The foundation overseeing construction of a Washington, D.C. memorial for Martin Luther King, Jr. selected an artist this week to carve King’s image into the memorial’s centerpiece, a 28-foot light beige “Stone of Hope.” After considering artists around the world, the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Project Foundation chose Chinese stone-carver Lei Yixin for his “talent, vast expertise working with granite and his experience with sculptures on a grand scale,” the foundation announced in a statement this week. The foundation’s spokesperson, Rica Orszag, said other artists in the field highly recommended Lei. This week, the foundation also announced which quotations will be engraved in the memorial. The quotes were selected by the foundation’s “Council of Historians,” a group of around 12 prominent professors and leaders in the black community. “They all selected the quotes based on themes of love, hope, peace, democracy and justice,” Orszag said. The memorial will be located on a four-acre plot on the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial, where King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The National emorial Project Foundation has raised about $77 million of the $100 million needed to complete and maintain the memorial, Orszag said. According to Orszag, the project is expected to be completed in 2008. – Connie Parham Cynthia Ozick, the bestselling Jewish-American author of “The Puttermesser Papers,” was presented with an honorary degree on Tuesday in ICC Auditorium, recognizing a five-decade-long career that has produced bold fiction and cultural commentary. Jacques Berlinerblau, the director of the Program for Jewish Civilization, lauded Ozick’s ability to confront “the most insoluble individual and cultural contradictions, through preternaturally precise prose.” University President John J. DeGioia also commended Ozick, saying, “[She] has enriched our national literary heritage and has helped to illuminate the Jewish heritage.” DeGioia added that Ozick has promoted interreligious understanding in a divided world and praised her for contributing to the “autobiography of humanity” and “infusing our horizons of significance.” In her reception speech, Ozick said that her inspiration for writing came from her own experience as much as her cultural identity as a Jewish American. “History isn’t only what we inherit – it is also what we ourselves are obliged to endure,” Ozick said. – Natalie Lescroart

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