A statue of Jim Henson and Kermit the frog seated on a red granite bench commands the space just left of the entrance to the Adele H. Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland, College Park, Henson’s alma mater.
• Henson, who graduated from College Park in 1960 was known throughout the world for his creation of the Muppets and his work in television with Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.
• UMD dedicated the statue on September 24th, 2003, which would have been his 67th birthday
• Together the sculpture and bench create the Jim Henson memorial, a parting gift of the class of 1998, with the immediate surrounding area known as the Henson Memorial Garden, a gift from UMD Classes of 1994 and 1998, and designed by landscape architect Phillip Cho.
• Karen Falk, a noted Henson archivist, said that the notion of an on-campus memorial for Henson was formed from the special event The Muppets Take Maryland, which took place at the university in 1997. The members of the class of ’98 wanted to honor and remember Henson with a gift for the tremendous impact he had on children’s lives.
• That ideal still stands to today as Henson’s creative and imaginative spark and soul still live through each succeeding class of the University of Maryland as we all learn to accept one another for our strength of character and compassion and not judge based on superficial features.
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