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FRAMINGHAM – After a year-long process, the former Woodrow Wilson Elementary School was officially renamed Harmony Grove Elementary School on Saturday, in a short ceremony at the K-5 school.

Current Framingham High student Laysa Mourao, an alumni of the school, helped to initial the renaming of the school. The student-led petition gained more than 1,500 signatures in the Summer of 2020

Mourao spoke along with Principal Purnima Demorais, School Committee member Priscila Sousa, Framingham History Center Assistant Director Laura Rankin, and Framingham Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay.

Mayor Yvonne Spicer was expected to speak and help with the ribbon cutting, but was a no show for the Saturday, August 28 ceremony.

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More than 500 individuals attended the family-friendly celebration which was scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. The ceremony was scheduled for 4 to 4:30 p.m., with the ribbon cutting held at 4:45 p.m.

Rankin told the crowd this is the first school in America to be named Harmony Grove.

The School Committee approved the change in May 2021.

Harmony Grove was a historic park located 1.5 miles from the former Woodrow Wilson Elementary School on the shores of Farm Pond.

The amphitheater at Harmony Grove hosted rallies and speeches from famous social justice activists to promote women’s rights and the anti-slavery movement, including William Garrison and Henry David Thoreau, who spoke at Harmony Grove on July 8, 1854.

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Former President Woodrow Wilson was known to have supported racist policies and segregation. Framingham is not the only school district to remove the President’s name from its school.

SOURCE will have a full report and more photos next week.

The first day of school for students is Wednesday, September 1.   

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.