On Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., the Walker Percy Serenity Circle will open to the public with a dedication ceremony at the Madisonville Branch of the St. Tammany Public Library (1123 Main Street, Madisonville). The dedication will include the unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue of Walker Percy by Covington artist Bill Binnings generously underwritten by The Helis Foundation. The event will be attended by Walker Percy’s daughters Mary Pratt Lobdell and Ann Moores, and will feature remarks from Madisonville Mayor Peter Gitz, St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister, Retired Judge Frederick Stephen Ellis, and officials from the St. Tammany Library Foundation, and the St. Tammany Public Library System. The event is free and open to the public.
“The Walker Percy Serenity Circle, vision of former St. Tammany Library Foundation President, Dr. Argiro Morgan, is the first sizable library project undertaken by the non-profit St. Tammany Library Foundation. It was undertaken with humility to honor the memory and literary accomplishments of one of the most accomplished American authors of the twentieth century, St. Tammany’s own Walker Percy.” said Ann Shaw, President of the St. Tammany Library Foundation, “The Walker Percy Serenity Circle will provide local residents and tourists an opportunity to learn about Percy’s life, literary works, awards, and accomplishments for generations to come.”
The St. Tammany Library Foundation invites the public to read, contemplate, and reflect in the Walker Percy Serenity Circle. The circle is set under live oak trees in front of the Madisonville Branch of the St. Tammany Public Library, a block from the Tchefuncte River. Several benches grace the garden; one of which was donated by Percy’s daughter Anne Moores and her family. This bench will serve as the resting place for bronze life-size likeness of Walker Percy and his dog “Sweet Thang” by sculptor Bill Binnings.
Widely considered one of the greatest writers of the twentieth-century, Walker Percy lived in Covington, La. from 1948 until his death in 1990. May 28th, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the author’s birthday. His first book, The Moviegoer, was written in 1961 and received the National Book Award. Time magazine named it “one of the best English language books published since 1923”. Five other books followed. Mr. Percy received The Compton Medal by the Catholic Book Club (1987); the T.S Eliot Award for Creative Writing (1988); an appointment by Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Commission on the Arts and was the only American writer so honored (1988); The Laetare Medal (1989); and an appointment to the Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities (1989).
About The St. Tammany Library Foundation
The St. Tammany Library Foundation was established in 2006, shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast area. One community library was so severely damaged by water and wind it could no longer function as a library facility. Another was completely destroyed by tornado force winds.
The Foundation was founded as a charitable non-profit 501 [c]  corporation to support the St. Tammany Parish Library System in its recovery and to promote the long-range growth and development of library resources and services in the future.