Einstein statue receives mixed responses from students

Photo by Tyler Meuter

Last Friday, Oct. 23, the official dedication ceremony for the new Albert Einstein Monument took place. The statue of the famous physicist was transported all the way from New York and is the third and final statue of sculptor Robert Berk’s bronze Einstein statues. The other two statues are located at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Jerusalem. Students have finally been able to get their first peeks at the statue since the northwest corner of Tech Green had been blocked off for construction for several weeks.

The addition of the monument has elicited varying responses from the students at Tech. While some like it, others believe that the statue is out of place.

“I haven’t seen [the statue] in person, but I’ve seen it in pictures,” said Stephanie Koshy, a fourth-year IE. “I heard about it last week and was really confused. I don’t understand the connection between Albert Einstein and Georgia Tech. We have had famous astronauts and faculty come out of Tech that would have been more fitting than someone who had, to my knowledge, no affiliation with our institute. I just wish Tech asked students for their input before they issued the statue.”

Some students accept and understand the connection between the Institute and the new Einstein. They believe that Tech is an institute that embodies science, so the art is fitting and relevant to the environment.

“I didn’t see it fully unveiled but I think it’s pretty cool,” said Leila Harrison, a second-year ENVE. “He was the father of science so it makes sense … and it’s in a good, central location too.”

But although some were open to the idea of the addition of the Einstein monument, some seemed disappointed after actually seeing the statue. The appearance of the bronze Albert was not quite up to par with expectations.

“It’s nicer than the weird circle of bushes they had in the middle of the sidewalk,” said Haley Hoang, fourth-year, IE. After seeing the statue, however, she added, “I think it doesn’t look good. I like the entire layout but I don’t like the statue itself.”

Perhaps students are more appreciative of the monument after learning that it is the last of three Einstein statues of this kind, brought over with the help of Georgia Tech alumni.

“I actually didn’t know it was one of three Einsteins. Why was it given? Is it a homage to our greatness in pursuing knowledge and advancing the human race? That’s pretty cool, ” said Kali Nicholas, a fourth-year ME.

Some people even made a connection between our success at this year’s Homecoming game, and the presence of the statue.

“Previously the statue had come under a lot of fire and people were questioning it … but after the success against FSU, people (on Yik Yak) are starting to believe that Einstein is a source of good luck. So they’ll start calling it the Ein-shrine. People are even suggesting that we put offerings in front of the statue before games,” claimed  Arsène Lakpa, first-year CS major.

Hopefully the students’ general attitude will continue this trend to a more positive note in appreciation of the special statute.