Albany State University sculpture labeled as iconic and historic

Soil to Sun, Albany State University's first and only sculpture, has been chosen in an online voting competition hosted by as one of the seven most iconic and historic emblems of HBCU culture.

Designed by retired ASU Professor Emeritus Arthur Berry in 2003 to commemorate the University's centennial celebration, Soil to Sun has quickly become one of the most distinctive and recognizable structures in Southwest Georgia.

"I am thrilled that my sculpture has received this honor," Berry said in an interview upon hearing of his sculpture's selection. "I am thankful for all the people who voted for it."

Berry, who served as chair of the Arts Department from 1967 to 1988, created the sculpture to represent Albany State's transition during its first century.

"Dr. Holley built ASU on solid soil, and we continue to reach for the sun," Berry said at the sculpture's dedication.

According to Berry, the sculpture includes a plow to represent sweat and work, a drum and violin to represent creativity and expression, a book to represent the development of the mind, a mortar cap to represent achievement, and a sun to represent aspiration.

More than 11,000 college students, alumni and supporters took part recently in the international vote to identify the winning emblems of HBCU culture throughout the United States. In addition to ASU's "Soil to Sun" the other winners are:

  • Jubilee Hall at Fisk University
  • Alcorn State University's Oakland Memorial Chapel
  • Tougaloo College's Woodworth Chapel
  • Morgan State University's Holmes Hall
  • Bowie State University's Torch of Truth
  • North Carolina A&T State University's February One Statue
  • Soil to Sun, along with the other six structures, will be the subject of a multi-media documentary project which is set to debut in 2011.

    According to Jarrett Carter, Sr., founding editor of, this project will create a new and exciting perspective on the tradition of HBCUs. "It will provide an unprecedented opportunity for exposure and insight into your college's new and exciting developments," he wrote.