Enormous Statue Honoring Mister Rogers Unveiled at His Alma Mater

“Very, very special — as Dad would say,” said John Rogers.

Rollins College in Florida unveiled an enormous statue of beloved children’s TV host, Fred Rogers, who graduated from the college 70 years ago. 

The bronze statue is over seven feet tall and weighs more than 3,000 pounds. It depicts the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” star and his Daniel Tiger puppet pal, surrounded by adoring children. He is wearing one of his iconic cardigans and a pair of sneakers that he changed into at the start of each episode.

The statue, called “A Beautiful Day for a Neighbor,” was created by British sculptor Paul Day and took 11 months and more than 4,000 hours to complete. It includes lyrics from the series’ theme song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” which Mister Rogers sang on his show that ran for 31 seasons and had 895 episodes. The statue also has famous characters and the Trolley that connected Mister Rogers’ fictional home to the world of make-believe.

“My hope is that this piece will bring joy and inspiration to many people, just as Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood did for generations,” Day told NPR.”

Fred McFeely Rogers graduated with distinction from Rollins in 1954 with a major in music composition. He met his wife at Rollins, Sara Joanne Byrd Rogers, who even had a character named after her on the show.

The college hosted Rogers’ son, John, for a private unveiling ceremony last week. “Very, very special — as Dad would say,” said John Rogers.

Image source: Miami Herald, NPR