Paul L. Caron

Monday, August 31, 2020

Washburn Law School Removes Statues Of Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson


U.S. News & World Report, Statues Of Jefferson, Franklin Removed From Washburn Campus:

Statues of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin have been removed from the Washburn University campus after protests against racial injustice elsewhere led to statues honoring slaveholders being vandalized, pulled down or moved, the school said Thursday.

The two bronze statues that had stood outside the university's law school in Topeka for two decades were removed in July after Washburn President Jerry Farley discussed the concerns with the family of the donor, who has since died, school spokesman Patrick Early said. ...

Some Washburn students have questioned the propriety of the statutes but the decision to remove them from campus was not in response to a protest or request from students, Early said. “It was the donor's decision to have the statues returned," he said. “They didn't want the statues to become a source of embarrassment so they asked that they be returned."

Washburn University Art on Campus:

A life-sized bronze likeness of Thomas Jefferson was installed in May 2002 south of the School of Law. Donated by Gerald and Shannon Michaud and crafted by George Lundeen.

A life-sized bronze likeness of Benjamin Franklin was installed in 2000 at the north entrance of the School of Law. Donated by Gerald and Shannon Michaud and crafted by George Lundeen.

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink


While donor considerations are certainly important, I took a look at the financials of this particular university. It's public, and over 50% of its revenue comes from local, state, and federal taxpayers. Donor gifts are less than 10%, while tuition and investments make up the rest.

Since when do the preferences of anonymous private donors carry more weight at a public institution, than the public itself?

Posted by: MM Classic | Sep 7, 2020 8:37:33 PM

@Unemployed Northeastern: Acquiescence to the mob is no virtue.

And we're talking about T.J. and that dude from the musical. This is foundational. If we can't agree on basics, then just bring on the second civil war already. (Preferably when the GOP controls all three branches for max lethality lol. No Democrat left "behind" this time.)

Posted by: Anon | Sep 4, 2020 2:39:16 PM


I made no comment about the donor's requests. But it's interesting to note that, once again, our resident troll carries water, sarcastically, for an institution with a very racist past history. Not sure if it's age or just cognitive dissonance.

And I count 5 comments before the troll came out of his cave. Evidently, some adults can't even count on one hand...

Posted by: MM Classic | Sep 3, 2020 6:39:42 PM

So I am lost: Why is Ben Franklin bad now? Its so hard to keep up.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 3, 2020 8:07:23 AM


- a half-dozen Taxprof commenters

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Sep 2, 2020 10:48:55 AM

I'll take the administration and students seriously when they shut down the entire school and turn the property back over to the local Kansa and Osage tribes. Until then, it's merely self-loathing virtue-signaling from extremely privileged white leftists.

Posted by: MM Classic | Aug 31, 2020 6:17:56 PM

"...a source of embarrassment?"..They likely didn't want some valuable statuary damaged or destroyed in the custody of recipients who were too fickle to protect it.

Posted by: eltee | Aug 31, 2020 9:21:09 AM

We're not in Kansas anymore!

Posted by: Stubbs | Aug 31, 2020 6:12:15 AM

Slight correction - the law school did not remove them. The university did.

Posted by: Lori McMillan | Aug 31, 2020 6:11:12 AM

So vandalism is OK as long as its from the left?

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Aug 31, 2020 5:06:04 AM