to give her seat up on the Montgomery City Bus to a white man.
The incident occurred on December 1, 1955, at the site where the library is constructed and the museum depicts the event and the ensuing activities in the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott.
"Troy University, Montgomery Campus seized the opportunity of preserving the memory of courageous acts and courageous people, while using the property to best meet the needs of our students," Dr. Cameron Martindale said.
The structure is a three-story, 55,000 square-foot state-of-the-art library to more than 3,100 non-traditional urban Troy University,
Montgomery Campus students and the citizens of Montgomery and a museum and research center for those who will strive to understand the event that began the famous Bus Boycott.
Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of The Troy State University System, stated:
"I am very proud that Troy State University decided to undertake the creation of this unique museum.
The Rosa Parks Library and Museum is an important part in the continued revitalization of downtown Montgomery, and it also serves both the community and the state as a focal point in our nation's history."
The ceremony began at 1:00 PM in the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts, 231 Montgomery Street, Montgomery, Alabama, on the Troy University, Montgomery Campus, honoring Mrs. Parks on the 45th anniversary of her arrest.
The dedication ceremony included remarks from Mrs. Rosa Parks, Ms. Elaine Steele, TSU Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., and Troy University, Montgomery Campus President Cameron Martindale. U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright also spoke.
A tribute from the Women of the Movement was given to include Dr. Juanita Abernathy, Dr. Johnnie Mae Carr, Dr. Dorothy Height, Dr. Coretta Scott King, and Dr. Mammie Till-Mobley, and other dignitaries.
There were other special presentations by Larry Long with the Youth of Rural Alabama, the Pathways to Freedom Youth, and the Troy State University Symphony Band and Gospel Choir.
The opening tour of the museum was at 5:00 PM. Other events of the day included lectures at 9:30 a.m. by Dr. Douglas Brinkley, author of "Rosa Parks", and at 10:30 a.m. by Vernon Jarrett, veteran journalist and historian, in the auditorium of the Rosa Parks Library and Museum.
Also, an exhibition of Yvonne Wells' colorful, narrative quilts depicting the Civil Rights Movement was on display at the museum. A Parade of Choirs entertained outside the Troy University Montgomery Campus before the program begins in the Davis Theatre.
The museum contains an Erik Blome sculpture of Rosa Parks on the bus bench and portraits and sculpture of Rosa Parks by Los Angeles artist Artis Lane.
The museum exhibits were designed and created by Eisterhold and Associates, Inc. The building design was by Sherlock, Smith and Adams. The General Contractor was Bear Construction Company.
Quotes from the Dedication of the Rosa L. Parks Museum
"In 1955, when I was arrested... I had no way of knowing what the future held. I certainly never thought I would be remembered in such a grand manner... The students of the future, and all of us are students, will benefit from the opportunity Troy State University is providing..."
--- Ms. Rosa L. Parks
"For too long, Alabama has lived in the shadow of its past. But this event is not about yesterday, it is about tomorrow. This dedication certainly stands as a shining example of how far we've come and how much better we can be, if we can step beyond the shackles of the past..."
--- Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr, Chancellor, Troy University
"Today is a historic day as we recognize that the past, present and future have come together as this courageous woman, the university and the city of Montgomery join hands to celebrate change... This museum is a monument to an ordinary person who had the extraordinary courage to make a difference..."
--- Dr. Cameron Martindale Former President, Troy University Montgomery
"The heart of a university is a library. The idea that Troy State University Montgomery's heart is engraved with the name of Rosa Parks gives us all hope..."
--- Dr. Glenda Curry Former President, Troy State University Montgomery
"It is not a trail; it is not a park. It's a living example of what individuals can do if they put their minds to it..."
--- Mr. Lamar P. Higgins, Trustee Troy University and Member of the Museum Advisory Board