Stations to be Renamed in Honor of Public University and Historic Civil Rights Leader
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Franklin Avenue and President Street Stations in Brooklyn will be formally renamed after Medgar Evers College. The new stations, Franklin Avenue-Medgar Evers College and President Street-Medgar Evers College, will honor the historic contributions of the historically black CUNY college to the Brooklyn communities it serves and stand as a living tribute to Medgar Evers, the civil rights icon whose name the college proudly carries.
The pair of subway stations in Brooklyn, Franklin Avenue - lines 2/3/4/5/S - and President Street - lines 2/5 - are set to formally be renamed later this fall. The MTA will begin work on the project in honor of the vital Brooklyn institution this month. Maps, signage and other MTA materials will be amended throughout the course of the summer.
"Medgar Evers was a hero whose life was taken during the historic movement to establish civil rights long denied to African-Americans in this nation, and New York is proud to be home to Medgar Evers College - an incredible institution providing high quality, career-oriented educational opportunities to a diverse student body," Governor Cuomo said. "By renaming these subway stations in honor the College, New York is not only celebrating a historic figure and institution, but embracing our diversity, which will always be our greatest strength, in our public spaces."
The renaming commemorates the critical role that Medgar Evers College plays in the borough and comes fifty years after the school's founding. A more formal celebration honoring the fully renamed stations is expected to take place in the fall to coincide with MEC's anniversary.
The renaming of the stations is pursuant to legislation put forth by Assemblymember Diana Richardson and Senator Zellnor Myrie. The project is being funded by a $250,000 legislative grant made available by Assemblywoman Richardson. No additional costs for the project will be borne by the MTA or New York City Transit.
"The process for renaming a station is not a simple undertaking and both Assemblymember Richardson and State Senator Myrie deserve real credit for seeing this through and delivering funds to get the work done," said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. "As our state and nation once again grapple with questions of structural injustice, I can't think of anyone who merits public recognition more than Medgar Evers and the college that bears his name. Medgar Evers College is a vital institution in Central Brooklyn and has been for almost half a century."
"I am extremely proud and honored as both an alumnus of Medgar Evers College and a lifelong resident of the Crown Heights community to have helped author the legislation that renamed these subway stops in honor of the great civil rights leader, Medgar Evers," said Assemblymember Diana Richardson. "That this is happening during this critical period of change in our nation's history is serendipitous. I am confident that the community will join me in celebrating this well-deserved recognition of the college and its namesake."
"Never has the history and legacy of Medgar Evers felt more alive than during this movement for justice and never has there been a better time to honor his legacy," said Senator Zellnor Myrie. "As we literally put one of our most cherished institutions on the map, we honor Medgar Evers' life of service to black people and to our country and recommit to continuing his work today."
"We are so pleased that Governor Cuomo has signed this bill into law. As a neighborhood stalwart since 1970, Medgar Evers College is synonymous with Crown Heights, and by extension, we are inextricably linked to the subway stations that serve our community," said Medgar Evers College President Rudolph F. Crew, Ed.D. "The renaming of the subway stations reflects the profound contribution that Medgar Evers College has made to Central Brooklyn. It is emblematic of the critical role that we will continue to play as we celebrate our 50th year of serving students and changing the trajectory of their lives."
"The entire Evers family was pleased to learn that Medgar is being honored in this manner," said Reena Evers-Everette, daughter of Medgar Evers. "We hope that the station renaming will serve as a longstanding reminder to the public that transition is constant and that we must work continually toward making the world a better place. We very much look forward to safely visiting the stations in person."
About Medgar Evers College
Named in honor of the late NAACP leader who was assassinated due to his courageous work fighting for civil rights, Medgar Evers College has been a Brooklyn staple since its founding nearly fifty years ago. Recognized as a historically black college, the school is a part of the CUNY system. The school is deeply rooted in Brooklyn. It was the first CUNY school to incorporate representatives of the local community actively in the decision-making process that determined its first president and board. That deep connection with the community remains a hallmark of the school today.