In 1978, Dr. Albert W. Brown presented Soviet artist Zurab Tsereteli with an honorary certificate in recognition of his efforts to foster peace and understanding between people of the Soviet Union and the United States. He then was invited to teach a painting course here at SUNY Brockport. After accepting the invitation, Tsereteli learned about the Fifth International Summer Special Olympics Games, to be held here at SUNY Brockport in August 1979. He soon decided that he wanted to do something for the Special Olympics and SUNY Brockport.
He returned to his native Republic of Georgia with work on his mind. Drawing inspiration from his interest in young people, his concern for Special Olympics and the realization that the United Nations had proclaimed 1979 as the International Year of the Child, Tsereteli began his work. Within a year, Tsereteli constructed two sculptures for the Soviet Government, which were then donated to SUNY Brockport in honor of the International Year of the Child and the International Special Olympics. One of the pieces is located in front of the Allen Administration Building, and is titled "Prometheus" (The Greek god who gave strength to man). The other, is located in front of the Drake Memorial Library, and is titled "Joy and Happiness to All the Children of the World". The five pillars represent the five continents that would be represented at the Special Olympics Games in 1979. This gift made history. Tsereteli waived his usual royalties which would have amounted to $250, 000 because the pieces were for children and students. The two bronze pieces, whose total weight is nearly 30 tons, were shipped overseas to the United States and then loaded into five trucks to be brought to SUNY Brockport.
We will never forget the generosity of this kind man and his country.
Joy and Happiness to All the Children of the World
In the archives: scanning