Sadly, Sondheim Still Sans Spectacles

On May 11, 2005, the Social Sciences Building was renamed – and rededicated – to the legacy of Walter Sondheim, Jr. , a leader in the fight for school desegregation in Baltimore, and also a visionary in the revitalization of the Inner Harbor. Since 1999, UMBC has been home to the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program, targeting students seeking to become community leaders themselves. Positioned at the main academic walkway in front of the building is a cast bronze statue of Sondheim, also dedicated that day, and granite benches inscribed with his words. Here’s the original press release.

Dr. Hrabowski and Sondheim at the dedication ceremony.

“Like Mr. Sondheim, this statue is inspiring and educational,” said sculptor Antonio Tobias Mendez. “In the future, students who view it will understand his character and dedication to community service.”

The Walter Sondheim statue, with glasses.

In early 2008, someone was apparently inspired to deface the statute – or more accurately, despectacle the statute. On Tuesday morning, February 5, Campus Police noticed that the statue’s glasses were broken. They’ve been gone ever since.

Sonheim, sans specs.

The Sondheim statue today.

It’s been almost two years since the original glasses were removed. Are there plans to restore them or have we admitted defeat? Certainly Mr. Sondheim is worth another try, isn’t he?

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