September 01, 2017 06:22 PM
On Friday, a school assembly of more than 850 students was held at Justice Page Middle School in Minneapolis to mark the renaming of the school in honor of Alan Page, Minnesota's first African American Supreme Court Justice.
Page is also a former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle and Pro Football Hall of Famer.
The school was formerly named after Alexander Ramsey, Minnesota's second governor.
Principal Erin Rathke said school staff members teach in-depth history lessons about Minnesota and students expressed that they were not happy with the person their school represented.
"I remember sending an opening letter to our parents and families that read, 'Ramsey students are world changers,'" Rathke said. "Our students have changed history."
Students, like Lillian Richman, started a campaign at the beginning of the year to rename their building.
"We had meetings after school in the cafeteria to talk about different names and Justice Page was the top choice." Richman said.
According to school officials, the school's site council and the Minneapolis School Board voted unanimously for the new name: Justice Page Middle School.
Page is no stranger to the school. Many students describe him to be down-to-earth and awesome. Other students said renaming their school is a positive change for the community.
The school's main foyer area there are two display cases that have been designed for the school honoring "TEAMWORK" and "JUSTICE." The cases display personal items donated by the Pages, like a gavel and his law degree.
A large metal sculpture of Page has also been installed by the front doors.
Page says he has received an honor of a lifetime.
"For the students to even consider my name was a tremendous honor," Page said. "To see them rally their community together and bring this to fruition is truly remarkable."
The Page Education Foundation was created nearly 30 years ago and continues to support and inspire young people of color throughout Minnesota who pursuing post-secondary education. The foundation has raised more than $14 million to support 6,500 students.
"My hope is that the kids see the possibilities," Page said. "When I was their age, it wouldn't have occurred to me to think that I could do the things that I have done today."
Updated: September 01, 2017 06:22 PM
Created: September 01, 2017 12:20 PM
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