Bridgewater State to Honor Martin Richard With New Institute, Statue

The university will erect a statue and rename its Institute for Social Justice for the marathon bombing victim.

Martin Richard statue

A rendering of the statue. Image courtesy of Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater State University is honoring Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard by renaming its Institute for Social Justice as the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice, and by installing a life-size statue of Richard, who was 8 years old, on its campus.

Both of Richard’s parents attended Bridgewater State, inspiring the school to honor the young marathon victim in a tangible way. Richard’s father, Bill, said at a news conference in June that Bridgewater is, “where our family really began. So, it seems fitting that it also be a place in which it endures.”

Bridgewater held a ceremony in June to announce the new name, while the statue—which will depict Richard holding his famous “No More Hurting People…Peace” sign—will be installed later this summer. Local artist Victoria Guerina, a graduate of Boston University’s College of Fine Art, has been chosen to make the sculpture.

At the news conference, Bill Richard said a center for social justice is a fitting way to remember his son. “We…hope that Martin’s messages of peace will live on in an active institute dedicated to peace, fairness, community service and engagement,” he said.

With the statue and renaming, Bridgwater joins other Boston-area institutions that have stepped forward to honor Boston Marathon victims. Among others, MIT constructed a granite sculpture to honor Officer Shawn Collier; Boston University manages a scholarship fund in Lingzi Lu’s name; and Medford is building a peace garden in memory of Krystle Campbell.