University of Minnesota removes Garrison Keillor plaque
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota has removed a plaque honoring humorist Garrison Keillor after he faced allegations of sexual misconduct.
Keillor’s plaque is no longer displayed on the school’s Scholars Walk, which honors outstanding university faculty and alumni, Minnesota Daily reported . But some of Keillor’s song lyrics from an early radio show are still featured on campus.
Keillor graduated from the university in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in English.
The longtime Minnesota Public Radio personality is known for telling folksy stories about his fictional Minnesota hometown of Lake Wobegon on “A Prairie Home Companion.” He was fired last year after facing allegations of workplace sexual harassment.
In a statement Monday, the university said Keillor’s plaque was removed along with others last month as part of a regular rotation. Thirteen new names were added, including former Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Minnesota Lynx player Lindsay Whalen.
“The panels were designed to be rotated on a regular basis in order to keep the gallery dynamic and highlight a larger group of individuals over time,” the university said.
On his Facebook page, Keillor said Monday the removal of his plaque was “a relief.”
“The idea of the Walk was some nameless bureaucrat’s and was an embarrassment anyway: a great public university is about equality and anonymity and I’m proud to be a U of M grad, no need for a plaque,” Keillor wrote.
Keillor was accused by a woman who worked on his radio show of dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents over several years, including requests for sexual contact and explicit sexual communications and touching.
Keillor has denied the allegations and says that the radio station fired him without a proper investigation.
An outside investigation looked into dozens of allegations regarding Keillor’s sexually inappropriate conduct, MPR President Jon McTaggart wrote in a letter to members published last month.
MPR has removed from its website archived “A Prairie Home Companion” shows featuring Keillor. The network also ended broadcasts of “The Writer’s Almanac,” Keillor’s daily reading of literary events and a poem, and ended rebroadcasts of Keillor-hosted “Prairie Home” shows.
Keillor, 75, retired in 2016 as host of “Prairie Home,” a Saturday evening radio variety show he created in 1974. The show, now titled “Live from Here,” continues with Keillor’s hand-picked successor, mandolinist Chris Thile.
Information from: The Minnesota Daily, http://www.mndaily.com/