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Yearning to Know

Object Lesson: the story behind Starpoint School’s signature statue.

Yearning to Know

Object Lesson: the story behind Starpoint School’s signature statue.

Starpoint was dear to M.J. and Alice Neeley, who founded the special education school in 1966. The philanthropist couple raised funds to construct a building on campus for the school, which opened in 1978.

After Alice Neeley’s death in 1986, her husband commissioned a statue in commemoration. To guide the artist, he chose a photograph of his wife’s mother, Mary Brazelton Snead, reading to the couple’s daughters, Marian and Kathleen. Neeley hired Bahamas-based sculptor Randolph Wardell Johnston to replicate the photograph. Bronzart Foundry in Sarasota, Fla., made the bronze cast of the life-size statue that stands outside Starpoint.

Neeley named the finished artwork Yearning to Know. A dedication ceremony was organized on Oct. 28, 1990. “It was hotter than Hades, but we had such a wonderful occasion,” said Columba Reid, a longtime associate of the philanthropist.

Yearning to Know
The Yearning to Know statue outside of Starpoint School was commemorated in the memory of Alice Neeley.